Yoga for Kids
Yoga is most important for life of kids. It helps in balancing the relationship between mind, soul and body at an early age. It was originated in India long years ago. Earlier people of Hinduism and then Buddhism used to do yoga and meditation and it was confined to special group of Sanyasis, Monks etc. But when it went around the globe intellectuals, scientists and medical professionals found the benefits of yoga and adopted it. Now it has become the most favourable technique which can connect us to nature. United Nations General Assembly has declared the international day of Yoga to be celebrated every year on 21st of June. Since 21st June 2014, Yoga wave has gripped the entire world. Schools and colleges have started giving more attention towards yoga. They are now teaching the students about the benefits of yoga that by adopting it they can keep themselves physically fit and mentaly sharp.
It helps in reducing the stress, having control over emotions and negative thoughts, improves the feeling of general well being, enhances self understanding and many more.
Today the life of a kid is overburdened. It is smashed by tight school timings, exams, sports, tuitions, predawn wake up calls, late homework sessions, last minute dinner and late bed times. This exhausting process is repeated over and over day after day. As a result, the child is not much healthy, attentive and sharp. He is not being able to breathe smoothly and finds himself in a strange situation. He suffers from many physical and mental problems in childhood. Common physical problems faced by kids are increase in body weight, blurred vision, lack of immunity, reduced appetite and common mental illness like lack of concentration, jealousy, stress, inferiority complex, hyperactivity etc. In all these different conditions, yoga is a ray of hope. It provides the healthy body and peaceful mind.
Every parent wants his children to be active in sports. Not all children enjoy the competitive nature of sports. So yoga is very much helpful for them. It does not focus on levels, winning abilities or even being better than the person next to you. It encourages to be the best you can be by putting the focus on the self. Kids are delicate but powerful. They can learn new things easily. If they are taught about the yoga, its aim and usefulness, they can bring change in themselves and can bring a wave of development in the surroundings and making this world more happier and more healthier place to live.
Yoga has qualities of nature embedded in it. Everything which is available in yoga is learnt from mother nature whether we talk about different poses or breathing pattern. In fact, few yoga poses like Balmachlan asana is taken from little kids and it is very relaxing pose. Yogic asanas are broadly divided into five categories as standing poses, sitting poses, supine poses, prone poses and inverted poses. In all these categories there are many asanas which can be easily done by kids.
Tree pose, Crescent moon pose, Reverse warrior pose, Airplane pose, Mountain pose, star pose, kite pose, rainbow pose, Triangle pose.
Lotus pose, Lion pose, Hare pose, Butterfly pose, Double boat pose, Frog pose, Flower pose, Chair pose, Ananda pose.
Fish pose, Bridge pose, Balasana, Table pose.
Cobra pose, Locust pose, Crocodile pose, Floor bow pose, Plank pose.
Dolphin pose, Legs up wall pose, Extended puppy pose.
In this issue we shall study about few important standing yoga poses for kids and their benefits.
1. Reverse warrior pose
Stand erect and breathe in. Slide your right leg out wards but both legs should be in same line. Slightly bend right knee while the left knee should be straight and locked. Now take right hand upwards and towards left side in such a way that palm should be towards ceiling. Keep left hand downwards and straight. Now place your left palm on left knee. Bend your body towards your right side. Now look upwards and keep your breathing normal. Stay in this position for 30 seconds. Return to the original position by putting the right hand down straightening the left leg and stand erect.
It strengthens and stretches the legs, groin, hips & waist. It improves flexibility of spine, inner thighs, ankles and chest. It increases blood flow throughout the body which reduces fatigue and calms the mind. Practising this pose regularly builds stamina in kids.
2. Airplane pose
Stand straight and breathe in. Keep arms on sides and gaze at a spot on the ground about 5 feet ahead for balance. Now lift left foot back, bending forward until left leg and chest are parallel to ground. Raise your arms upwards on either side to maintain the balance. The body pose should be like a flying aeroplane. Stay in this posture for few seconds. Then put the arms down and stand straight.
It helps in building strength & stamina of legs and increase concentration. It tones up lower back and abdominal muscles. It gives emotional freedom to kids to grow. It gives a decent stretch to whole body and relaxes neck, shoulders, arms and back.
3. Star pose
Take a deep breath and stand erect. Now slide the legs apart from each other. Raise your hands upwards on either side in such a way that the elbows should not bent. Body posture becomes like a star. Now breathe normally and stay in this pose for few seconds.
Star pose stretches and lengthens the body in all directions at once. It aligns the spine correctly which helps to improve posture and reduces back pain. Kids become more open and express themselves. By stretching, it provides more space for lungs and heart. Thus it improves circulation and respiration.
Stand erect and take deep breathing. Raise the arms in such a way that fingers point towards earth. Now slide the right leg backwards and raise it a little bit upwards from the floor. Shift the body weight on the leg. Now shift body weight to right leg and lean towards left side. Stay in this position for 5-10 seconds. Then lower the hands down and stand straight and repeat from other side.
This pose brings feeling of balance in kid’s body. It gives a lot of stamina to spine and legs. Practising this pose with a steady and smooth breath will help kid to relieve stress and improve concentration.
The beauty of yoga is that its benefits are available to students of all age groups. It offers a way for students to reconnect their bodies with their minds. The safe and nurturing environment provided by yoga can also foster physical, intellectual and spiritual development. It enhances their flexibility, strength, co-ordination and body awareness. It calms and relaxes stressed brain. It improves breathing pattern. In the end, it connects the kid to the God in early age which is the most important aspect in human life.
Yoga Benefits for Kids
1. Enhances physical flexibility and strength because kids learn to use all their muscles. It increases blood flow in the body parts.
2. Refines balance & coordination. Balance is a key element of yoga. Balance promotes mental & physical strength. Coordination promotes overall dexterity.
3. Develops concentration in children & encourages them to clear the mind and focus on the effort. It helps them in school for getting better grades.
4. Boosts self esteem and confidence. It teaches them to be patient and work towards their goals.