How Yoga Benefits Young Children
We have all heard about the health benefits of yoga for us as adults – but did you know that yoga benefits young children in lots of ways too? Yoga class has been a mainstay of our early childhood program for the last few years – and it is here to stay. We are confident that it belongs in our curriculum. Here is our shortlist of benefits for young children.
Yoga helps children:
- Build concentration and body awareness
Yoga classes combine fast moving and slow moving poses. This transition helps children learn self-control, which in turn fine tunes their ability to focus. Moving from sitting to standing to balancing poses gives children a chance to practice focusing and being aware – a skill they need to succeed in school.
- Find an outlet for stress management
Children deal with stress in their everyday lives, just as adults do. Practicing yoga provides children with an outlet to reduce their stress in a safe and nurturing environment. Breathing exercises slow down their heart rate, and the gentle flow of poses helps calm the mind and the body.
- Increase physical strength and flexibility
Yoga is a great way to train muscles, using body weight to gain strength. With fluid poses that challenge and move the body in different ways, it also increases flexibility. Being exposed to yoga at a young age opens up the door for children to continue practicing as they get older – always a benefit to be comfortable with another kind of physical activity.
- Encourage confidence and self-esteem
Yoga is a non-competitive physical activity that can do wonders for children’s confidence. Learning a new pose gives them poise and power, helping them believe in their own abilities.
- Foster cooperation and compassion
Yoga can inspire children to be kind, patient, accepting, and emphatic with themselves and their peers. It is a non-competitive activity that can be practiced in a large or small group, and everyone can focus on relaxing and the power of positivity.
At Tobin School Westwood, our visiting yoga instructor is Sandra Dennis.
About Sandra (the children call her Miss Sandra):
Sandra Dennis is a long time practitioner of yoga, a Professional Certified Kripalu yoga teacher, studio owner and the author of ‘YogaRest for Children’ a relaxation CD to help children cope with stress. She brings warmth and sincerity to her classes and is dedicated to her own personal practice and to sharing the magic and benefits of yoga with children, and with the adults who ultimately influence their lives.
Want to know more about yoga in our early childhood classrooms? Get in touch with us.