I hear a lot about the benefits of yoga for adults, but just imagine if all those amazing benefits began at an early age. What would it change in the little person growing up? How would it help them, or even empower them? I spoke with my sister, Angela Chiarella, founder of Anjali Mudra Yoga, and with the help of her children’s yoga instructor, Saundra Diardichuk, they gave me some insight into the benefits of yoga for children.
Top 6 Benefits of Children
- It enhances physical flexibility – yoga allows children to maintain and increase their natural flexibly in a playful, exploratory environment
- It helps with their balance and coordination – many yoga postures play with balance, such as tree pose or dancer pose, combining imagery and movement
- It develops focus, concentration and imagination – by uniting breathe and movement, yoga helps children focus in the present moment and concentrate on the specific body movement they are asked to do
- It helps with self-regulation – by staying focused in the present moment, children learn to better manage their emotions and express themselves – the discipline of yoga helps, because it allows us to experience emotions in a mindful way
- It strengthens self-awareness –you become more present with your body in yoga and more aware of habits and attitude
- It helps children bond with one another – the playful and creative environment of a yoga class gives children a unique experience to share with one another
Says Angela: “At Anjali Mudra Yoga you can enjoy kids’ yoga for all ages of childhood. Moms and dads stay and watch the younger ones from the lounge area while the older kids can be left, so parents can take time for themselves. We also offer mom and baby yoga, which is a fantastic way for mom to take care of herself and bond with baby. At AMY we understand that family is so important and teaching kids to nurture themselves and stay in touch with their emotions and body is essential to development. The great thing about this community environment is that families are acknowledged and cared for throughout the lifespan. Future moms can enjoy prenatal yoga, then postpartum moms can continue their practice and heal from pregnancy through restorative yoga. Moms and babies can enjoy the practice together and kids can then develop their own practice. Yoga and personal development become ingrained in the family dynamic.”
What I loved about watching my children participate in a class with Saundra, was the freeness they had to just be. Yes, it is a discipline and you do learn so much, but not unlike a children’s gym class, children can be free to have fun! My twins enjoyed the different poses – being a tree, or stretching to the sky – letting them exercise in a creative way.
To find out about the weekly children’s yoga classes, or to book a yoga play date with other moms and children, or even birthday parties (genius!) visit AnjaliMudraYoga.com