To sustain the daily hustle, exercising or practicing yoga for at least 30-45 minutes is an absolute necessity. However, most people tend to ignore this age-old practice, especially when it comes to children.
It is also important to mention that yoga is not just meant for adults, yoga for preschoolers is also a necessity.
Practicing yoga daily has a positive impact on both mental and physical health. It provides a plethora of benefits to its practitioners. If you are curious to know more about some effective yoga for preschoolers, continue reading the article then as we share some details.
1. History of Yoga
The word yoga originated from the word Yuj- a Sanskrit word that means ‘to join’. The origin of yoga is believed to have taken place 5000 years ago.
Yoga was first discovered by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India. The word yoga was first found in Rig Veda. Yoga was said to be developed by the Brahmans and Rishis in the Upanishads. This stage is also known as Pre-Classical yoga.
Classical yoga which is the next stage after Pre-Classical yoga is known by Patanjali and his Yoga-Sutras. Patanjali divided the yoga practice into eight significant steps known as ‘Eight Limbs of Yoga’.
The next stage after Classical yoga is Post-Classical yoga. It is in this stage that Tantra yoga and Hatha yoga were developed by the yoga teachers. Hatha yoga helped in connecting the mind and body and this is the yoga that is widely followed now.
The next stage after Post-Classical yoga is the Modern period. It is in this period that yoga especially, Hatha yoga slowly became popular around the world.
Practicing these yoga poses is believed to increase flexibility and strength, improve balance, reduce stress, and provide other health benefits.
2. Benefits of Yoga
- Yoga helps to calm the mind. It reduces the stress hormone that makes one relax. It also helps to deal with anxiety and depression.
- Practicing yoga helps you to sleep better. Many studies have proved that those who practice yoga daily have better sleep.
- Practicing yoga helps to improve balance by increasing flexibility and strength.
- Practicing yoga daily increases focus and concentration. It also helps to improve self-esteem.
As mentioned earlier, yoga is not only meant to be practiced by adults, yoga for preschoolers is also a necessity as young children learn the yoga benefits.
Yoga for preschoolers can be a fun activity to do if they are taught in the right way. Yoga classes should be included in the physical education classes where children can learn the yoga benefits from a small age.
A child’s yoga class is very different from an adult yoga class. In kids’ yoga class, children learn yoga while indulging in various fun activities which makes the physical activity an engaging experience.
3. Is Yoga for Preschoolers Important?
Children in today’s hectic schedule are so busy with their studies and extracurriculars that they little kids often ignore their health. Sometimes it becomes difficult for them to handle this pressure which makes them feel more stressed. Therefore, yoga for preschoolers should be made a daily inclusion.
Yoga helps children to deal with their stress and also helps them to improve their self-esteem. Yoga helps in calming the mind which helps the children to focus more on their daily activities.
4. Some Effective Yoga for Preschoolers
Yoga for preschoolers is important as yoga has several additional benefits. Once the children get habituated to some yoga poses, you can also include some breathing exercises and tell them about proper breathing techniques.
So without much ado, here are some children-friendly yoga poses that would help them to get started:
4.1 Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog or dog pose is one of the first yoga poses that are learned and enjoyed by children. This animal pose makes yoga a fun activity for children to enjoy.
4.1.1 How to Do This Yoga Pose?
- First of all, take a yoga mat. Begin on hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Take both hands and gently bend forward. Spread your fingers evenly on the floor.
- Curl your toes and lift your hips. Feel free to bend your knees slightly.
- Don’t lift your heels. Keep your heels gently on the floor.
- Put your head between the arms. Once you have got in the upside-down position, you can look between the legs.
There are also variations of this yoga pose that parents can try with their kids. You can lift one leg and assume the pose of a three-legged dog.
4.1.2 Benefits of This Yoga for Preschoolers
- It helps to improve body posture.
- It helps to increase blood flow and improves blood circulation.
- It helps to reduce stress.
4.2 Mountain Pose
The mountain pose is also another fun yoga pose to do. This yoga pose may look simple but has many health benefits.
4.2.1 How to Do This Yoga Pose?
- Take a yoga mat. Stand straight on the mat and keep your hands on your side.
- Stand straight while touching the toes and keep the feet slightly at a distance.
- Find a position where the weight of your body spreads evenly on your feet.
- Don’t tighten your knees.
- Pay attention to your breathing techniques. Breathe normally. Don’t breathe fast.
- Keep the position for up to 1 minute.
4.2.2 Benefits of This Yoga for Preschoolers
- Doing mountain poses can calm the children and can help them to increase their focus. Notice the breathing pattern. Advise them to take deep breaths.
- It helps to improve body posture. While doing this yoga pose, your knees, shoulders, feet, and hips should be in perfect alignment. Ask the children to close their eyes and feel the energy coursing through their bodies.
- It is one of the balancing poses that helps to improve balance.
Parents can encourage their children to try another variation of this yoga pose too. You can take a cushion and make your child stand on it and tell your child to stretch both hands on top of the head.
4.3 Child’s Pose
The child’s pose is one of the easiest yoga poses that helps the kid to calm themselves. This yoga is great for those kids who have difficulty falling asleep. They can practice this yoga pose as long as they feel comfortable.
4.3.1 How to Do This Yoga Pose?
- Kneel on the floor. Remember that your heels should touch your buttocks.
- Now take your both hands and stretch forward, so that your forehead touches the ground. Your palm should also touch the floor.
