Yoga & Mindfulness — Kids
Why Should Kids Practice Yoga & Mindfulness?
Children have a wonderful ability to be fully present in what they do. They notice smells, sounds and the way the world feels to their touch. They notice tiny bugs, shapes in the clouds and rocks at their feet that look a little different from the rest.
Children with a greater capacity to access the stillness and presence of the immediate moment will be healthier in mind, body and spirit. Through mindfulness and yoga, children are able to strengthen and preserve this skill, ensuring that important neural connections are fortified and new ones are established. Research in the area is growing rapidly, shedding light on the powerful behavioral, cognitive and physiological benefits to children that come from the practice of mindfulness and yoga.
How Does Mindfulness & Yoga Benefit Little Ones?
The effects of mindfulness and yoga are measurable, with many studies showing that they cause structural changes in the brain that strengthen and develop various qualities. They also treat and protect against an abundance of mental health symptoms. Here are some of the powerful and proven effects of mindfulness and yoga:
When life becomes turbulent, mindfulness and yoga can provide children with powerful skills to find balance and support themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, academically and socially. One of the ways mindfulness and yoga can do this is by nurturing an increased awareness of body, thoughts and emotions. With heightened self-awareness, children have a greater capacity to manage their emotions and respond effectively and thoughtfully to situations, rather than react on impulse.
Anything that can empower the little people in our lives to take full flight is important. Mindfulness and yoga not only lift self-acceptance, confidence, self-esteem and resilience, they bring a lasting sense of calm to young bodies and minds.
Mindfulness and yoga can effect important physical changes in children, including improved posture, range of motion and strength. Being a kid takes a lot of energy – there’s so much to learn and do! But with a stronger immune system, better quality of sleep and a decrease in tiredness, aches and pains, they’ll be ready to light up the world.
With mental health issues on the rise, it’s more important than ever to strengthen our children mentally. Mindfulness and yoga have accumulated an impressive amount of evidence showing their capacity to heal and protect against the symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety. In addition, there is growing evidence suggesting that mindfulness and yoga may have enormous potential to ease the symptoms of ADHD and autism.
Mindfulness and yoga are proven ways to nurture empathy, kindness, patience and compassion—fundamental building blocks to forming close, successful relationships. Mindfulness and yoga can also reduce aggression and empower children to respond to situations and people thoughtfully, without the heat and high emotion that does damage.
Many schools are starting to introduce mindfulness, encouraged by research that shows its incredible potential to strengthen learning by improving the executive function of the brain. Central to executive function is the ability to focus and concentrate, provide a considered response rather than an impulsive one and the mental playing with ideas necessary for finding solutions.
Mindfulness and yoga have been consistently proven to have a positive effect on children, as well as the capacity to provide them with skills and qualities that will nurture them well throughout their lives.