Yoga for children has many benefits. It has been observed in my classes that the children don't appear to be doing much yoga. There is often much laughter and frivolity going on. To me yoga should be fun and particularly with children, yoga should be kept light-hearted and always moving. Children can have a short attention span and this is why I have in the past kept my classes less than an hour. However I started noticing how much the children like to interact and how beneficial it is for them to have the opportunity to share their experiences of yoga and anything else they care to share. So I began to increase the time of the class. For the children who are currently attending my classes they get a full hour of experiential fun and exploration of their body and mind and learn about yoga, meditation and breathing. It has been a wonderful experiment for me and so I will continue to offer 60 minute classes for this particular group.
In case you were thinking of registering your child into yoga but didn't know the full extent of benefits please keep reading.
Building body awareness – getting children to notice how they move their body through yoga poses, through play and fun. Different techniques are used such as:
- Breathing exercises brings them to awareness of their body
- Some meditation techniques ask them to “feel” or sense parts of their body
- Using things like hula hoops, balls, cotton wool balls and other props can help improve sensory awareness
- Awareness of posture – how they sit, stand and lie down
- Strength and flexibility promotion
- Increase range of motion (joints)
- Partner work
- Specific balance poses
- Experiential learning through poses, games, play
- Developing an attitude of respect for themselves, others and property
- Sharing experiences of yoga
- Yoga postures and sensory activation in the poses