There was a time when it was thought that yoga was for the old and ailing and especially for those who had a limited range of activities. But we soon saw a revolution happening with yoga and it became a favourite among young children.
Parents are enthused about it and are encouraging their kids to take up yoga.
Let us get to know how to start yoga with kids, what the right age to do so is, and what can be done.
The right time to start yoga could be 3 years and above. That’s the reason it is important for them to get introduced to yoga activities at a very tender age. This helps them to cultivate the practice of yoga since it is beneficial for them to deal with their physiological, as well as physical health.
When you introduce yoga to kids it is important to start slow but to be consistent. The first step is to select an asana that you want them to practice. Like for instance, in ‘jungle theme asanas’ kids do the humming bee sound to get a clear vocal. The ‘butterfly asana,’ where kids have to fold their legs and start flapping them, is a useful asana as it makes their legs strong.
While kids are practicing a pose make sure to correct their posture in the early stages since this will help them to practice it correctly as they advance further. If the alignment of their posture is not corrected at an early stage, it may affect their overall posture later.
Moreover, it is important to ensure that the correct breathing pattern is followed by kids while doing the asanas. Each asana is followed by a counter posture, which will help their bodies to relax, and comfort the muscles and joint soreness.
Try to introduce new asanas in creative ways. Use props or other techniques to make the practice fun. Keep in mind the level of difficulty that can be endured by kids, as this will help them avoid injuries.
Don’t try to train your kids, instead send them to an expert who can help them to develop an interest in yoga.
Asanas for kids
ABC Yoga: In this, we make kids to roll their tongue and recite the alphabet. This helps them develop clear speech and is best for vocals. This is to be followed once a day.
Tatkaraasana: We place a candle in front at a proper distance and ask them to watch the flame of the candle. This asana helps for clear and better vision and improves concentration. This has to be done for a maximum of 2 minutes or till the eyes start watering. It is very important to note, that this asana must be done under supervision of elders.
Benefits of learning yoga when you are a kid:
- Yoga benefits your kids in various ways. It helps with the child’s posture correction, which should be done at an early age for a better lifestyle.
- It helps the kids to improve their concentration and focus. They understand how to use their bodies in a healthy way.
- They can manage their stress through breathing awareness, meditation and healthy movement. It boosts their stamina and calms their mind to live a mindful life.
- When kids indulge in the practice right from an early age it helps them to grow in a self-aware and mindful environment.
- This helps them to face the world with confidence, and they are comfortable with their own body and skin.
- Although yoga has immense benefits for all the age groups, it can do wonders if kids start doing it at an early age. It is important to say, however, that to start yoga with kids it is advisable to take the help and guidance of experts.
The author is a Yoga trainer and has taught yoga in different cities in India. He runs an academy for yoga named FIT360 Kids Health and Fitness, in Mumbai.