Yoga originated in ancient India and is one of most popular meditation techniques across the globe. Yoga means union, a spiritual and ascetic discipline that is aimed at the union of the body, mind and spirit through specific physical postures, focused breathing and controlled thought.
Educators, therapists and yoga gurus have pointed out numerous benefits of yoga for children. Just like adults, children experience emotional, social, and physical conflicts, yoga can intervene by helping them resolve these conflicts by practicing postures and breathing that improve concentration, leads to self-discovery, self-esteem and helps children to react to situations appropriately. Yoga also instills values of sincerity, restraint, cleanliness, gratitude and discipline.
The advantages of practicing yoga include:
Boosts confidence and self-respect: Yoga inculcates the qualities of perseverance and patience to master a certain posture. When the masters the posture he/she becomes confident and takes pride in himself/herself in achieving it.
Refines balance and coordination: The intention of balance in yoga is to stimulate mental and physical coordination. Learning physical balance and coordination promotes overall dexterity.
Increases concentration: To perform a certain pose focus and concentration is required; practicing focus helps them to concentrate in academics, sports and extra-curricular activities.
Sound mind in a sound body: Yoga builds physical well-being and fortifies mental health. Therefore children are physically and psychologically braced to face various types of stress they are subjected to with vigor and buoyancy.
Suitable for diverse categories of children: Yoga is advantageous to not just children of all ages but for all types of children irrespective of the personality they possess, inhibited children who shy away from participating in sports activities due to fear of losing can be encouraged to practice yoga thereby fulfilling the need for physical activity and exertion. Yoga is also instrumental in reducing anxiety, hyperactivity, aggression and withdrawal in children with special needs like ADHD and autism.
Yoga is indeed an expedient discipline that must be encouraged to ward off instability and illness and to instill compassion, attention, restraint and flexibility.