Yoga for children is spreading around the world so quickly because of the benefits it has for a child. We’re in the bandwagon through our playgroups, where an amount of time is given for yoga. Yes, it’s in our playgroups because as we have witnessed, yoga is fun and funny for a toddler and it has so much to share in common with our goals at Kids’ Cabin: compassion, creativity and critical thinking. Through this 5,000 year-old practice, yoga fuses body and mind in a young child and provides a slowdown moment from fast paced physical play and gadget games.
How can this slowdown teach compassion? One of yoga’s central tenets is respect and honor: for ourselves, for each other and for our environment. Each child is encouraged to pay attention to their bodies and make sure every pose is comfortable and fun to do. Body awareness is the key to personal space awareness and promotes compassion for self. This promotes compassion towards others when a child acknowledges and respects the other child’s personal space. Also, a young child becomes aware of her own body parts that function in similar ways as the other children regardless of how they appear on the outside. We all have bodies that function, hearts that love and minds that think. This inspires kindness, patience and acceptance.
How does this opportunity to slow down foster creativity? Creative movement drawn out from songs, nursery rhymes and stories enrich and stimulate the young child’s imagination. It allows the toddler to express the characters from social stories as well as the lyrics from songs in ways that are personal to him. It is through this that learning entrails.
How does critical thinking develop from yoga? Studies have shown yoga can help improve focus and increase concentration on tasks. At the same time, it teaches them to relax and be comfortable with their own ways of thinking and coping with their social environment. It makes kids more attentive and engaged in multisensory activities. These are the building blocks of necessary skills that pave the way for higher thinking skills and creative problem solving.
With endless benefits to children, yoga in early childhood can be the start of a lifelong journey towards the union of mind and body.