The benefits of yoga for kids are endless, and include: Reduced test anxiety. Increased concentration and better performance in school. Stronger social skills. Better performance in sports. Increased muscle tone and natural weight management (and in a fun, non-dogmatic way...more of a downdog way).
And if you practice yoga with your kids, you’re bonding in a style watching TV together can’t do!
There is no set way to practice with kids. You might try a yoga DVD at home, or flipping through a yoga book and copying what you see. You might want to check out a yoga kids class at a studio. You might choose to do a few poses together before bed, or in the morning after brushing your teeth. Some people wonder how yoga can compete with video games and movies and other entertainment and if kids attention will wander. But from my experience as a kids yoga teacher, kids are often in tune with yoga naturally and really find it fun and soothing, and often request it. In fact, maybe they’re hungry for more than video games. They’re often more in tune with the joy of being in the body than adults and really enjoy bonding with friends and the adults in their life through yoga. And who doesn’t want to go upside down?
Rodney Yee talks about the way parent yogis effect their children through sharing what they love. "If you practice yourself, then yoga becomes part of the furniture for the kids. When the household is studying something deeply, the walls are vibrating with that knowledge. So whenever people begin to practice yoga, all the people in the household are going to absorb some of that."
Imagine what it will be like for kids to learn yoga, and have those skills through the turbulent adolescent years, and into adulthood. Imagine how teaching kids yoga could positively effect the future world. A world where people are happy, healthy and balanced, or at least trying to be? Awesome.
Here's a list of resources to get started:
In LA: MiniYogis
In NYC: Karma Kids Yoga
Everywhere: contact your local Y or yoga studio for kids classes
Anywhere: Yoga DVDs such as Family Yoga with Rodney Yee
CDs: Come Play Yoga, (Karma Kids Yoga Music)