The Powerful Benefits of Yoga for Children

children doing yoga

As adults, many of us enjoy doing yoga on a regular basis. There are different styles, studios, and even at-home videos so almost everyone can find one they enjoy! What many people might not consider is that yoga is also great for kids! The many benefits that adults get from yoga, kids get as well. In fact, they may see even greater developmental benefits than some adults!

We don’t often think about kids needing to improve their balance, coordination, body awareness, or breathing and regulation, but as an occupational therapist, these are common goals I have for my clients. Yoga is a tool I often use in my treatment planning to target goals I have for a variety of clients, from those seeking calming regulation to those strengthening their balance and core strength. Yoga is also something that is relatively easy for parents to carry over at home to help meet their children’s goals as well. 

Yoga combines physical exercise as well as breathing exercise. The physical poses improve strength, balance, and coordination while the breathing exercises improve calming and also refresh the body and mind. These are all skills that are beneficial for children to learn at a young age.

They can improve their body awareness and coordination to assist in any sport or in navigating their environment physically. They can improve their breath awareness, which assists in balancing the body, mind, and emotions. Many small children have a lot of stress and anxiety that adults are unsure of what help to provide. They often do not respond to the same methods that adults use to decrease their anxiety.

Teaching children about controlled breathing and breath awareness by participating in yoga can help decrease these anxieties. Yoga can also help improve their self-regulation which will help improve their self-control and regulation of emotions, not just anxiety. 

Yoga can be done in a variety of forms with children, just like adults! You can use yoga cards, demonstrate the poses, or use videos to engage the kids. There are different YouTube channels that have yoga videos geared towards children. There are also many yoga cards that you can find online or in stores that are more geared towards kids as well. This is a fun activity that everyone can do together at home!

If you think your child could benefit from occupational therapy or children’s group yoga, contact us today!

Written by Jenny Zapinski, MSOT, OTR/L

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