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Easy Yoga for Kids

Picture this: Mountains tumbling into headstands. Headstands morphing into speeding cycles. Bridges collapsing into roaring lions. Sound like a movie? Actually, they’re just scenes from a normal household where a child plays the lead role. Heavy on drama, kids are also born acrobats. Yoga postures, for instance, are natural poses for a child. In fact, simple yoga asanas seem to be embedded in the human body.

Read “You Were Born a Yogi” from our blog.

If you observe an infant, you will see a lot of toddler yoga. A sleeping baby inadvertently strikes the ‘Chinmudra’ where the thumb and index finger touch. Frequently, a six-month-old is found on its back in Bhujangasana (cobra posture). While Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog pose) is a perennial favorite. And who hasn’t seen an infant in child’s pose—yoga’s most important resting posture?

Benefits of Yoga for Kids

Unfortunately, it’s not easy being a kid these days.

Children spend most of their time on school, homework, and school-related extra-curricular activities. There’s little time for free play. They face overstimulation, distractions, and academic and peer pressure too early in life. Plus, they’re plagued by their own insecurities and fears. Yoga can help children deal with this pressure-cooker environment and infuse energy and confidence into their personalities.

Yoga for kids

  • Develops awareness of body, mind, and breath
  • Helps arrest a child’s wandering mind; builds attention span and concentration power
  • Augments imagination and creativity
  • Relieves mental and physical fatigue
  • Boosts energy levels and provides deep relaxation
  • Helps overcome negative emotions like jealousy, fear, and anger
  • Fosters a positive self-image and increases confidence
  • Increases lung capacity
  • Exercises, strengthens, and lengthens different muscles in the body
  • Encourages healthy food habits. A blessing for parents who have to deal with picky eaters and junk food addiction
  • Reduces obsession with TV and other electronic devices.

Yoga Poses for Kids

School-age kids benefit enormously from the supportive, non-competitive environment of a yoga class. And if they wish to continue a yoga practice at home, the following asanas will prove helpful.

drawing of child in tree pose

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

  • Tones the arms and legs.
  • Helps strengthen the back, thereby increasing height.
  • Increases concentration, power, and focus, certainly a great help with homework.
drawing of teen in shavasana

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

  • Rejuvenates the body.
  • Releases stress and fatigue.
  • Calms the mind, improving concentration.
  • Stimulates blood circulation, energizing the body.
  • Enhances mind-body balance.
drawing of child in shoulder stand pose.

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand pose)

  • Nourishes the brain by increasing blood flow to it.
  • Strengthens the arms and legs.
  • Keeps the spine flexible, ensuring participation in a wide range of physical activities.
drawing of child in warrior pose

Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)

  • Tones the arms and leg muscles.
  • Helps improve balance in the body.
  • Increases stamina.
drawing of child in cobra pose as part of sun salutation sequence

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

  • Relaxes the nervous system.
  • Increases flexibility in the legs and hips.
  • Improves motion.
  • Strengthens the back muscles. This increases flexibility during play. Helps with posture at the study table.
  • Improves memory.

The overall well-being that comes from doing Surya Namaskar cannot be underestimated.

drawing of child in bow pose

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

  • Strengthens the arm and leg muscles.
  • Makes the back strong and flexible.
  • Helps relieve stress and fatigue.

“Every child has creativity in them and this finds an expression when they practice yoga and meditation.” 
—Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Tips for Introducing Yoga Classes to Kids

  1. Ensure kids’ yoga classes don’t clash with sleep/play times. Kids might just choose to skip the classes!
  2. Demonstrate asanas rather than explain them. Kids follow better with their eyes than ears.
  3. Challenge children. They normally like to outdo themselves. For example, you can ask them to bend lower than they did the previous day.
  4. Avoid comparing kids to their more-flexible friends. “Be better than you were yesterday.” is more positive than “Be better than your friend.”

The art of raising children is interesting and challenging. Do your bit by introducing yoga to your children. Most find yoga asanas fun; the twists and bends challenge them. They might just come up with their own poses!