Kids Yoga Classes in Stockport and Manchester Primary Schools
But first, have you ever thought “why yoga for kids” ?
Gymnastics, swimming, dance, martial arts, basketball, football… there are many choices available to parents for physical, movement-based extracurricular classes for their children. What makes yoga different? And what are the benefits of yoga for children?
Yoga is a fun way for children to develop a variety of important skills in a nurturing, non-competitive environment. From a young age children begin to experience pressure to perform academically
and socially. Add to this the pressure of competitive organized sports and it’s is easy for children to become overly self-critical, and lose confidence in themselves. During this time, yoga can be a great remedy for the tension associated with daily stressors as well as an important facilitator of healthy physical, emotional and cognitive development.
During a children’s yoga class there is a complete absence of judgment and competition; doing a pose ‘perfectly’ or better than another is not the aim of yoga. This unconditional positive regard and encouragement creates a nourishing environment, allowing children to relax and have fun whilst developing strength, coordination, flexibility and balance, as well as increasing body awareness, concentration and self-esteem. There is increasing evidence to support the vast benefits of yoga practice for children: One study published by the University of California (2003), found that children who had frequent yoga instruction showed significant increases in self-esteem, as well as overall fitness and academic performance, and decreases in discipline problems. Additionally, studentsreported feeling more relaxed and were more aware and respectful of their peers.
I strive to maintain a balance between spontaneity and structure, so that children participating in the classes learn to listen to themselves and each other while being able to express themselves creatively. The incorporation of stories, songs, games and poses creates a multi-sensory environment, where children develop through kinesthetic, visual, and aural learning.
Children are encouraged to respect and pay attention to their bodies, making sure each pose feels good, and coming in and out of positions when they feel ready (something most adults have a hard time doing!). As children grow and their bodies change, this becomes an important skill. Having the skills to listen carefully to the body and heart is not just a method to avoid injury, but also makes it easier be self-reflective and make good choices when dealing with peer pressure.
The benefits of children’s Yoga:
- Improves strength and flexibility
- Increases self-confidence and builds a positive self-image
- Increases emotional resilience
- Nourishes creativity
- Helps to balance body and mind
- Teaches self-acceptance and self-love
- Increases sensory awareness and general body awareness
- Builds coordination and balance
- Expands self-awareness, and awareness of others
- Develops self-discipline and self-control
- Builds concentration
- Helps us to stand more erect and feel taller by supporting a long and flexible spine
- Fortifies all bodily systems; the skeletal, nervous, circulatory, digestive, respiratory, hormonal and muscular systems and improves our understanding of anatomy
- Increases awareness of breathing and deepens the breath
- Is non-competitive
- Expands awareness of nature, animals and the environment
- Helps children build inner strength
- Encourages cooperation and teamwork
- Teaches how to relax and reduce stress
- Encourages compassion, generosity, and respect
- Teaches how to find inner peace
Myself, As a kids yoga instructor: