Children of all ages are naturally curious. They follow their intuition and allow their inner light to guide them because they see the world through the innocence of their youth. Yoga opens the door for creative play and to allow that inner child to come out without fear of judgment from self or others. Through yoga practice children can experience multiple benefits that are not just physical. I am in no way diagnosing or prescribing anything…this is just my thoughts based on twelve years of doing yoga, earning yoga teacher certifications & degrees in education, and incorporating kids yoga in my own home with my own children.
My Choices for the Top Three Benefits of Children’s Yoga:
- Stress: According to Kristin Henningsen (2011), an adjunct professor at Kaplan University School of Health Sciences, childhood is a period of intense growth emotionally, physically, and intellectually. These stresses can raise blood pressure and heart rate, which over time can lead to low self- esteem, depression, anxiety, and a lowered immune system. Yoga teaches children to allow for space when they are feeling stress. It teaches them to pause, not to identify with the emotion or label it…it is not who they are, and how to breathe which helps the emotion pass. Thus lowering the heart rate back to normal and not having the “fight or flight” reactionary feeling.
- Healthy Bodies and Body Image: Integrating yoga into a child’s life helps them to learn about healthy eating habits from an early age. Pratyahara is one of the eight limbs in yoga that yoga teachers study and then help to teach others on how to incorporate it into their lives. This limb will teach children how to turn their focus inward on themselves and to determine what outward influences they want to listen to rather than just to be an innocent bystander of the daily negativity they see and hear from multiple media outlets. Through the practices of yoga poses, breathing, and meditation children will learn how to have inward focus (pratyahara) thus creating a healthy self -image and higher self esteem.
- Physical: Overall yoga helps the body gain strength, become more flexible, and help fine tune children’s fine and gross motor skills. In children’s yoga classes at, Yoga Garden LLC in Saint Cloud, they will be very active with poses (asanas), games, dancing, and having FUN!
My hope is to spread the joy, love, and benefits of yoga to all…no matter the age. Please join me at my studio, Yoga Garden in Saint Cloud for kids yoga classes. Please visit Yoga Garden on facebook and at ouryogagarden.com for more information!
Henningsen, K. (2011). Center for Health and Wellness Kaplan University. Retrieved July 8th, 2016, from Kaplan University: http://healthandwellness.kaplan.edu/articles/yoga/The%20Benefits%20of%20Yoga%20for%20Children.html
Christine Ashley is a professional educator in a large, urban public school district and a yoga instructor/owner at Yoga Garden LLC in Saint Cloud, Fl. Mrs. Ashley received her bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. After a few years of teaching she went on to earn a masters degree in Educational Leadership from Stetson University in Florida. She has always been deeply connected to the natural world and the natural rhythms of life and how everything is connected…a forever student in Earth School. She began her journey with yoga twelve years ago and has since gained her RYT Certification in Integral Hatha Yoga from New World Wellness and her children’s yoga through Kidding Around Yoga. Her journey has led her to opening up a studio in Saint Cloud FL and integrating what she has learned by practicing yoga into her daily interactions with students. Her hope is to spread the joy, love, and practice of yoga to anyBODY and everyBODY!
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