Can we teach yoga to pre-schoolers? If yes, what are the benefits?
Humans are the intelligent species as we evolved through thousands of years and here we are now with busy life full of contamination, pollution and junk food. It has changed our lifestyle significantly compared to our ancestors.
As we are evolving, we have learned from our environment, plants and animals. They are different types of yoga – Hatha yoga, Bikram yoga, Iyengar yoga, Vinyasa yoga, kundalini yoga, Ashtanga Namaskaram yoga .
Yoga comprises of physical postures, meditation and breathing. By practising yoga we improve our self spiritually, physically and psychologically. Yoga improves our health, keeps us active and relaxed, it also helps us in finding inner peace and increases the inner core strength.
What if, we had learned yoga from our childhood and what if, we teach our vibrant adorable little children yoga form an early age?
Yes, teaching yoga is indeed an exceptional gift you have given to your child. Yoga from an early age helps the child to have a healthy life, increase flexibility and concentration, helps them in relaxing, increase strength, emotional balance and regulate good control of hormones. There are four vital aspects to teach yoga to preschoolers.
4. Patience and care
To a pre-schooler, everything is playing and having fun so we have to plan a creative way of teaching yoga to children like involving them to play yoga games, observe the children and choose a plan that would be interesting to the children.
For example, write all the yoga asana names on paper and tell the children to pick one and do the asana in that paper and add some music and songs too children, who love singing and dancing.
Have some patience because teaching a class full of children is tough, but teaching adults and children need care. While doing yoga, children might lose balance and fall. They might cry and throw a tantrum, with a little care and a good talk, they will stop crying and play again.
The best way to get the attention of children is to let them sing on the topics of yoga, dance to the tune and have some games. Children might lose interest if the class is having a harsh and authoritative environment. So make the atmosphere of the class pleasing
Make it regular for children so that they can get accustomed to the lessons and 20 to 30 minutes of yoga lessons would be good. If the child shows interest gradually increase the time.
Teaching yoga to children is to show them by making an asana and to share the pictures of the yoga asana and let them mimic the postures, but keep an eye on every child and correct their postures if they are making a mistake so they don’t hurt themselves.
There are some good asana for children
Bow pose (Dhanurasana) helps in regulating the digestive system and stretches back chest shoulders and legs.
Cat pose (Marjariasana) helps the torso spine and neck to stretch.
Frog pose (Mandukasana) helps in stretching hips, spine and thighs.
Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) it strengthens the spine, stretches the abdomen, chest and shoulders, and it is good for asthma.
Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) helps in the flexibility of the spine.
Butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana) helps in menstruation in girls and helps in regulating bowel movement.
Easy pose (Sukhasana) relieves stress and anxiety.
Corpse pose (Shavasana) helps to maintain heart rate and blood pressure reduce anxiety and fatigue.
Chair pose (Utkatasana) regulates heart functioning and digestive system.
Tree pose (Vrikshasana) helps the thigh muscles, ankles and calves, increases the concentration and balancing.
Hero pose (Virasana) improves posture and digestion.
It’s better to have a child family or caretakers to be present in session until the child gets accustomed to the environment.
Arrange the topics, plan of the sessions and yoga asana pictures in bright colourful ways. Show the children the videos of other children doing the same asana, based on your plan of the sessions.
Meditation is another step of yoga that reduces anxiety, ADD, depression, and increases the concentration, behaviour of the child in school, empathy towards others and self-control.
It helps the child to face critical challenges in the long run. Teaching meditation to children is not an impossible task but it requires a lot of patience.
Children love to play, dance and have fun but when we ask them to sit and close your eyes for some time, they might be peeping and they wouldn’t sit for long.
So it requires our patients to teach them and does not ever force them to sit and meditate. The child would show less interest in it.
1. Choose a quiet and fresh environment to meditate. For example, an open playground or park would be great for children.
2. Tell them to breathe in and breathe out in a calm manner. Do it along with the children that would encourage them even more to do.
3. Use a calming and soothing sound to make the children do the meditation.
4. Choose the duration of 5 to 10 minutes for beginner’s, which would be a good start.
5. Choose a routine plan to get them into a rhythm.