Adults love yoga because it provides an opportunity to open the mind and body and relax on a deep level. But did you know that kids also love yoga? Yoga is a lot of fun for kids, especially those hard-to-hold poses and all the fun shapes they make with their bodies.
If you are a parent that practices yoga, you may enjoy this time as part of your self-care and “alone time”. And while yoga is often a relaxing state for adults, there are ways you can incorporate your kids into your yoga practice without sacrificing the joy that you experience when practicing solo.
Should Kids Practice Yoga?
Kids who are interested in practicing yoga should definitely give it a try! Yoga can help build important skills and challenge the developing mind. Yoga improves strength and flexibility while reducing stress. It also has benefits for the developing mind, such as:
- Building self-esteem
- Improves memory
- Improves concentration
- May improve academic performance
Whether on their own or as part of your practice, yoga can be an excellent tool for children of all ages.
How to Incorporate Your Kids into Your Yoga Practice
Want to introduce your kids to your yoga routine? Try these tips:
Kids may be excited to try crazy poses and postures, but to be safe, it’s best to start small. Start by introducing basic poses and stretches. You can build this into your daily routine – perhaps doing stretches together before bed. Even a few minutes of deep-breathing and stretching is a great start.
Make it Fun
While you may enjoy the discipline and routine of yoga, your child likely will lose interest if the activity isn’t fun and engaging. You will quickly learn which poses are your child’s favorite because moving into that pose will likely make them giggle. You may also notice them repeating that same pose consistently, rather than moving on.
If you want something they can engage with and follow-along with, there are YouTube channels dedicated to yoga that is kid-friendly.
If you have been practicing yoga for a while, you may be tempted to instruct your kids throughout the process. While your guidance is an important part of the experience, it doesn’t overshadow your family time. Instead, consider buying some kid-friendly books related to yoga, or watch some videos together.
Don’t Over-Simplify Yoga for Older Kids
If your kids are older, avoid the temptation to over-simplify the poses and movements. Give them guidance, but let them try things their own way too. Try not to alienate them from the practice by instructing them in a demanding tone. Remember that it is okay for you to have fun as well.
Also, encourage your older kids to try new or more difficult poses. Help them learn the correct and safe way to get into the poses, but let them challenge their body and mind.
Benefits of a Family Yoga Practice
Practicing yoga with your kids can be a great way to build skills like working together and relaxing together. It is also a chance for you and your child to bond over something that you both may really enjoy. It is also a great way to encourage a healthy lifestyle that starts now and may last for decades.
TIP: While you can certainly practice yoga at home – with or without your kids – you may enjoy the structure of a class or studio. Studios offering yoga in Portland, Oregon may have classes or workshops available that feature kids, or parents and kids together.