Dana Vicktor is the senior researcher and writer for duedatecalculator.org. Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in communications and sociology. Her current focus for the site involves ovulation pain and the menstruation cycle.
Teaching Your Kids Yoga Early
Yoga has many benefits for everyone. It can help to relieve stress, improve circulation, and tone muscles. It can promote greater heart health, improve digestion, and provide greater energy.
Yoga has many excellent benefits for children, as well. Yoga can help:
- Promote balance and flexibility
- Build confidence and self-esteem
- Improve concentration
- Promote calmness
- Build strength
You don’t have to wait until your children are grown to start teaching them how to practice yoga. Here are a few tips for how to teach your kids yoga early:
Get Started Right Away
You can start teaching your kids about yoga from the moment they are born. “Mommy and Me” classes lead you through yoga exercises with your baby — though baby’s main role is to lie there and look cute. Later, toddler classes start showing your kids how to do modified versions of some of the moves with you.
By practicing yoga with your kids early, you help them to develop a love of the practice so that they can make it a part of their own routines later.
You don’t have to introduce your kids to yoga by showing them how to do shoulder stands or other complicated moves. You can start with the basics: chanting and breathing.
When you are waiting at the doctor’s office, or you are driving in the car, or you are getting ready for your day in the morning, take advantage of that time to practice together. Get your children to mimic you, and talk to them about the benefits of these practices.
Keep It Age-Appropriate
Young children have short attention spans. Don’t try to fight that, but rather, work with it. Limit the time for each exercise to no more than a minute. Take frequent breaks during your yoga practice with your children so that they don’t become too bored or restless. Speed up the pace of the routine, as well.
The key is not to overwhelm kids or to push the limits of their patience. Yoga should be enjoyable, not feel like a chore.
Make It Fun
Yoga shouldn’t feel like exercise or something that kids are forced to do. It should be fun! Help make it fun for them by including silly songs, fun challenges, or even props. Use a silly voice when you call out the moves, invite their favorite doll to “practice” with you, or use fun names for some of the poses (some of them are already pretty funny…).
Do whatever you can to make yoga a fun practice for your children, and they will learn to love it and will be more likely to practice it for years to come.
Be a Role Model
Children learn best by watching you. Show them how fun and rewarding a yoga practice can be by enjoying your own practice in front of them. Don’t treat your practice like exercise or like a chore, or your children will learn to view it in the same way.
Make yoga a regular part of your life so that you may show your children how regular practice can benefit them.
Teaching kids how to practice yoga will have a number of benefits for them, such as promoting their self-esteem and confidence while also improving their strength and flexibility. Teaching kids this wonderful practice early will make it more likely that they will continue to practice it later in life, when it will also help them to relieve stress and protect against disease.
Do you practice yoga with your children? How old were they when you started?
5 thoughts on “Teaching Your Kids Yoga Early: A Guest Post by Dana Vicktor”
It will be really nice for kids to start early learning yoga. Once they get the habit and the yoga way of living, I’m sure they’ll have less health problems in the future. The kids love it and it’s as if it is just another play time. Good job Natasha and Maher! I hope more parents in the world will learn and follow you teaching yoga to kids early.
Thanks for dropping by and leaving your thoughts, and for the encouraging comment. To be honest, we don’t really teach the kids anything specific. We just let them imitate us. As they grow, if they are inclined to do more of it, we’d be happy to do direct them. And yes, as a way of life, I hope some of it trickles down and sparks some interest. We still have a very long way to go ourselves.
My daughter is very interested in yoga because I do it, she keeps asking to come to class with me. I’ve been looking for a kids class for her, but these are really good tips for doing it at home! thanks.