Written by Dr Jess Naughton
It is not often I wouldn’t recommend meditation or yoga for children and their parents. Sometimes parents find this bazar because why would kids need yoga? They don’t have the same stress as adults!
Yes, your right, they don’t… they have different stressors.
Being a child, whether at school or not, they face challenges. They are growing at a fast forward rate, they are being exposed to new and exciting things and they are spending more time indoors in front of screens. If your child is of school age, starting school, meeting new friends, new teachers and being in a new environment away from mum and dad it can be challenging and confronting.
We are also seeing a lot more children growing up with anxieties, behavioural issues, ADHD, autism and developmental delays. My theory for this is the increase in processed foods and lack of nutrition, the over scheduling of children, the pressures children face to be ‘perfect’ from an overwhelming world and children being over stimulated just to name a few.
So, YES, your child should be doing yoga. And here’s why!
- Yoga allows children to interact in a playful and creative way. It bring the imagination to life which is exactly what their little brains are craving. Sitting in front of TV screens and the overwhelming amounts of schoolwork engulfs little brains, and what they really need is PLAY, which yoga can provide!
- Yoga allows children to be active and stay fit. It is the perfect opportunity to get kids moving in a fun and creative way. It also has great benefits by improving children’s balance, body awareness and gross motor skills, decreasing clumsiness and accidentals falls or spills. It is also a great way to stretch and lengthen any tightness in the body which is common in children playing lots of sport.
- Yoga has been shown to help develop mental and emotional skills. By including yoga into children’s lives, it may improve their ability to focus and concentrate. This is fabulous for both social skills to improve their ability to listen, as well as focus and attention at school. It also helps builds resilience and allows them to care about those around them.
- It is also shown that kids that practice yoga overall feel much better about themselves, and have a better outlook on life. Which in turn helps give them more confidence to try new things.
- It reduces stress, and helps improve behavioural regulation, meaning less temper tantrums or cranky kids!
- It also decreases the chances of developing depression or anxiety later in life and creates a sense of self-acceptance. Who doesn’t want happy, healthy kids running around?!
Moral of the story, all kids (and parents!) can benefit from yoga.
It is a great idea to get your child involved in local community yoga groups as this allows them to interactive with other children in a non-competitive way.
It is also great to practice yoga at home as a family, to create those bonds and connections within your family.
I hope you get your family involved in yoga to watch your child develop and flourish!
We love doing Yoga in our home. We have a fabulous book at home called “I Am Yoga” by Susan Verde, Art by Peter H. Reynolds.
I would encourage you to check out www.cosmickids.com as they have some really great kids yoga videos. You can watch them on their youtube channel or via their app.
You can also look out for classes in your local area as this is a good place to start if you are new to yoga and great for your kids to interact with others.
About Dr Jess Naughton
Jess has the following qualifications: B. Applied Science / B. Health Science – Chiropractic and RHYS Certified Yoga Teacher. She is also busy studying Masters of Nutrition. She practices as a Chiropractor at Vida Lifestyles Sandringham www.vidalifestyles.com or you can find her at www.drjessnaughton.com Instagram: @drjessnaughton
Have you read our blog about how to get your family to be more mindful?