By Tvisha Patel, Content Writer
Our daily lives consist of a lot of tasks and demands, which can get stressful.
And we’re not the only ones dealing with stress. Kids also experience a myriad of stressors in their daily lives, which can be harmful for their health.
Have you ever wondered: What can I do to help my kids deal with anxiety? Well, there are many ways you can help, including having conversations with your children, setting aside time to play with them, and much more.
We’ve got one more amazing idea that can be very beneficial for kids: Doing yoga with your children!
More and more children are practicing yoga due to its positive health benefits. Yoga has been proven to help relieve stress and anxiety, as well as improve sleep. Sleep routines are often compromised when children are stressed out. Yoga, in turn, helps children get quality sleep, which is essential for stress relief.
So, are you ready to teach yoga to kids?
Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Yoga is a great tool to help manage anxiety. The different asanas help kids release physical tension which is a huge stressor. And, yoga also helps improve focus. Each pose allows children to turn inward and focus on their breath and balance.
Teach yoga to kids!
Many parents and schools now recognize the value of yoga for children. As such, we now see yoga in schools. This is important as kids and teens need a healthy outlet, especially in the wake of too much time on screens and social media. Yoga classes, in turn, can give kids the opportunity to meet others and practice poses.
Top Poses for Stress Relief
1. Child’s Pose
This pose will feel like a warm hug to your body! As kids get more stressed, they may develop a habit of sitting more which can result in tight hips and back. When in child’s pose, you let your hips sink towards your heels and let go of everything that’s on your mind. Child’s pose stretches the hips and thighs, helps relieve back pain and aids in stress relief for all ages!
2. Moving Cat Cow Pose
It’s often said that when we are stressed, we store our emotions in different parts of our body, especially our hips and back. This pose helps to stretch out the hips, abdomen and back. Among the benefits of Cat Cow pose, it can help regulate kids’ emotions and relieve stress.
The pose should start off in a tabletop position with your spine in a neutral position. Then, inhale and press your chest forward as you bring your belly towards the floor. Afterwards, as you exhale, move into cat pose by arching your back toward the sky and tucking your chin in toward your chest (like an angry black cat on Halloween!) This pose also helps kids improve posture and balance!
3. Bridge Pose
When you teach yoga to kids, they become more aware of their body and mind. This form of a backbend will help kids open up their chest and keep their spine flexible. As kids inhale and exhale in bridge pose, it will also help strengthen their back and hamstrings. This is also a great pose to calm down the central nervous system and reduce anxiety. Just think: When kids are tired from a long day at school, this pose can help quell their racing thoughts!
4. Downward-Facing Dog
This pose is one of the most popular poses in yoga! It is great for stress relief and gives the entire body a great stretch. Kids are often on devices and this may cause them to skip out on exercise. It’s important to encourage them to move their bodies because this is also a great way to calm their minds. Downward Dog pose involves starting out on all fours, straightening your legs and lifting your hips up into the air. This posture aids strengthening the upper body and stretching the spine.This stretch can also help relieve tension that is built up in the neck and back, which helps children let go of emotions they’re holding onto.
5. Pigeon Pose
Pigeon pose is a great stretch to relieve tightness in the body, especially when you are sitting or slouching too much. Modern day life has become more sedentary and this pose can increase the tightness in the pelvic muscles, hips and back. This is one of the top hip opening poses in yoga, and it also stretches out the piriformis and glutes. Children may even feel an emotional release from this pose!
6. Tree Pose
When our minds are racing and we’re stressed out, we want to feel grounded. Tree pose can do just that! This asana means you have to focus on balance and coordination, which shifts your mind away from stressful thoughts!
To do this pose, start by standing in Mountain Pose. Then, place the sole of one foot against the opposite inner thigh. You can also turn your hip out and keep your toes on the ground. After that, raise your arms up above your head or bring your palms together in front of your heart. This pose can be held for 5-10 breaths before switching to the other side. Tree pose not only helps relieve stress but strengthens the core. It’s a win-win situation!
7. Warrior 1 Pose
This pose starts with one leg in a high lunge position and the other leg straight behind you with the foot flat on the floor if possible. The front knee should be over the front ankle with your toes pointed ahead. The kids should engage their legs and lift their arms overhead. Warrior 1 pose strengthens the core, shoulders, arms and legs. It also enhances circulation in the body and allows you to focus on balance. With a full body stretch, it relieves many emotions and stress held in the body.
Are You Ready to Teach Yoga to Kids?
We’ve learned the importance of yoga in our lives and how it can be beneficial for kids. You now know that yoga can help relieve stress in the body and mind.
Introducing yoga to kids doesn’t have to be challenging. You can start off with a simple routine and practice the 7 poses mentioned above.
Are you ready to teach yoga to kids?
Tvisha Patel is a blog writer at Pretzel Kids. She loves doing yoga in her downtime and is currently a business student at Schulich School of Business – York University, in Ontario, Canada. Tvisha also enjoys exploring nature, music and photography!