Channeling your child’s inner “yogi” can be an easy and fun activity that has numerous benefits for the mind and body. Although yoga helps with strengthening and flexibility, it can also provide children with important life skills to help them succeed. Yoga can improve a child’s emotional regulation, decrease feelings of anxiety, boost their self-esteem, increase body awareness, enhance their memory and concentration, build social skills, and increase the child’s overall sense of well-being.
Yoga provides children with a variety of creative and enjoyable ways to move their bodies and develop the skills needed for continued growth and success. Some of these skills include: core strength, postural control, bilateral coordination, balance, focus and attention, proprioception/body awareness, motor planning, and upper and lower body strength. Making yoga a part of a child’s daily routine can improve both their physical and mental health.
Time for Practice!
It is important to encourage children to practice their yoga poses in a quiet, relaxing environment to focus on their breathing and tune into the “needs” of their body. Have your child grab a mat or a towel and find their favorite spot in the house to complete the following yoga poses. Each child should be encouraged to practice yoga at their own pace and according to their own unique abilities. Hold each pose for 10-15 seconds and repeat 3x each.
Downward Facing Dog:
From a standing position, bend down and place the palms of your hands flat on the ground. Step your feet back to create an upside-down V shape and straighten your legs. Relax your heads and neck and look down between your legs.
Stand on one leg, bend your knee and place the sole of your foot on your inner thigh and balance.
Sit up tall, cross your legs, and place the palms of your hands together.
Spread feet out and bend your front knee, making sure your knee is over your ankle. Straighten and stretch your arms while maintaining strong legs. Switch to the opposite leg to complete the exercise.
Kennedy Kunz, OTR/L