25 Reasons Your Kids Should Do Yoga

28 Jun, 2010  |  Written by  |  under 2nd Format, Feature

Yoga, the ancient Indian art of stretching, breathing, and meditation, has never been more popular. Since its beginnings over 5,000 years ago, millions of people around the world incorporate the practice of yoga in their daily lives. However, many people who practice yoga have never thought about sharing this activity with their children. Here, we have found 25 great reasons why you should encourage your kids to do yoga.

  1. It builds healthier eating habits. Some studies indicate that kids who practice yoga may choose healthier foods.
  2. Yoga improves self-discipline. Children who are learning yoga also learn to master their own behavior. They learn to control themselves, rather than waiting for others to tell them what to do.
  3. Yoga helps kids deal with life’s stress. When kids “slow down” to participate in the practice of yoga, they learn techniques to help them deal with life’s challenges.
  4. Yoga helps children develop creativity. A holistic approach to teaching yoga allows children to experience yoga along with creative activities such as storytelling, expressive movement, and even art.
  5. Practicing yoga helps kids learn how to control their emotions. Especially for kids with autism spectrum disorders or other behavioral issues, the calming techniques learned in yoga may help them manage emotional outbursts.
  6. Studies show that children suffering from eating disorders report an improved self-image on the days they practice yoga. But even “normal” children will have a better sense of self after practicing yoga.
  7. Yoga is a non-competitive way to exercise. When children practice yoga, they learn ways to exercise that don’t involve winning or losing. Everybody feels good after doing yoga.
  8. Yoga improves self-discipline. Children who are learning yoga also learn to master their own behavior. They learn to control themselves, rather than waiting for others to tell them what to do.
  9. Yoga may help kids with ADHD. Studies from the University of Heidelberg suggest that yoga, in coordination with other therapies, may help kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  10. Yoga improves strength. Despite appearing to be a low-impact activity, yoga requires greater muscular strength the more advanced one becomes. Children develop stronger muscles from practicing yoga.
  11. Yoga also improves flexibility. The deep stretching and breathing involved in yoga improves muscular flexibility, which is important for avoiding injuries.
  12. Practicing yoga improves focus and attention. Yoga requires concentration. While some kids might not find this easy at first, the more they practice, the easier focusing will be.
  13. Yoga play allows children to learn bodily self-awareness. By deliberately moving the body and thinking about the way it feels, children develop more self-awareness.
  14. Yoga helps children develop control and awareness of their breathing. Breath awareness and the ability to calm down and meditate are important skills that children can use for their whole lives.
  15. Yoga builds listening skills. Taking a yoga class builds good listening skills, helping your child be more respectful of others.
  16. Yoga improves balance and coordination. Many yoga poses require the ability to balance. This is not always easy for children at first, but as they continue to practice, their balance will improve.
  17. Yoga helps prevent sports injuries. By improving strength and overall flexibility, yoga can help young athletes prevent injury to growing bones and muscles.
  18. Yoga develops the skill of midlineIt’s something adults take for granted, but any activity that encourages crossing the midline, or the imaginary line at the center of your body, is beneficial for motor skills.
  19. Yoga is a fun way to get exercise! Doing playful yoga poses is a great, non-threatening way for kids to get moving. They can pretend to be the animals or objects named in the pose, such as the cobra, the tiger, or the mountain.
  20. Yoga encourages a positive outlook. Yoga is such a calming, restful, and fun activity that it’s hard not to feel good afterwards. Kids who do yoga on a regular basis report feeling happier.
  21. Yoga helps children develop directionality. Young children who have a hard time telling the difference between right and left will be helped by practicing yoga.
  22. Yoga helps kids build patience. It takes patience and time to learn a new physical skill, and as new yoga poses are introduced, your child may not be able to do it all at first. But the important thing is that a good yoga instructor will give the child encouragement and time.
  23. Yoga improves posture. Children that spend a lot of time seated at desks in school or in front of the computer at home may develop upper body tension and increased spinal pressure. Yoga relieves this.
  24. With yoga, the focus is on the individual. Rather than being pressured to do exactly the same thing as the others in class, a child practicing yoga is on an individual journey within the class. An instructor can give feedback to each child and each child feels like they have learned something.
  25. Yoga can help kids with special needs. Yoga has been shown to be helpful and therapeutic for children with Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other physically limiting conditions. Each child is different, so of course you should ask your pediatrician or specialist.