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Why Your Kids Should Learn Yoga Immediately

Why Your Kids Should Learn Yoga Immediately

Do you think that yoga is only for adults? Maybe because it has been around for 5,000 years and is usually associated with rather serious-looking grown-ups in unusual poses. Well, think again, because yoga is also great for kids! The overall benefits are that they can learn to calm down and become more aware of their bodies through proper breathing and self-control. In addition, it helps kids become aware of the importance of harmony between mind, body and spirit. Here are eight reasons why you should get you kids started on yoga so that they can really benefit.

1. Yoga helps with flexibility

Once kids start to learn the basics of stretching and correct breathing, they will soon start to gain in flexibility. This is great for preventing injuries and sprains when they do other sports.

2. Yoga can help kids to sleep better

The National Sleep Foundation has found that as many as 69% of kids under the age of 10 are not getting enough sleep. Doing a few bedtime poses such as Greeting the Moon or getting the child to hug her knees into her chest are great ways of winding down. These movements favor more restful and longer sleep. The book Sleepy Little Yoga: A Toddler’s Sleepy Book of Yoga has lots of great ideas to make the bedtime routine more enjoyable.

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3. Yoga is non-competitive

Sports can become over-competitive. and it is important to teach a child how to win and lose graciously. But yoga focuses on more than just the child’s athletic prowess: There is no emphasis on whether a child is obese, too thin or simply not fast enough—yoga can work for every body. It is also teaching kids to gain self-esteem—qualities which tend to be forgotten on the sports field.

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    4. Yoga helps kids to remain calm

    How many times have we had to tell kids to count to ten when they are about to lose it or throw a tantrum? When they learn yoga, they already know how correct breathing can calm them down. When these techniques are combined with yoga games and songs, kids can easily manage stress and regain inner peace when the going gets tough.

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    5. Yoga may help kids with ADHD

    A study carried out at the University of Sydney found that boys with ADHD benefited from doing yoga. There was an improvement in behavior, hyperactivity and attention span. Other studies have revealed similar benefits, although more extensive research needs to be done.

    6. Yoga can be fun for kids

    Children’s yoga can be child’s play. They can imitate the animal sounds of the poses they are doing, such as the Downward-facing Dog or the Cat pose. Colorful mats can be chosen so that they have some fun when doing the various exercises. Watch the video below for more fun activities with yoga.

    7. Yoga can help kids recover more quickly from illness

    Yoga has been used with success in helping children get over serious illness. It is especially useful in helping to tone muscles that have been inactive for long spells. A therapist at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York has found that it also helps older kids deal better with anxiety. Yoga can never replace essential treatment, but when used as a complementary type of therapy, it has proved to be quite beneficial for both kids and adults.

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    8. Yoga can help kids to focus

    Many of the yoga poses are connected with balance and coordination. In order to do these successfully, kids need to focus and concentrate. Improved attention span will also help them in their academic studies.

    As we have seen, yoga for kids (and adults!) will help them to be calmer and more relaxed while at the same time help them build their self-esteem and confidence. They will also be much more aware of the need for inner peace and harmony. Now tell me what other extra curricular activity offers all that in one package?

    Have your kids tried yoga? What were the benefits? Let us know in the comments.

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    Featured photo credit: Little Creations Yoga Class/Alex Burhmann via flickr.com

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    Robert Locke

    Freelance writer

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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