Yoga is a physical activity that helps children gain strength, flexibility and balance. It also has many wonderful benefits that guide them through concentration and mindfulness exercises — encouraging them to calm their mind and body.
Teaching your child yoga provides a way for them to learn to focus without distractions. It supports healthy body movement and promotes overall health. In other words — yoga is good for kids!
You might already understand how it plays an important role in their physical development. But did you know that it can improve their brain health, too?
Benefits yoga can have on children's brain health
Yoga Improves Concentration and Memory in Children
Yoga for children can improve their concentration and memory. While the practice is primarily about physical movement, it also boosts your child’s control over their body and how they breathe. When they learn these new habits, children tend to focus on their bodies in a new way, improving their concentration and memory skills. For instance, children perform breathing exercises during yoga. This activity helps them figure out how to keep their breath steady when anxious or stressed — which is great for kids with ADHD or other attention challenges. Additionally, yoga helps children develop better memory skills. That’s because yoga allows kids to build better muscle control and increase blood flow to the brain — enabling greater neural activity and improved communication between neurons.
2. Children Develop Better Motor Skills
The benefits of yoga for kids go beyond being a fun activity — it also improves their motor skills. Yoga teaches children to control their bodies, which is an important part of developing balance and coordination so they can move easily. Helping kids learn to focus on their movements and how their body feels as they move through each pose helps them learn more about themselves. However, it goes beyond learning how to hold a pose — it’s about learning how your body responds to different movements and how you feel. Therefore, when kids practice yoga regularly and consistently, they’ll notice their ability to move more easily in their everyday lives— even when they’re not doing yoga!
3. Maintains Better Mental Health
Yoga is a great way to improve children’s brain health by boosting their mental health and well-being. When your child performs yoga, they learn to stay calm and positive during a tough time or when facing challenges at school or home. They learn how to deal with stress in healthy ways so that it doesn’t build up over time and get out of control.
Yoga can be especially helpful for kids who have trouble sleeping at night because it helps them learn how to relax their bodies and minds before bed. Additionally, they can feel more relaxed throughout the day when they know how to breathe deeply. A recent study found that 24 yoga sessions over 12 weeks improve students' quality of sleep and stress reduction. Plus, when children improve their mental health with yoga, they build self-confidence because it encourages them to try new things without fear.
Yoga also improves children’s brain health by allowing them to learn more about their bodies. It gives them the opportunity to explore their movements and sensations. Over time, they develop self-awareness — a key part of their emotional intelligence. Kids who recognize how they feel and why they feel this way are able to control their emotions better. When kids practice yoga in a group setting, they also see how other people move. This experience teaches them there’s often no right or wrong way to do something — everyone moves differently. A child who understands this will be less likely to judge themselves or others based on how they look or act — they’ll know that everyone has their own story and needs.
5. Improves Decision-Making Abilities
Yoga also helps children improve their decision-making abilities in various ways. First, yoga teaches kids how to take responsibility for their actions. When kids make choices about how they want to hold their body during a pose or movement, they learn that they’re responsible for the outcome of their actions — and that those outcomes can be positive or negative, depending on how they choose to act. Second, yoga encourages children to set goals and achieve them. This outlet for creative expression through movement and breath control allows kids to feel accomplished once they reach their goals. They’ve worked hard for it!
Last but not least, yoga exercises like breathing exercises and stretching help children build confidence in their ability to control their bodies and minds. This self-esteem makes smart choices easier because kids will feel empowered by their capabilities rather than being dependent on others' opinions or guidance.
Boost Your Child’s Brain Health With Yoga
Yoga is a fun, low-stress way to improve your child’s brain health and keep them fit. So the next time your kid asks you to do yoga with them — say yes! It will benefit your child in various ways and allow you to make the most of your time together.
This week, we go over the Turtle Pose. Inspired by the patient turtle, this pose increases mental focus and stretches the arms, back, and legs. This pose looks like a turtle withdrawing into its shell!