If you've ever taken a yoga class yourself, you know the calm and ease that washes over you and how you are able to carry a new sense of zen with you. Does it work for children? The research says yes. It's not like we needed it to, however, it does help.
Here is an amazing list of current kids yoga research that is helpful when presenting your case as to why your school, aftercare program or recreation center should consider building a program:
Yoga 4 Classrooms®
Move with Me
Kids yoga is about connection, a healthy body, a calm mind and an open heart. It's also about providing important tools for self regulation, anxiety & stress release, as well as focus and courage.
10 PROVEN BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR KIDS
Body: Assists neuromuscular-development. Promotes development of the vestibular system. Encourages midline crossing motions; motor development on both sides of the body. Develops a strong and flexible body Increases balance, body awareness and coordination Improves posture and alignment. Develops core strength, essential for good posture and correct physical alignment. Reduces injuries and improves performance. Improves digestion, circulation and elimination. Strengthens the immune system. Relaxes the body, promoting better sleep.
Mind: Calms and clears the mind, bringing us into the present moment. Relieves tension and stress. Increases concentration, focus and attention span. Promotes thinking and memory. Stimulates auditory processing and responsiveness. Expands imagination and creativity. Reduces stress and anxiety Improves ability to be less reactive; more mindful of thoughts, words and actions. Balances energy (high or low).
Spirit: Builds confidence and self-esteem. Supports character development and emotional intelligence. Enhances team skills and social interaction. Develops discipline and self-control. Supports individuality and self-expression. Encourages social and environmental awareness and responsibility. Supports a sense of universal connectedness. Inspires respect for self and others.
Overall: Improves mind/body connection. Encourages a fit and healthy lifestyle. Promotes an overall sense of well-being. Yoga helps children see the beauty and light within themselves, thereby boosting their self-confidence, allowing them to feel more comfortable with their bodies, and helping them get in touch with who they are inside. A child who learns yoga, mindfulness and relaxation will be developing essential skills for a lifetime of health and wellness in mind, body and spirit.
Benefits of Yoga in the School Setting: Anti-bullying, health and wellness, and character education are common themes in American schools today, all focusing on educating the whole child, mind, body and spirit. Yoga, by nature, supports this learning.
The following are some of the benefits of yoga to support the education of the whole child, thus maximizing the learning process:
Provides students healthy ways to express and balance their emotions. Promotes a more relaxed, comfortable state of being - the perfect state for teaching and learning. Brings students into the present moment – the most basic requirement for learning. Encourages community and connectedness within the classroom. Helps to create an atmosphere of confidence, enthusiasm and non-competitiveness where everyone can succeed. Provides opportunities for beneficial motor breaks throughout the day.
Eases anxiety and tension (such as pre-test or performance jitters). Enhances focus, concentration, comprehension and memory. Provides opportunities for reflection, patience and insight, reducing impulsivity and reactivity. Supports social and emotional learning Improves listening skills. Wakes up sluggish minds and creativity as needed. Enhances organizational and communication skills. Improves posture, assisting students to sit comfortably for long periods. Enhances motor skills and balance Improves mind/body awareness and connection Improves confidence and self-esteem. Encourages respect for oneself and others. Creates a calm, harmonious classroom.
*Content provided by Yoga 4 Classrooms