Yoga means connecting to God. A child’s mind is pure and body flexible. They’ll absorb everything that is given to them. Yoga paves the way to a healthy and positive life. Our children have been born in an age where everything is fast and in order to keep up with times, they need to maintain their health. This age of technology gives rise to tense, exhausted bodies and stressed minds. In this scenario, yoga may be just what they need for greater health, energy and enlightenment. Yoga is the right kind of exercise for children as it is gentle, non-competitive and works on not only the entire body but also on the mind and the soul.
Benefits of yoga for kids
- It teaches children about their body in a fun manner.
- It helps wipe out the effects of competitive life and its negative long term effects.
- It helps children to relax, concentrate and focus.
- It builds stamina, stability and balance.
- It helps in improving digestion, elimination of toxins and blood circulation.
- It strengthens the body muscles, elongates the spine and promotes good posture.
- Specific postures help relive gas and constipation.
- It improves breathing habits through pranayam.
- It develops speech skills.
- It improves sleeping patterns.
- It improves memory and concentration skills. n Yoga rejuvenates mind and gives inner strength.
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Important poses for children vriksha-asana
- Stand in Tada-asana.
- Bend your right knee. Place your right foot on your left upper thigh. Rest your hands on your hips.
- Stretch your arms up. Join your palms. This is vriksha-asana.
- Return to Tada-asana. Now keep your right leg straight and bend your left leg. Do the pose on the other side.
- Then come back to Tada-asana.
- Strengthens the shoulders and legs and improves concentration.
Saral padma-asana (30 to 60 counts each side)
- Sit in Dandasana.
- Bend your right knee. Hold your right ankle and the foot. Place it at the root of your left thigh.
- Then bend your left knee. Hold your left ankle and foot and place it at the root of your right thigh.
- Rest the back of your palms on your knees. Perform the Jnana Mudra by joining the tips of the thumbs with the index fingers. Sit erect.
- Then return to Danda-asana. Repeat the pose crossing your legs the other way, first bend the left knee and then the right knee. This is Padma-asana.
- Keeps the knee, hip and ankle joints strong and flexible.
- Lie on your stomach. Join your legs. Point your toes. Place your palms to the sides of your chest with the fingers well spread and pointing forward.
- Raise your trunk off the floor. Straighten your arms. Throw your head back. Arch your spine as much as possible.
- Helps remove stiffness in the neck and spine.
Urdhva dhanur-asana (10 to 15 counts)
- Lie on your back. Bend your knees. Bring your heels to your hips. Keep your feet about eight inches apart and parallel to each other.
- Place your palms under your shoulders. The fingers must point towards your feet.
- Raise your back and buttocks off the floor. Curve your spine and rest the crown of your head on the floor.
- Now straighten your arms. Then walk towards your hands and arch your spine further. Then bend your elbows and come down gently.
- Corrects rounded back and shoulders.
- Improves respiration.