Starting Young: How Kids Can Benefit from a Yoga Practice
For kids here in Louisville, the school year is winding down. As excited as your kids currently are about being out of school, it’s only a matter of time before you hear that phrase: “I’m bored.” Luckily, you don’t have to search far and wide for the remedy to your child’s boredom. We’ve got it right here for you at Your Yoga. We’re offering a Youth Yoga and Mindfulness Summer Camp that meets weekly from June 14th to July 5th, and another from July 12 to August 2.
Yoga is great for kids. It’s a constructive outlet for their energy and has many benefits for kids’ health and wellness. If you sign your child up for the Yoga and Mindfulness Summer Camp, here’s a sample of what they could get out of it.
Conquering Summer Boredom
Kids may start summer break full of excitement, but before long, that excitement might turn into boredom or restlessness. When left to their own devices, kids will usually find a way to occupy themselves, but that doesn’t always mean they’ll do something that’s great for their minds or bodies. For many children, summertime can too easily mean time to sit with a smartphone or video games.
Yoga provides an alternative. Since it engages both the body and the mind, it can take the place of boredom while helping children develop their muscles and improve their flexibility. As with any other exercise, yoga helps strengthen bones and muscles during children’s formative years. It also elevates one’s heart rate, which can strengthen their cardiovascular system and help to improve their immune system.
Not only does using yoga, as a form of exercise, provide numerous health benefits, but it also teaches kids skills about focusing and calming their mind. Breathing exercises and learning to detect tension in your body are skills that can be applied to a multitude of activities outside of yoga. For children who get anxious about tests or socializing, or are easily overstimulated, knowing how to use their breath and practice mindfulness can help them calm down and improve their focus on the tasks at hand.
Yoga Teaches Respect for your Body
In practicing yoga, you learn to listen to and respect your body. Through yoga, you eventually realize that your body is capable of great things, and you learn to nonjudgmentally understand what your body is telling you about your breathing, tense muscles, and bodily alignment. Learning these things about your body nurtures a sense of respect for who you are, and can help kids learn self-confidence and self-acceptance. You learn to accept and celebrate your body for what it is and what it can do, rather than disliking it for what it isn’t or what it can’t (yet) do.
Perhaps more than ever before, kids are hearing messages that have the opposite effect. Even young children are being exposed to harmful messages about “ideal” body types and beauty standards. According to one study, concern about body image affects kids as young as five.
By learning to love and respect your body, children have a tool that they can use when confronted with body image issues. If bodily respect becomes a regular practice, it is a positive force that can grow stronger with time. The more children learn to respect their bodies, the better they can handle negative influences about their bodies, and the more willing they will be to take care of it holistically.
Learning to respect one’s body can take a lifetime for some; it doesn’t have to, especially if kids start to learn it at a young age.
Yoga is an Investment for Life
It’s never to early for children to learn mindfulness, self-confidence, and personal awareness. By taking care of their bodies and minds, and learning skills that help them believe in themselves and love their bodies, children can build a solid foundation to support them in the long run.
There is a saying that is often attributed as being a Chinese proverb which says: “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” Nurturing mindfulness and a healthy lifestyle early on can help prevent health and anxiety issues that arise in adulthood. So why wait to plant that tree for your child?
You can register for our Youth Yoga and Mindfulness Summer Camp here. As mentioned, this summer camp runs weekly from June 14 to July 5, and another from July 12 to August 2, for children ages 5-9 (kindergarten to second grade). We’ll meet each Wednesday from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM. If you have any questions about registering or the classes, feel free to stop by Your Yoga or give us a call at 502.389.0949.