The physical and mental benefits of Yoga and meditation are well recognized across the world.Yoga encourageshealth and wellbeing through practices of different postures,movement, relaxation, meditation, and breathing exercises. It can build emotional, physical, and mental strength,and the benefits are not limited only to adults. Research has revealed that yoga and meditation can be highly beneficial for children of every age. For example, Children with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who practice yoga and meditation regularly can experience better concentration and reduced hyperactive outbursts.
Practicing Yoga and meditation is beneficial for kids for the same reasons as it is for adults. Yoga can help kids to relax, get better sleep, improve concentration, relieve stress and anxiety, and improve mood, empathy, and emotional regulation. It also helps in teaching them to become more mindful.
As adults, stress is something we learned about gradually and adapted to with ages. It has been a regular part of our life. However, for kids, it is something they will be learning about and they don’t know what it is and how to deal with it. They need to learn appropriate and effective tools to manage the stress and emotions. Yoga can be one of the simplest toolsthat kids can learn and benefit from. Here are some benefits of Yoga and meditation for kids:
· Improves Cognitive Functioning and Memory
Practicing yoga regularly can help in improving cognitive functioning and memory as it helps in creating the focus within. Yoga and meditation practices require a concentration of mind and body simultaneously. One needs to pay attention to the body movements and how the breathing coordinates with the movements of the body. Some yoga poses require more concentration than others. When the kids practice yoga and meditation, they practice the ability to focus on the task at hand. This will help them improve their focus, memory, and cognitive functioning, resulting in improved academic achievement.
· Improves Breath Control and Strength
Practicing yoga needs physical and mental strength. When kids practice yoga regularly, many cognitive and physical changes can be observed including better upper body strength, and flexibility, along with mental clarity. All of this strength relates to breathing. When a person breathes quickly or harshly, it can reduce focus, increase muscle tension, and intensifies fight or flight response. All these can have an adverse effect on the mind and the body.
Teaching techniques for breathing properly, and building mental and physical strength at a young age can help reduce the chances of depression, anxiety, and obesity while enhancing self-confidence and self-esteem, helping develop overall well-being.
· Improves Perseverance and Determination
Yoga can be a fun activity for kids of any age, providing them a non-competitive environment where they can learn new breathing techniques and yoga poses. When it is fun, kids want to learn it more. It is a great feeling to master a thing that one thinks hard to do. For example, some of the poses in yoga can be quite difficult. When the kids learn to practice such poses and regularly do it, they get excited and want to show others what they have learned. This perseverance and determination can result in a feeling of excitement. This feeling encourages kids to do anything they want, even if it is difficult. They carry this feeling to other areas of their life too, like academics, sports, etc.
· Improves Self-Regulation
Self-regulation is the ability to analyze and change the thought, emotions, and behavior according to the situation. This can help kids solve problems and adjust to new situations and challenges in life, helping them set and achieve goals. By paying attention to the mind and the body, one look inward to understand the thoughts and feelings. Regularly practicing yoga and meditation can help kids understand and manage emotions, feelings, and thoughts according to the situation.
All these benefits of yoga and meditation for kids make it clear that it is an important tool for a kid’s mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. Practicing yoga can help kids unwind and release stress. Kids who practice yoga regularly tell their teachers and parents that they can focus better on their day-to-day activities, and pay attention to the task at hand.