Practicing yoga with your mini yogini is a pretty cool way to spend time with them. What kid doesn’t like pretending to be a cat, then a cow, then a cat again? Moving through movements with them helps them to connect with you and their bodies. Their self esteem will get a big boost as they take instruction, mimic you and feel themselves “get it.” They discover new talents and gain a sense of self in the process.
Body awareness: Like in a game of Twister, your child learns how to place his or her hands, where the feet go and what it feels like to shift their weight. They can learn new ways to move and position their bodies and connect the body parts to support it as a whole.
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Improved posture: Yoga teaches students to properly align their bodies in each posture. That alignment pulls the shoulders away from the ears, the pelvis under the ribcage and the spine into a safe, neutral line. As the muscles strengthen, they are better able to support the skeletal system. Children can build a firm muscular foundation with bodyweight exercises. Click here if you want to work on your posture and form.
Curbing behavioral issues: Within the insane schedules kids keep these days – school, after-school programs, homework, team practice, household chores and finding time to play – they could really use a pause button. These schedules can overload a child to the point where they become stressed, which leads to a lower immunity, possible depression, aggression and acting out. By taking time to practice yoga and its breathing techniques, they can have more control over their mental and emotional health. (via Kaplan: Health and Wellness) Click here for a beginner's guide to treating ADHD through nutrition.
Refines coordination and balance: Take the tree pose, for instance. This requires you to stand on one leg with the other leg bent and press into your standing leg. Getting into this position requires coordination and balance. It’s important for kids to have both so they can develop both fine and gross motor skills as well as sensory processing. Yoga helps them build strength that will help them be less clumsy and catch themselves when they fall. Quite an independence builder!
Improves mind-body connection: For anyone practicing yoga, there is a development of the mind-body bridge. Kids can learn how to tell their muscles and joints to relax by using breath and mind controls, a skill that will stay with them throughout life. The mind can influence your physical health at any age.
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