To me, yoga is all about the connection: That is, the connection between your breath, your mind, and your body. That's what makes it such a beautiful thing to bring into your home and introduce to your family.
The world is very fast paced and so many distractions are around us, especially for our children! Yoga is a chance to reset the mind and body while focusing on moving and breathing.
It's not about practicing yoga for hours each day, either. It's about giving the tools to the whole family to be well for everyday life. Just a little bit each day is enough to encourage routine and teach body awareness and breath regulation in bite size chunks.
The benefits of yoga for kids
Yoga has amazing benefits for you and your kids.
- Yoga is non-competitive (it's all about your own journey).
- Yoga develops body awareness and builds concentration.
- Yoga teaches how to manage stress through healthy movement and meditation.
- Yoga develops muscle tone, strength, balance, and flexibility.
- Yoga helps to develop positive self-esteem and confidence.
- Yoga helps to connect families together through movement and play.
Introducing yoga to your kids can be as simple as going to a family yoga class being held in your area, or searching up a simple kids' yoga video on YouTube and following that in your living room or out in your backyard. Once you get the hang of it, it is fun to get your yoga on in other places, like down at the beach, the park, and other places in nature.
Since yoga teaches us to breathe well, it can help us cope with overwhelming environments and situations and generally learn to relax. It can also help slow down involuntary movements as breathing well encourages more oxygen into the body which improves a wide range of things, including circulation.
It also means that if we can breathe well, we can learn to be in a calm state, which means we can make better decisions and follow instructions better. It also teaches us to be more aware of how we should be feeling and to keep our muscles flexible and strong, which means mobility will improve daily.
Yoga for children with special needs
I have three amazing children, and two of them just happen to have special needs. My husband and I have tried many tools over the years, however, the most beneficial has been yoga and meditation.
We have not only worked to improve our connection as a family, but have seen how amazing yoga can be as a therapy tool for special needs children and families in general. The benefits I have seen and experienced in my own family have been:
- Better quality of sleep
- Fewer meltdowns
- Better movement
- Better social connection with others
- Emotional regulation and balance
Remember: Make it fun, keep it simple, and most importantly, just breathe!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.