By Faye Martins
Kids Yoga classes have great value on many levels. Engagement in regular Yoga classes for kids promotes physical, psychological and social health and well being. On a purely physical level, classes that are structured for kids help to facilitate an active, healthy lifestyle. Psychologically, a regular practice of postures, breathing techniques and relaxation exercises help to quell an overactive nervous system and balance brain chemistry, which helps to increase motivation and promote a positive outlook on life. Getting together with the same group of peers to practice on a regular basis also helps to foster new friendships and alleviate the sense of isolation that is so prevalent among today’s children and teenagers.
Classes for children are a great way to introduce the ancient art and practice of Yogic techniques to young people in a “kid-friendly” way. Yoga classes for kids can be structured to accommodate a variety of age ranges from pre-school up through high school and beyond. The physical benefits of practicing asanas have been well documented. A consistent practice is one of the main keys to benefiting from Yoga training. Classes that are structured for kids and are offered weekly or bi-weekly will help kids to strengthen their muscles improve flexibility and burn off excess energy. A consistent Yoga practice will also help kids to improve their somatic sensibilities and improve their balance.
Yoga schools with classes for kids also have great value in helping children who are struggling with depression, anxiety and ADHD to re-balance their brain chemistry and calm their nervous systems. High levels of unmitigated anxiety have been shown to contribute to the development of both ADHD and depression. A child or teenager who participates in a Yoga class just for kids on a consistent basis will feel more grounded, stronger and less anxious. He or she will also learn tools to help release somatic stress and tension through Yogic breathing techniques and progressive relaxation exercises.
One of the most overlooked values of Yoga classes for kids is the social connection and sense of community that the classes provide. In today’s electronic world, kids often spend enormous amounts of time surfing the Internet, playing video games and virtually participating in community endeavors on social networking websites. Ultimately, although it feels like they are building friendships, far too often this substantial amount of time on-line reduces the actual amount of face-to-face time necessary to build strong social connections. Participating in a regularly scheduled Yoga class that is “just for kids” will help the students to form new friendships and to be interwoven in their communities.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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