Be Your Own Kid's Yogi!

by DavalosMcCormack on November 20, 2009

Last week we took care of Emma Danger, she’s 10 months old now and just beginning to stand, but she has the yoga “happy baby”  pose down. Emma Danger In fact, Emma can suck her toes and sit for long periods of time in a sling on her mother’s chest. She is one flexible little gal.

Emma was who I was thinking about when we were at our yoga class on Tuesday night.  I was wishing that my joints were as flexible and loose as Emma’s. They are NOT.  But I get a lot out of yoga – breathing, concentration, calming and general well being.  Yoga is not only a good form of exercise, it can be an essential element in relieving stress.

It got me to thinking about the benefits yoga can bring to children.  After all, if Emma does yoga and she’s only 10 months (granted she doesn’t even know she’s doing it) then children may be completely comfortable learning yoga techniques and gain the same benefits that we adults do from this practice.

So I did a little research and guess what.  Yoga not only helps children concentrate, breathe, calm themselves, but there are studies that find  it can do a heck of a lot more as the child grows.  In fact, just by introducing yoga, kids can gain a life long benefits.

Molly Kenny, MS-CCC of the Samarya Center, studies and uses yoga as therapy for everything from toddlers to hospice patients.  She has found that just the physical act of balancing seems improve self-esteem, concentration, a connection to the body.  Children who practice simple yoga techniques may not only be more able to calm themselves  but may be better able to regulate their emotions and manage stress.

Studies done by SYTAR, the first Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research, suggest that children who do yoga,  may also choose better foods to eat and they might even begin a life long habit that includes more physical activity than children who do not practice yoga.

And you can find all kinds of yoga classes on YouTube if you search yoga for kids, it’s free and you don’t need equipment for the most part!

So here are a few things you can do with your little ones right now.

My first meditation: Have your children join you in a comfortable spot,  everyone close your eyes and take 3 slow, deep breaths – inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.  Repeat this two or three times before the children slowly open their eyes. – This breaks the cycle of constant activity and creates a quiet time where they are still and present in the moment.

Get your baby to giggle – This is a fun activity, make faces, tell a joke, do a silly dance.  Emma Danger loves it when we do head banging…tossing our hair around.  For some reason she thinks that’s hysterical… So what?  Well, laughter creates endorphins, decrease stress hormones, lowers blood pressure, elevates moods and becomes a natural pain killer in the body.

Get out the clay!  When children have a creative outlet they concentrate and the creativity of working with clay has a soothing effect.  It’s a good way to unwind and relieve stress.

So put your child on a path to less stress and better health.  You can be your own kid’s Yogi!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Simone D November 20, 2009 at 11:20 am

Doing Yoga with babies is AWESOME. Emma Danger and I put on some music the other day and rocked out while rolling around on the floor. But for sheer hippietastic awesomeness I recommend Yogi Oki Doki! Just the name fills me with glee.

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Davalos/McCormack November 20, 2009 at 11:39 am

She’s like a little Buddha…the happy one!

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