In the previous issue of DAV Ayurveda Magazine, we studied about few important standing poses for kids. In this issue we shall study sitting, supine and prone poses. When yoga is practised regularly by kids,
it improves over all health. Kids are like delicate flowers which need to be taken care of. As yoga understands about the delicate nature of kids so they can easily adopt yoga and enjoy doing it. Yoga not only enhances physical flexibility and strength but also boosts self esteem and confidence in them.
Modern life style has lost the harmony in mind-body relationship which is the cause of several stress based diseases such as headaches, depression, anxiety, asthma, loss of interests and behaviour disorders in children. The search is on to prevent and treat these diseases to make the life of children better by rediscovering the ancient discipline i.e. yoga. Children should be made aware that yoga is not just a two hour hobby class in summer vacation but it is life style which has to be followed every day. Its daily practice can recharge the body with cosmic energy. It also helps in attention, focus and concentration which are of much importance for kids. There are few yoga poses having enormous benefits for growing children.
Lotus Pose- The lotus flower has been a symbol of purity. It grows in muddy water but remains above it always. It is a true example of how a living being can remain pure in spite of impurity in his surroundings. Keeping this quality in mind, ancient yogis tried lotus pose. Lotus pose is one that every child wants to do. It allows a child to feel stable, grounded and alert.
Sit on the floor with legs stretched. Keep the spine erect. Bend the right knee and place it over the left thigh & make sure that the sole of the feet point upwards and heel is close to the abdomen. Now, repeat the same step with the other leg. With both the legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, place the hands on knees in gyan mudra or namaskar mudra. Gentle & long inspiration and expiration are done.
This pose is mostly enjoyed by kids. Sit with spine erect and legs spread and straight out. Now bend the knees and bring the feet towards pelvic region. Soles of feet should touch each other. Now grab the feet tightly with the hands and make an effort to bring the heels as close to the genitals as possible. Take a deep breath in and out, press the thighs downward towards the floor. Start flapping both the legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. Start slowly and gradually increase the speed. After 5-10 minutes, gently release the legs and relax.
Take 4-5 deep breaths, then inhale and raise the arms, keeping the arms parallel with palms facing inwards or can also be joined. Now inhale and bend the knees. Take the thighs as nearly parallel to the floor as possible. The knees will project out over the feet and the torso will lean slightly forward over the thighs until the torso forms approximately a right angle with the top of the thighs. Keep the inner thighs parallel to each other and press the head of the thigh bones down towards the heels. Now, firm the shoulder blades against the back. Take the tailbone down towards the floor. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute, then straighten the knees then exhale and release the arms to the sides.
Although it is not one of the traditional poses found in yoga texts but Ananda pose or happy baby pose is very popular in contemporary practice. Lie on the back. With an exhale, bend the knees into the belly. Inhale, grip the outsides of the feet with the hands. Open the knees slightly wider than the torso. Then bring them up toward the armpits. Position each ankle directly over the knee, so the shins are perpendicular to the floor. Flex through the heels. Gently push the feet up into the hands as hands are pulled down to create a resistance.
Sit in sukhasana and gently hold the arms steady under the legs, with the palms facing up (or in gyan mudra) and pretend to open up into a blossoming flower. Take a few deep breaths in flower pose then come out of the pose on an exhale. This pose can also be practised by making the kids to sit in a circle.
Thus practising this pose keeps the kids physically & mentally relaxed and full of energy.
Come to the floor on hands and knees. Bring the knees, hip width apart with the feet directly behind the knees. Now bring the palms directly under the shoulders with the fingers facing forward. Now look down between the palms and allow the back to be flat. Press into the palms to drop the shoulders slightly away from the ears. Press the tail bone towards the back wall and the crown of the head towards the front wall to lengthen the spine. Breathe deeply and stay in this pose for 5-10 minutes.
It is also called as bhujangasan. The meaning of Bhujang is cobra and asana means yoga pose. Cobra pose is the stretching yoga exercise for spine which has numerous health benefits for kids. The cobra pose and its variation are just like boon to those kids who have back aches. Constant sitting in schools, homework, tuition and heavy bags hanging on the back cause a lot of stress on the spines of growing kids. Slowly they become the victim of backache and related problems. A few minutes spend on cobra pose may help them to ease their symptoms and give strength to their delicate spine and muscles.
Lie down on the stomach by keeping the legs together. Make a gap of 1-2 feet if any kid has backache. Put the palms besides the shoulders and head should rest on ground. Now with inhaling, rise the head up to the navel region and try to see the roof. After maintaining this position for 10-30 second come to original position slowly with exhalation. Repeat the process for 3 to 5 times initially.
Kids enjoy this pose and it teaches them to be patient and work towards their goals.
In the end it can be summarized as erratic diets consisting of noodle-pasta culture, rift in families, school stress etc have burdened the delicate system of kids. Children suffering from migraine, reduced appetite, low energy and irritable nature can be managed effectively by bringing back yoga in their life and in their style. Our kids would be full of energy, enthusiasm and new ideas if given a dose of yoga every day.
“Modern life style has lost the harmony in mind-body relationship which is the cause of diseases such as headaches, depression, anxiety and behaviour disorders in children.”
• It improves muscular strength of hips and legs.
• It also strengthens spine & neck and improves their flexibility.
• It improves digestion and increases blood flow to all abdominal organs.
• It helps liver to remove toxins from blood.
• It relaxes the mind and allows kids to overcome day today stress & control over the emotions.
• Gentle breathing improves general well being and enhances self understanding.
• It can be practised for 10 minutes along with deep breathing.
• This pose improves flexibility of hip region and groin.
• It gives a good stretch to inner thighs, groins and knees.
• It acts as stress reliever and stimulates abdominal muscles and organs like kidneys, urinary bladder and intestines.
• It also improves blood circulation and overall health of the kids.
“Lotus pose improves muscular strength of hips and legs. It also strengthens spine & neck.”
“Yoga on a regular basis releases the feel good chemicals called endorphines resulting in alleviation of unnecessary pressures over mind.”
• Chair pose strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves and spine.
• It stretches shoulders and chest.
• It strengthens cervical muscles and improves stamina of the kids.
• It helps in reducing the symptoms associated with flat feet.
• It is also very helpful for heart, diaphragm and abdominal organs.
• It gently stretches the inner groins and the back spine.
• It calms the brain and helps to relieve stress and fatigue.
• It also relaxes tension on lower back and stretches the hamstrings.
• It opens up hips and chest of kids.
• It increases balance and coordination skills and helps in developing their core muscles.
• It strengthens arms and boosts energy level of kids & gives feeling of relaxation.
• It is balancing pose and improves co-ordination of body.
• It provides deep stretch to the upper body including shoulders, chest, abdomen and spine.
• This pose will build strength throughout all the core muscles and muscles surrounding the spine.
1. It facilitates the effective coordination between the brain and rest of the body. Thus ensures better health.
2. It improves the efficiency of the kidneys.
3. It gives good massage to adrenal glands, which is helpful to ease stress and reduce negative pressure of the body.
4. It is good exercise for abdominal organs and aids digestion and related conditions like constipation, flatulence etc.
5. It regulates thyroid gland and helps in maintaining good overall health of kids.