Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Top Three Benefits of Yoga for Children

Yoga has become the most widely practiced exercise system in the world, not only for adults but children as well. The many health benefits of yoga for adults are equally applicable for our
youth, as yoga nourishes the mind, body, and spirit, and paves the way for a life-long tradition of health and fitness. Children of all ages and sizes and varying degrees of athletic abilities can practice yoga, a non-competitive form of exercise.

Here are the Top Three Benefits of Yoga:

1. Yoga Increases Focus and Concentration: Practicing simple yoga poses helps children to concentrate better, which in turn strengthens
the brain. They are able to learn new things faster and more effectively, which equates with better school performance. An example of a yoga pose that helps master the mindset of focus is Tree pose, pictured below. This posture helps with concentration and balance. (Illustration adapted from The ABCs of Yoga for Kids written by Teresa Anne Power and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz.

2. Yoga Promotes Calmness and Eases Stress:
Children today are faced with over-stimulation as they strive to keep up with the fast-paced
demands of our technological society. Practicing simple yoga postures is the ideal way for
kids to naturally unwind and de-stress. Yoga teaches children how to calm themselves; this in
turn helps with their self-confidence as they learn how to self-regulate. Yoga also is a great
stress-reliever and can help kids stay calm while coping with worries like tests and peer
pressure. Easy pose, pictured below, teaches kids how to focus on their breathing in order to
calm their bodies and minds. The breath has amazing powers to soothe the nervous system,
and breathing in and out through the nose can have a positive impact on children’s moods
and energy levels. (Illustration adapted from The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, written by Teresa
Anne Power and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz.)

3. Yoga is a Form of Physical Fitness:
Physical activity is natural for kids and essential for their healthy development. Children
need exercise, but all too often, the physical education programs in schools focus on
competition and performance, sometimes pushing children beyond their limits. Yoga, on the
other hand, involves doing what is right for each individual’s body type. It benefits not only
the child who delights in team sports, like volleyball, basketball, and soccer, but also the
child who prefers individual sports, such as tennis, dance, and the martial arts. Even kids who
are not good at sports can achieve excellent results. Yoga keeps kids fit through physical
strengthening; maintaining the postures requires effort from young muscles. Plank pose,
pictured below, keeps children’s bodies both strong and limber. (Illustration adapted from
The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, written by Teresa Anne Power and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz.)

Yoga increases the ability of kids to concentrate and focus, is a form of exercise that builds
strength and flexibility, and helps children stay calm (even kids with ADD or ADHD). All told,
this translates into healthier minds and bodies, not to mention a better performance at school.

Teresa Anne Power is an internationally recognized expert on children’s yoga and the author of
the bestselling and award-winning book The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, which has been translated
into 4 languages and sold worldwide. She has appeared on local and national TV and radio
talking about the health benefit of yoga for kids, and is a keynote speaker. Her newest book,
The ABCs of Yoga for Kids: A Guide for Parents and Teachers is coming out on Kids’ Yoga Day
which is on April 8, 2016. For more information go to her website at

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