Doing yoga has several health benefits. Learn about the importance and benefits of yoga asanas for kids. Also, check out a list of easy-to-do yoga poses that you and your child can do together
Yoga asanas are a universally popular set of exercises that ensure physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Practising this ancient science provides numerous benefits not only for adults but also for kids. Experts believe that kids who are interested can start practising yoga at around eight years of age. There are many simple yoga poses for kids that are easy to do.
To perform well in today's competitive world, kids need to be at their best, both physically and mentally. Practicing yoga helps them relax and develop the required physical and emotional strength.
Yoga also helps children develop the ability to calm their minds and gain higher emotional stability.
Above all, yoga helps children develop a healthy lifestyle by increasing creativity, stamina and confidence, and decreasing stress levels. This fact was highlighted in a research study published by Hagen et al in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry in April 2014.
Bodies of young children are naturally flexible. This helps them learn and do many yoga asanas with ease. For example, they often sit in vajrasana (a pose that helps to improve digestion), stretch like a cat, or pose like a crocodile without much effort. Here are some easy-to-do and highly beneficial yoga asanas for kids that you can do along with your child.
1. Cat pose or marjariasanaCat pose or marjariasana is an animal yoga pose that stimulates proper breathing. It stretches the torso and the neck. It brings flexibility to the spine and benefits the internal organs.
2. Bridge pose or setu bandha sarvangasanaThis pose stretches the chest, neck and back. It also calms the mind, reduces stress and depression, improves digestion, and strengthens the legs.
3. Upward-facing dog pose or urdhva mukha svanasanaThis pose strengthens the spine, opens and stretches the chest, reduces stress and fatigue, and relieves symptoms of asthma.
4. Downward-facing dog pose or adho mukha svanasanaThis pose increases oxygen levels in the body and helps to gain stability. When done properly — with heels placed on the ground, shoulders relaxed and elbows pointed outwards—this asana improves the ability to concentrate.
5. Tree pose or vrukshasanaMost children find it difficult to quieten their mind and focus. This is the perfect pose to silence the mind and improve concentration.
6. Child's pose or balasanaThis is the natural resting pose of children less than two years old. It is an extremely relaxing asana.
7. Mountain pose or tadasanaThis is a simple yet powerful asana. It helps to achieve correct posture and strengthens the body.
8. Intense forward-bending pose or uttanasanaUttanasana stretches and relaxes the hamstrings. It helps to develop flexibility and prevents injuries. It also helps in reversing the flow of blood.
9. Warrior pose or virabhadrasanaThis pose strengthens the muscles of the arms, shoulders, thighs and back.
10. Corpse pose or savasanaSavasana is an excellent pose for guided visualization, which relaxes the mind. You can guide children to go on an imaginary tour of their favorite place, for example, the neighborhood park or the beach, while doing this asana. This asana helps to calm the body and mind and relieves stress, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia.
Children learn better through games than by routine methods, which they find boring. Therefore, yoga lessons need to be tailored for them in a way they can enjoy. Also, doing yoga together can be a great way for parents to bond with their children.
Disclaimer: Please consult a yoga practitioner before trying any of these yoga asanas with your child.
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