For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed the spirit of children. I love the way they are able to genuinely express themselves – when they are happy they are over-the-moon excited for life and when they are sad they are bursting with tears because whatever has happened is just the worst thing in the world. But sometimes children (who am I kidding — and adults) are unable to express themselves properly with emotions like anxiety, stress, and fear. This is where yoga is beneficial in the development of children. Yoga provides children with tools to authentically express their truest self and feelings at all times to maintain balance while they grow into the amazing adults they are meant to be.
As a kid, I spent the majority of my time at daycares – always the first one to be dropped off and the last one to be picked up. This constant exposure to other children is when I began to see a pattern. It was difficult for a majority of us to properly express ourselves because we weren’t taught the tools necessary to manage them and weren’t met with a generous listening ear if we tried. It was only when I became an adult and discovered the healing nature of yoga and mindful practices that I began to express myself in all situations, not just easy to understand ones. And it was at this point, that I found my offering to the world, that I could provide little ones the tools to express their truest self by tuning in with their body, mind and heart. And because there are so many benefits of yoga for children, I listed out just a few more examples of how this helps them create a strong foundation for a happy and healthy life.
Mind // Yoga improves concentration, focus and listening skills. In a world that is filled with overstimulation, it’s refreshing to have only one thing to focus on in a studio whether that is the breath, a pose or an interactive game with fellow yogis. They listen to what the teacher is saying and through that steady concentration the mind is able to reach a higher frequency that can improve other aspects of their lives. The simple meditation techniques strengthen their ability to remain calm and in tune with themselves all day long, not just in the yoga studio.
Body // Yoga strengthens the body, establishes balance and increases flexibility. It’s important to be strong, build healthy muscles and support a lifestyle that is based on wellness. Our bodies are our temples and we must take care of them. The poses also reinforce this idea of balance, emotionally and physically because even though a pose may require physical balance they must check in with the mind to listen to what it is saying to the body! Little yogis also learn that it’s important to be flexible (on and off the mat) and that we never know what is going to happen next or what pose the teacher may ask us to get into and the importance of flowing with life.
Heart // This is my favorite part of yoga. Yoga enables compassion for oneself and those around them. They begin to understand that by taking deep breaths they are able to connect with how they are feeling and focus their attention inward. They are kinder to themselves and that awareness spreads to those around them and honestly, who wouldn’t want a world filled with more love?
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Amanda Chase is a freelance writer, creative consultant, vinyasa and kids’ yoga teacher and founder of Coconut Yoga. She spends her days working from coffee shops, traveling for photoshoots and teaching kids yoga classes. Her dream is to offer children tools to help them expand their mind, body and heart. Previously, she worked in fashion for Michael Kors and Garance Doré studio where she gained a wealth of creative and editorial experience. Along with her certificates, Amanda has earned both a B.A. in Psychology from The University of Maryland and A.A. in Visual Communications from FIDM, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.
For more information on the benefits of kids yoga, check out OM Schooled by Sarah Herrington. Amanda currently teaches kids yoga in NYC. For more information on private classes, events or to just say hi feel free to reach her at email@example.com