GROW and GLOW YOGA for KIDS
Our children live in a hurry-up world of busy parents, school pressures, incessant lessons, video games, malls, and competitive sports. We usually don’t think of these influences as stressful for our kids, but they often are. The bustling pace of our lives can have a profound negative effect on children’s innate joy.
I have found that yoga can help counter these pressures. When children learn techniques for self-health, relaxation, and inner fulfillment, they can navigate life’s challenges with more ease. Yoga at an early age encourages self-esteem and body awareness in a noncompetitive environment. Fostering cooperation and compassion—instead of opposition—is a great gift to give our children.
When yogis developed the asanas many thousands of years ago, they still lived close to nature and used animals and plants for inspiration—the gigantic gentleness of an elephant, the grace of a swan, the grounded stature of a tree. When children imitate the movements and sounds of nature, they have a chance to get inside another being and imagine taking on its qualities. When they assume the pose of the lion (Simhasana) for example, they experience not only the power and behavior of the lion, but also their own sense of power: when to be aggressive, when to retreat. The physical movements introduce kids to yoga’s true meaning: union, expression, and honor for oneself and one’s part in the delicate web of life.
A Child’s Way
Grow and Glow Yoga with Sagar for children offers many possibilities to exchange wisdom, share good times, and lay the foundation for a lifelong practice that will continue to deepen. All that’s needed is a little flexibility on the adult’s part because, as I found out quickly when I first started teaching the practice to preschoolers, yoga for children is quite different than yoga for adults.
At Grow and Glow Yoga we employ ecology, anatomy, nutrition, and life lessons that echo yogic principles of interdependence, oneness, and fun. Most of all, our program engages the entire mind, body, and spirit in a way that honors all the ways children learn.
The greatest challenge with children is to hold their attention long enough to teach them the benefits of yoga: stillness, balance, flexibility, focus, peace, grace, connection, health, and well-being. Luckily, most children love to talk, and they love to move—both of which can happen in yoga. Children will jump at the chance to assume the role of animals, trees, flowers, warriors. Your role is to step back and allow them to bark in the dog pose, hiss in the cobra, and meow in cat stretch.
When they stretch like a dog, balance like a flamingo, breathe like a bunny, or stand strong and tall like a tree, children are making a connection between the macrocosm of their environment and the microcosm of their bodies. The importance of reverence for all life and the principle of interdependence becomes apparent. Children begin to understand that we are all made of the same “stuff.” We’re just different forms.
We ate Grow and Glow Yoga, think of ourselves as facilitators rather than teachers. We guide your children while simultaneously opening our heart and letting them guide us. They’ll automatically guide us into a boundless world of wonder and exploration.
Some benefits of kids Grow and Glow Yoga:
It Enhances Physical Flexibility Yoga promotes physical strength because kids learn to use all of their muscles in new ways which helps children become aware of their body and how it functions efficiently.
It Refines ‘Balance and Coordination’ Balance is a key element of yoga. Balancing poses were created to promote mental and physical poise, as mental clarity and stability emerge from the effort of trying the poses. Even if a child has difficulty standing on one foot, the child learns to stay calm and keep trying in spite of falling. Once achieved, the child will feel a pleasant sense of accomplishment. Coordination is also closely tied to balance and promotes overall dexterity.
It Develops Focus and Concentration The act of practicing poses encourages children to clear their mind and focus on the effort. As a result of this single focus to achieve a particular pose or stay balanced, yoga helps children to focus and concentrate in school and get better grades, several studies note.
It Boosts Self-Esteem and Confidence Yoga helps to instil confidence and brings learning to children on an experiential level. It helps to provide building blocks for the future. It is our responsibility to develop our children's sense of wonder and to give them a strong sense of self so they know where they belong in this world and can contribute to making their community a better place. Yoga teaches them to persevere, be patient, and work toward their goals.
It Strengthens the Mind-Body Connection Yoga helps kids achieve a sound mind in a sound body by exercising the physical body and calming the mental spirit. As parents we want our children to act and behave with mindfulness and with compassion, to be brave, to know love and happiness, and to find inner peace. Since the modern world moves very, very fast for children, it's not long before they feel all kinds of pressure (personal, parental, social) to keep up with everyone around them. Yoga functions as a release valve that alleviates pressure and as a foundation to nurture and develop a resilient and resourceful body, mind, and spirit.
Yoga for kids with ailments and special needs
Yoga is beneficial to children of all ages, but it has been found to be of particular benefit to kids with health issues and special needs. Studies have shown that yoga benefits children with juvenile diabetes, autism and ADHD. Reports suggest that a daily yoga program reduces kids' aggressive behaviour, social withdrawal, and hyperactivity, compared with a control group of kids with autism who did not practice yoga. Kristie Patten Koenig, Ph.D., an associate professor of occupational therapy at New York University who led the study, says that yoga was effective because it seemed to play to the strengths of kids with autism while also reducing stress. Autism Key, an autism support website, says that yoga helps address kids' heightened anxiety, poor motor coordination, and weak self-regulation, something that otherwise is very difficult to do.
Parents may notice how yoga benefits their kids, but the best judges are the kids themselves. Children who have practiced yoga tell teachers and parents that they are able to concentrate better during the day, focus better on their activities, and pay attention to their tasks - all the finest endorsements.