August is a big month for many of us. Its a time of anticipation, of procrastination, and perhaps of lament at summer nearing an end. There is so much that comes together all at once; its the very time we need established practices like yoga in our lives. As adults and parents, we are much more accustomed to the swift changes that August brings about, but the children in our lives can be affected in obvious and subtle ways that can catch both them and you off guard. As you navigate those waters this time of year, perhaps consider not only making a point to get to your practice, but also inviting the kidos you know to explore yoga too! Here is what our in-house Kids-Yoga Expert, Elizabeth Shore, has to say on the benefits of yoga for children:
Yoga is powerful in every life it touches, and can be incredibly powerful in the lives of children. It will help unlock physical, social, mental and spiritual skill sets that are essential for growth and personal development in any human life. Yoga gives children tools to successfully navigate their lives.
From an early age, children in our society juggle so many concerns and stressors. There are endless distractions, including overstimulation, peer pressure, temptations, responsibilities, and opportunities. Yoga teaches essential skills for navigating these varied pressures. Not only does yoga serve as an outlet for stress, but it is also a positive channel for energy.
Yoga helps create body awareness & strength through deep breathing and movement. Children have an opportunity to build healthy motor patterns, and increase coordination. Yoga also gives children a chance to try new poses and gives them time to think about what strengths they may possess—both physical and mental. And, yoga physically helps to balance hormones. All these physical aspects promote peace and well-being.
Since new poses and new levels of poses are always being explored in yoga, it teaches adaptability and confidence while being “out of balance.” Some mental abilities enhanced by yoga might include: patience, perseverance, determination, and fearlessness. The mental benefits of yoga improve one’s daily quality of life. Some examples include better concentration, self-esteem, & self-respect. Also, stress management skills are taught and enhanced through breathing and healthy movement, awareness, and meditation. Mental strengths then translate into social skills. As children hone in on self-esteem, self respect, and respect of life, they can use these tools to interact with others.
In yoga class, children will naturally feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group, and will learn how to include others & take turns. Instead of constantly comparing themselves to others, children learn all bodies are different and beautiful in their own way. Thus, success is felt without competition. These opportunities help to create positive interactions, and also teach courage in making new friends and in performing activities in front of other people. Overall awareness is promoted.
Yoga naturally teaches to celebrate differences—thereby promoting individual thoughts. Spirituality is a very personal thing, and meditation (time to think and ponder) is the perfect way for an individual to find what makes his/her heart and soul sing, and to experience self-expression. Deciding on morals (whatever they be), and then living by those standards, is a sure way to spiritual peace. Yoga gives the chance for meditation and for tapping into one’s spirituality.
Overall, yoga brings BALANCE & sets a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
It promotes PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, & self-expression. Children that have healthy body awareness exude more confidence, better posture, & better attitudes. They have a sense of quiet strength to carry them through their daily activities.
Credentials: Bachelors degree in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University, ACSM HFI, NASM-CPT, Certified Aerobics Instructor – TurboKick, Cycle, Yoga, Stott Pilates, Tai Chi, Aqua, Ab and Body sculpting, Plyometrics