Yoga with Kids

Mental health can be described as the overall well-being of a person, and includes a balance of social, physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of your life.  Good mental health includes personal growth, a sense of purpose, self-acceptance, as well as all those important social connections within your life.  The environment plays a major role in your mental health, and negative experiences can take a toll on how you feel (think about how bad you feel after a hard day at work, for example).  The same is true for children.  Problems with friends, struggles in school, disagreements with caregivers, and other stressors can impact the mental health of children in much the same way they impact you.

Thankfully, adding yoga can help.  Yoga promotes self-esteem as well as school performance and behavior.  It has been shown to be beneficial for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as helping with depression and anxiety.  Yoga improves gross and fine motor skills, and is great for balance and coordination.  Furthermore, adding yoga to family time can improve relationships within your household as it promotes connections between oneself and others.  The list of benefits goes on and on.child doing yoga

To get started, here is a site that describes 19 yoga poses you can do with your child, including photos to help demonstrate proper form.  Make sure everyone has a mat, including your children.  Mats help to cushion your spine, provide a barrier against dirt and splinters, and offer a nonslip surface.  Play music to help set the mood.  You can do a simple search online for good songs such as this one.

Finally, remember to breathe. Here is a video that helps demonstrate breathing for children.  Remember, in through the nose, out through the mouth and yoga should never, ever hurt your child and it should be fun.  Before beginning any exercise routine, it is a good idea to check with your physician.