The Benefits of Yoga for Kids in Early & Middle Childhood

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in yoga with Jenna Bush and kids

Children today are more sedentary than ever. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only one in three kids are physically active every day, and those habits are hard to break—about a third of high schoolers play video or computer games for 3 or more hours on an average school day.

That’s why parents and teachers are trying to find new, fun, and creative ways to engage today’s young children with physical activity, encourage fitness, and build lifelong healthy habits. If this sounds like a familiar challenge, consider the benefits of a growing trend among people of all ages—yoga!

Benefits of Yoga for Kids

Yoga Improves Physical Fitness: As more and more children lead sedentary lives, their health suffers. Yoga has been shown to encourage regular activity, improve respiratory function, and reduce the likelihood of obesity in kids and adults alike.

Yoga Helps Manage Stress: Children today are facing more challenges and demands than ever before, and increased stress is one result. Yoga can help children to manage their stress and emotions thanks to its base in meditation and mindfulness. One study from 2010 found that yoga “appears promising as a complementary therapy for children and adolescents” with physical and mental health conditions.

Yoga Fosters Mind-Body Awareness: Children, especially young children, are still learning about the relationship between their selves and their bodies. Yoga can help build this awareness to improve mindfulness, confidence, and more. (For this reason it can be a useful complement to traditional occupational therapies.)

Other benefits of yoga for children:

  • Yoga poses have been shown to improve posture and strength, even enough to reduce symptoms of scoliosis.
  • Forward bends are known to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and digestive system
  • Yoga can be practiced indoors, with minimal space and equipment, which can offer an advantage over sports and other activities that require large outdoor fields and expensive gear.
  • Guided yoga classes can help children learn to follow directions.
  • Mastering new poses and improving physical fitness can help children to boost their overall self-confidence.
  • And more!

Yoga Classes for Children in Connecticut

If you’re in Connecticut and interested in learning more about the benefits of yoga for your child, Cheshire Fitness Zone regularly offers guided classes for kids between 2 and 11 years of age.

Get in touch today to see if any classes are coming up and reserve your child’s place!

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Image Credit: First Lady Michelle Obama participates in yoga with Jenna Bush and kids during a “Let’s Move!” event in Miami, Fla., Feb. 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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