Children are curious, busy little beings, and are learning to explore the world around them with their minds and bodies. Yoga is an excellent activity for children, both because it helps them to develop skills to lead a healthy lifestyle and navigate life’s challenges, and it’s fun! In this blog, we’re going to talk about the benefits of yoga for kids, so you can understand why we decided to include yoga as part of the curriculum at Choklits Child Care Centre each week.
Here at Choklits Child Care, we have had an established yoga program for the past two years, which is included in our standard daily fee. We do yoga sessions once a week, on Thursday, which are led by specialist teachers.
All kids, no matter their age (including toddlers and preschoolers) or their previous penchant for physical activity can enjoy yoga. Yoga is very different to the more common kids sports as it is not about how fast you can run, or how well you can catch a ball or even how good your splits are; it is about the connection between your mind and body and appreciating the wonderful things they can do.
Yoga fosters a love of movement in safe and inclusive environment, and develops a connection between the children and this activity that they will be able to enjoy throughout their entire life. It is also a great opportunity for family connection when practiced at home, as its inclusivity makes it a beneficial and enjoyable activity for everyone.
Kids love to explore their bodies and have fun finding out new things that they can do, and yoga is an excellent way for them to do this in a safe and supportive environment.
Physical Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Yoga aids children’s physical development in a multitude of ways. Increasingly sedentary lifestyles are becoming more prolific in our society, and research has shown that the activities our children are exposed to are formative of their habits later on in life. Yoga is a great way to keep kids active and involved in physical activity in a completely non-competitive way which supports focus on oneself and reduces comparison to others.
Participating in yoga helps to build the right balance of muscle tone and strength to stabilise children’s mobility, which sets them up well to have their full range of joint motion supported. Having a good balance of strength and mobility does wonders for injury prevention and long-term performance. Yoga also increases children’s awareness of their body and understanding of how it works, and helps to develop muscles that are needed for good posture, which is a great habit to develop whilst young and growing – 1 to 3 years old as toddlers and 3 to 5 years old as preschoolers.
Emotional Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Yoga not only helps toddlers and preschoolers to get in touch with their bodies, it also aids their emotional development. We might not think of our children’s lives as stressful, however, between home, child care, extra-curricular activities and friends, they certainly are busy, which can make it difficult for them to relax. Yoga is inherently a very calming activity and teaches emotional regulation and strategies to cope with stress.
The basic idea behind practicing yoga is to relax the mind and body. This helps children to be less reactive and more proactive in how they respond to stimuli, as yoga teaches you to be mindful and aware of yourself, your body, your feelings and your reactions. It gives kids strategies to observe how different things in their environment affect them, giving them greater control over their emotions which enables them to make choices about how they respond, especially when their emotions are heightened. This understanding and sense of control can be very empowering!
Another important aspect of yoga is breathing. Yoga focuses on breathing deeply, which is really helpful in reducing stress and helping children to feel calm. This calm state helps to improve concentration and focus, which is excellent for those toddlers and preschoolers who struggle to sit still or remain engaged in an activity for longer periods of time.
Yoga is also great for increasing body confidence, as it both gives children an appreciation of the interesting things their bodies can do and helps to reduce ‘mind chatter’ which is a common cause of insecurities.
Yoga, Toddlers and Preschoolers
We feel like we could write forever about the benefits of yoga for kids! It is just such a wonderful activity that benefits physical, social and emotional development, and is one of the many ways that Choklits Child Care Centre is striving to support children to become happy, healthy individuals.