Yoga can benefit children and teenagers in many ways, but since it’s not taught in schools very often they rarely see the benefits. While it’s fantastic as a form of exercise for adults, there are specific ways that it benefits youth between the ages of 5 and 11. Encouraging the practice of yoga early by teaching it in schools at this age, children will find a tremendous amount of ways that yoga physically and emotionally nourishes them.
Here are a few things you’ll notice that yoga provides if taught in schools early:
Yoga Builds Healthy Self-Esteem
Working through the process of learning yoga and discovering physical limits can be frustrating, especially for children. Yoga helps to teach them integral qualities like patience and perseverance. Children have to learn to move their bodies into the posture being taught, using only guidance and demonstration from the teacher. Mastering a posture gives them self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
Yoga Enhances Concentration and Focus
The practice of yoga helps a child clear their mind of other thoughts, which is important at an early age. They learn focus while they work on a particular pose or on staying balanced. This passive method of learning focus innately helps children perform better in school. This kind of integrated learning is helpful because it’s not just another form of school – it’s a full-body activity that just feels fun, but on a secondary level, they’re learning.
Yoga Begins the Process of Self-Awareness
For children of school age, yoga starts building a strong framework of motor skill development along with emotional balance that is often not yet developed. The practice of yoga helps kids develop coping skills when dealing with stress, anger and frustration – all feelings often found in school. In the long term these skills help reduce the feelings of fear and helplessness in social situations, reduce anxiety about test-taking and reduce disciplinary issues in children who show signs of Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder.
Yoga Reduces Obesity
Being active through practicing yoga helps children build healthy habits of physical fitness and, through the learned self-awareness, helps to establish an understanding of the effects of diet on health at an early age. Studies have shown that children who have a regular yoga practice make better food choices and are more physically active than children who do not participate in yoga.
It doesn’t take much to start a child on a healthy path in life. Introducing yoga early in schools is a great way to develop strong, healthy, balanced adults.