How Yoga benefits Kids

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Gone are the days when Yoga was considered an activity suitable only for senior citizens. If you still think so, continue reading! The United Nations has declared  June 21st  as International Yoga Day  to spread awareness in the world about the amazing benefits of this wonderful technique for relaxing both body and mind. Yoga is considered one of the most complete forms of physical exercise because it incorporates all elements of a good workout like cardiovascular fitness, strength training and flexibility. It is a system that combines the mind with the body and help them stay in a perfect sync. As parents, we need to know how yoga benefits children and helps them cope with today’s stressful times with a peaceful mind.

1. Physical Benefits: The most obvious benefits of practicing yoga include making our bodies more flexible, strengthening and toning of the body, keeping our internal organs functioning optimally and keeps our joints moving and lubricated. Most health issues can be prevented even before they arise by regularly doing Yoga asanas.

2. Mental Benefits: Yoga has been shown to improve focus and concentration. Holding postures and focusing on one’s breath through deep inhalation and exhalation keeps their mind on the job at hand and cultivates the practice of focus and concentration on the present. The balanced breathing poses in yoga forces your mind to concentrate on the posture to keep from falling down.

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3. How to sit in one place: Children are usually in such a heightened state of action and movement that when they need to suddenly switch to a quieter mode to sit down and study, they struggle to make that transition. Yoga introduces them to the art of sitting still and quiet. It is difficult for children to absorb anything if they are unable to quieten themselves and yoga helps in the development of this ability.

4. How to Breathe: It is funny, but even as adults, most of us don’t breathe right. Our breath is either accelerated due to tension or stress or shallow, without utilizing all sections of the respiratory track. Pranayama teaches children the right technique to breathe. This breathe control technique calms the mind and will help them calm down when they encounter any kind of stressful situations.

5. Special Needs: A study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders showed that boys with ADD who practice Yoga showed a remarkable improvement in concentration and confidence and at being able to control their hyper activity. Children in the autism spectrum and cerebral palsy have also benefited from yoga practice. The mind-body connection in Yoga makes it a great activity for these children. Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs’ by Louise Goldberg is a great book for adults seeking to practice yoga with their special needs children.

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‘A sound mind in a sound body’ is a phrase we have all heard many times. Yoga does exactly that. It cultivates a sound mind in a sound body by teaching it how to relax, breathe and have control. Children who do yoga regularly will have more awareness of their body which would translate to being more mindful of the world around them.  There are a number of programs around the city where yoga is being conducted on June 21st, International Yoga day. Take your children along and introduce them to our amazing heritage that is Yoga.

Image Source: via Google Images

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