5 Amazing Benefits Of Yoga For Kids + 5 Best Beginner Yoga Poses Children Can Easily Learn

Hey yogi, this basic guide to kids yoga is for you if you're keen to introduce yoga into little ones' lives so that they can experience all of the benefits of yoga, just as you have. What are the benefits of yoga for kids, you ask? Well, although kids' yoga may look different from an adult yoga class, kids get the same calming and stress-relieving benefits from yoga that adults get.

As a yoga instructor who has taught human beings of all ages, including toddlers at yoga camp, I'm sharing why yoga benefits children and the best movements and postures to teach them.

Read on to learn how to introduce this ancient practice into the lives of not-so-ancient little ones and how yoga benefits kids.


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5 benefits of yoga for kids

Yoga offers a multitude of benefits for children, making it a valuable practice to incorporate into their daily routines. Through these benefits, yoga fosters holistic development, supporting both the mental and physical well-being of young practitioners.

Did you know there are many fascinating benefits of kids' yoga, such as: 

  • Improves concentration & academic performance, helping kids stay focused and perform better in school.
  • Helps kids manage emotions by providing children with tools to navigate their feelings and maintain emotional balance.
  • Teaches kids how to breathe deeply, promoting calm and relaxation, which is essential for reducing stress and anxiety
  • Promotes calm and relaxation, which is essential for reducing stress and anxiety  
  • Boosts self-confidence, empowering children to believe in themselves and their abilities
Five benefits of yoga for kids infographic 1. improved concentration 2. helps kids manage emotions 3. teaches kids how to breathe deeply 4. promotes calm and relaxation 5. boosts self confidence

5 fun kids yoga poses they can easily learn

Here are five engaging and kid-friendly yoga poses to try. These poses not only make yoga enjoyable for kids but also support their overall physical and mental well-being.

5 yoga poses for kids 1. Warrior 2, 2. Tree pose 3. Cobra pose 4. Butterfly pose 5. Boat pose

1. Warrior 2

This posture improves balance, stability, and confidence!

In kids' yoga, I cue them to step one foot back from a standing position and turn the toes to face the side. Open their bodies to the side and bend the front knee.

Then I tell them to reach their arms out wide to the side, looking at the front hand.

2. Tree pose

Kids usually love the challenge of standing on one leg in this posture. You can ask to bring their arms overhead and sway like a tree in the wind. 

This is excellent for improving focus and balance.

3. Cobra pose (modified)

To get kids into Cobra pose, have them lie on their stomachs, legs stretched out, and feet together.

Cue them to place their palms under their shoulders and push into their hands while slowly lifting their head, chest, and shoulders off the ground.

They should try to lift up until their arms are straight and then bring their toes up to try to touch their heads, and then hold.

4. Butterfly pose

This is probably the least challenging pose requiring the least amount of coordination and explanation!

This pose promotes relaxation and peacefulness.

5. Boat Pose

Boat pose is challenging, even for us adults!

This pose helps children work on their balance and stability and requires immense concentration. 

How yoga poses can impact physical child development

Practicing yoga assists a child's natural development in terms of body awareness and coordination, which can reduce the number of falls and injuries. Experts agree that kids age 5 and up can start learning yoga.

As we know, young children frequently fall over and hurt themselves as they do not have the level of balance and proprioception that an adult has.

Yoga asanas also strengthen a child's growing body and improves their flexibility. This is particularly beneficial during growth spurts when muscles can tighten up. Plus, the more a child stretches during their younger years, the more they can maintain their flexibility during adulthood. 

Balancing poses are particularly effective, as the laser-sharp focus they cultivate in a yoga class will eventually spill over into their school and home life.

Why yoga is good for children’s mental health 

Yoga helps children connect to their breath and learn how to use it to manage their emotions. Combining deep breathing and mindful movement helps children cultivate mindfulness by understanding their feelings. This enhances their ability to control their impulses, resulting in fewer mood swings and improved behavior.

So, like with adults, the benefits of yoga for children's mental health all start with the breath.

Emotional regulation and breath connection have a calming effect, resulting in sleeping better at night and feeling less anxious in new or challenging situations.

Lastly, as yoga is a pressure-free activity, it helps boost children's self-image and confidence. Plus, when they manage to hold their balance or master a new pose, they feel accomplishment and pride. 

Children’s yoga research

The benefits mentioned above have been proven through various research studies. For example, one study examined the connection between anxiety reduction and yoga in children. Researchers found nearly all children who participated in the study experienced less anxiety after attending yoga classes than before. 

Moreover, the study tested children aged 3 to 18, which shows two things.

  1. Yoga is beneficial to kids of all ages
  2. You can teach your children yoga from as young as 3 years old

How to begin teaching yoga to a child

I find a great way to keep kids engaged in a yoga class is to take them through a series of animal poses and encourage them to make the noise of each animal while holding the poses. This is called animal yoga, and young kids love these kinds of classes!

It's also essential that children learn breathing techniques. You can spend a minute at the beginning of the class teaching them how to breathe at a slower and deeper pace. Then, as they hold each pose, remind them to breathe deeply.

Below are five fun yoga poses you can teach to children that they can quickly learn. For more pose ideas and teaching methods, look into Marsha Wenig who is the founder of YogaKids International, Inc., the original and leading provider of yoga for children.

How to explain yoga to kids

So now you know just how beneficial kids' yoga can be; you're probably wondering how to explain this ancient spiritual practice to a 5-year-old child!

The most basic way to explain yoga to a child is as a way to exercise our bodies, minds, and breath at the same time. 

I don't suggest you read the yoga sutras to a child or get deep into Raja yoga philosophy – unless you're trying to put them to sleep! How you explain and teach yoga to a child depends on their age, and there are a lot of great yoga videos that can help you with this.

For very young children, teachers often describe it as a practice where you use your body to make shapes of all things in the world, from animals to vehicles to nature. 

For older kids, parents can explain yoga as an ancient philosophy teaching us to find happiness within by balancing our minds and bodies. The breathing exercises and body movements help us rebalance ourselves.

Takeaway

Now you know more about the benefits of yoga for kids, and why it is so beneficial, why not share it with your children? Who knows, you may even raise a future acro-yogi! Or, if you're a teacher, propose some kids' yoga classes to your local school and help the children in your community experience more focus, relaxation, and body-mind connection.

FAQ about yoga for kids

What skills does yoga teach children?

Yoga helps children connect to their breath and learn how to use it to manage their emotions. This enhances their ability to control their impulses, resulting in fewer mood swings and improved behavior. Yoga also boosts children's self-image and self-confidence.

Why yoga and meditation is important for kids?

Yoga and meditation can help kids to be more focused. This results in a longer attention span and the ability to remember more of what they are studying in school.

Some online yoga studios, online yoga teacher training programs, and brands that we write about may offer us a small percentage should you decide to purchase after reading our content. Thank you for enabling us to exist!

Gemma
Gemma

Gemma is a Certified Yoga Teacher of over 5 years. Aside from being a CYT 200, Gemma is also certified in Yin and Yoga Nidra. Gemma is passionate about sharing her expertise of yoga and wellness through words, guiding others along the path of personal and spiritual development. She is in LOVE with everything related to personal-growth and psychology. Aside from helping others find more peace and stillness, Gemma runs a kitten rescue project in Thailand, where she is currently residing. Gemma can be reached at gemmac@theyogatique.com, or you can connect with Gemma on LinkedIn.

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