Millions of adults around the world practise yoga to gain a multitude of physical and mental health benefits. But what about children? Could yoga benefit them too? Well, not surprisingly, yoga can show children how to calm the mind and keep fit and healthy, which is never a bad thing. And with the advent of dedicated YouTube channels like Cosmic Kids Yoga, and the fact that even schools are getting onboard the yoga train, more and more children are saying namaste.
Yoga for Kids
Teaching children healthy habits from an early age undoubtedly gives them the best start in life. Yoga not only encourages them to exercise and stretch, but it also cultivates confidence, body awareness, better posture, balance, focus, concentration and breathing techniques. Something else that it provides them with is a highly effective tool for keeping calm and managing anxiety.
Yoga is an inclusive discipline, meaning everyone can do the poses to some degree, no matter their physical aptitude. It’s also perfect for children that are less keen on traditional athletic sports or who feel intimidated by the competitive atmosphere that’s synonymous with other forms of exercise.
Some studies have also indicated that yoga can be really helpful to children that have autism and ADHD, reducing characteristics like aggression and hyperactivity. Yoga can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any equipment, making it easy to do with kids. And it’s also a really fun and bonding activity to do with them, often with lots of laughter along the way.
Yoga for Sleep
If your little ones are finding it hard to wind down before bedtime, have you ever considered adding a little yoga to their bedtime routine?
It might sound a bit new-age parenting, but yoga poses help you to relax, lower the amount of cortisol in your system, reducing state of arousal. It’s basically the opposite of the fight or flight response, so incorporating yoga into the evening routine, whether you’re a grown-up or child, can be beneficial.
It’s also true that any parent will confirm bedtime as something of an ‘arsenic hour’, with hyper children becoming hyper children, bedtime giddiness and sibling squabbles. So, anything that can help them into a calmer state of mind is a good thing in my book.
Here at Scentered, we like to use our Sleep Well Wellbeing Ritual Aromatherapy Balm before bedtime yoga begins. Simply apply this easy-to-use balm stick to your child’s pulse points (wrists, neck, and temples) and get them to slowly breathe in the beautiful, oriental floral lavender blend three times. By following our Scentered ritual of Stop.Inhale.Reset, you’ll already be helping them to calm their nervous system and wind down.
Now you can both get on with a quick yoga practise whilst the therapeutic benefits of Lavender, Chamomile, Palmarosa and Ho Wood get to work. This is the ideal sleep aid, quieting the mind and promoting a better, deeper quality of sleep. Not to mention the fact that it also helps you to awake feeling so well-rested and in a positive frame of mind.
3 Minute Bedtime Yoga Practise for Kids
Let’s face it, young children haven’t got the same attention span as adults, so keep any yoga before bed relatively short for them. Slow deliberate movements for three minutes will be enough for the younger age-group.
With older children and teenagers, gauge their level of interest and go from there. You want it to be positive and enjoyable rather than forcing them to do something they really don’t want to do.
It can also help to get some input from your child on what poses they like, but you might like to get started with some easy poses including:
- Mountain pose
- Bird Pose
- Tree Pose
- Child’s Pose
- Corpse Pose
- Cat Pose
- Downward Dog Pose