Yoga is not only an entertaining activity to do with your little ones, but it is very beneficial for growing bodies and developing minds. From the Downward Dog to the Unicorn pose, fun yoga poses will keep kids engaged and is the perfect activity to do with a group of friends. Both toddlers and older children will love it – yoga can be done at your own pace and in line with your child’s age and skill level, building in more complex poses as they develop. We’ve outlined the top benefits of yoga for little ones (and adults too!). Ready to stretch your body and your mind? Let’s go…
Kids learn how to monitor their own emotions and behaviour by being quiet, mindful of themselves and others, and practising respect both on and off the mat. Yoga is the perfect opportunity to give your little one the time each day to experience mental and physical stillness, which will help them to stop and evaluate the way they feel. During the activity, you can ask your child a couple of gentle questions to prompt them too. For example, ‘how does this feel?’.
Improves coordination and balance
Yoga poses and flow exercises improve coordination and balance – an essential skill for growing kids. Even if a child has difficulty standing on one foot, they will learn mental and physical balance if they can stay calm when falling and with practise will improve in leaps and bounds (literally!). Certain poses have been designed to target different areas of the body, and also allows little minds to understand movement of their own bodies.
Relaxes and calms busy minds
Yoga is the perfect tool for helping kids to focus on the present action and task, which can aid in slowing down their busy minds as attention is focused elsewhere. Another key element of yoga is breathwork – children can be shown how to breathe properly using different methods called ‘yoga breaths’. This learned skill is so helpful for children to have in their emotional toolkit when they experience the inevitable ups and downs of life, enabling them to approach a challenge with calmness and ease.
An amazing benefit of regular yoga sessions is the increased self confidence that your little one will experience, as they learn to master each pose and demonstrate it to others. In a group environment, it is a helpful idea to encourage each child to invent their own pose and share about it or interact together throughout the session. This builds a sense of belonging amongst peers and can develop into close friendships.
The best way to teach your child some fun and engaging poses is with specially designed yoga cards, which have illustrated easy to follow instructions on how to perform each pose. Our Mindful Yoga Practice Cards contains 24 cards in a set, each featuring a beautifully illustrated yoga pose to help little yogis form the pose. Intertwined in the illustrations are imagery of flowers and plants to represent growth and grounding – a key principle of yoga. Each card also has an ‘imagine’ section which encourages the use of imagination in your child’s yoga practice – you’ll be surprised at what creative ideas they come up with!