- While doing this, remember there shouldn’t be any distance between your heel and buttocks.
- Now close your eyes and relax your body.
- Take deep breaths. Slowly breathe in and out and stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable.
4.3.2 Benefits of This Yoga for Preschoolers
- It is a great pose to calm oneself. Parents can encourage their kids to practice this pose as it helps to reduce stress and helps in focusing on themselves.
- This yoga is great for the parasympathetic nervous system. This nervous system helps the process of digestion in our body. While doing this pose, your knees should touch the abdominal area to form a kind of pressure. This pose is great for those suffering from gas or indigestion.
- This pose can reduce your lower back and hip pain.
- It is one of the great yoga poses that help in increasing blood circulation.
- If you have difficulty in touching your forehead to the floor, you can put a cushion under your head.
- If your heel doesn’t touch your buttocks, put a cushion under your buttocks.
- Those with a knee injury shouldn’t practice this yoga.
This yoga pose can be practiced at the end of the day after a hectic and busy schedule to release all the stress. Parents can also simultaneously practice yoga with their kids too. It helps in fostering the bond between the parents and their kids.
Apart from the mentioned above, some other yoga poses for preschoolers are the baby whale pose, eagle pose, double easy pose, and breathing exercises.
5. Benefits of Yoga for Preschoolers
Some of the benefits of yoga for preschoolers are listed below.
- While doing yoga, kids learn to deal with their stress and anxiety. Doing yoga helps in overall child development. It helps the kids to deal with their stressful situations healthily.
- Another benefit of yoga for preschoolers is that it helps them to deal with the challenges in their life. It helps them to adjust to their new surroundings and control their emotions based on the situation. This essential skill is known as self-regulation skills which are necessary for the betterment of the future.
- Another benefit of yoga for preschoolers is that it helps them to achieve physical and mental balance. Kids practice hard to do a pose and when they finally succeed in doing the pose, they feel confident in themselves which helps them to improve their self-esteem. It instills in them that they can achieve anything by working hard. Yoga also helps to improve balance and posture which helps in boosting confidence.
- Another benefit of yoga for preschoolers is that it positively impacts child development. In today’s competitive environment, kids are always told to be engaged with their school studies, and tuition. Their little bodies get tired of their daily school activities and they hardly get any time for themselves. Making kids join yoga classes can bring a positive change in their overall development. They begin to identify their abilities and develop a positive mindset. This positive mindset and their love for themselves will surely help the kids to deal with mental health issues as they get older.
- Yoga helps to get rid of negative feelings and thoughts that clout mental clarity. Mental clarity means having a focused mind and not overthinking. Yoga helps kids to achieve a focused state of mind so that they can take decisions without overthinking.
- Yoga helps to improve balance. Yoga also improves strength and flexibility in kids which helps to cause less injury. While trying different yoga poses, kids learn to stay calm while balancing themselves especially if they can stand on a cushion while trying mountain poses or trying yoga poses while standing on one foot.
6. How to Teach Yoga to Kids?
Teaching kids yoga poses or being an instructor in kids’ yoga classes sounds exciting, but in reality, the scenario is a lot different. Teaching kids yoga poses can be challenging. Nevertheless, it can be a fun activity too, if they are taught yoga poses in the right way.
So, here are a few tips that will make physical activity a fun experience to learn:
6.1 Making Yoga A Fun Activity
If the kids find their yoga classes boring, they are never going to enjoy this activity, so it’s your job to make the kids fall in love with yoga.
You have to be a real entertainer while teaching them poses. You can groove with little kids, perform different activities, or make their little minds imagine different situations while trying different poses.
Initially, there is no need of telling them to perfect their poses, because with practice the poses are going to be perfect.
You need to engage the kids in different fun yoga games such as Grandmother’s yoga steps, Yogi-Says game, Yoga Ball game, and many more.
6.2 Prepare Your Lesson Accordingly
You cannot expect the kids to stay quiet or behave properly as adults. Usually, kids do not want to attend their yoga sessions and are sometimes forced by their parents to attend the classes, so be prepared to be welcomed by weird faces during yoga sessions.
Creating a lesson plan and executing the plan can sometimes be hectic, so first and foremost, you need to analyze the situation and find creative ways to handle the kids.
You have to create a flexible lesson plan that would include narrating stories, playing games, and doing poses but does not be rigid with your plan. Include some creative ideas to make yoga sessions fun and interesting.
Kids aren’t as expressive as adults. Their emotions are suppressed in this hectic lifestyle and these yoga poses for preschoolers provide several benefits.
Practicing yoga poses helps in the overall development of the child and helps them to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
These are some of the yoga asanas that preschoolers can try doing, so if you have little munchkins at home, then teach them to do this and you will see the good effects of yoga on them in no time.
1. Can yoga benefit 4-year-olds?
Although the physical poses help develop children’s gross and fine motor abilities, coordination, balance, and strength, yoga also encourages them to explore their breathing, stillness, and self-regulation.
2. At what age may a child begin practicing yoga?
When a child should begin practicing yoga is a matter of debate. Yet, yoga professionals concur that kids as young as 4 years old can begin practicing yoga.
3. When is the ideal time of day for children to practice yoga?
The enthusiasm levels are elevated in the late morning, making it easy for kids to do high-intensity activities and posture exercises before they can quickly relax and enjoy themselves.