oga has been around for a really long time, though not so long ago it seemed like a mystery to many.  Now, yoga is a regular part of our lives.  Whether or not you’re one of the estimated 10% (or more) of US adults who practice, it’s hard not to notice yoga’s mainstream growth.  If you live in a major city, you can’t walk five blocks without seeing a mat-toting yogi or a new studio popping up in the neighborhood.  With all of the physical, mental and emotional benefits of the practice, it’s easy to understand why it has become so popular.  And now kids are getting in on it too- more than 3% of kids in the US.  The big question is, should more or all kids be practicing yoga?  My opinion is a resounding yes.

Even with the yoga boom and many offerings that stray far from the most traditional forms of the practice, stigmas surrounding yoga still exist.  Many people who feel uncomfortable letting thwie children participate or avoid yoga themselves associate it with religion.  While there are forms of the practice which can be very spiritual, lots of yoga, especially when it’s geared towards kids, has no religious or spiritual aspects at all.  If this is an issue that has prevented you or your children from practicing yoga in the past, it’s by no means a silly concern, but certainly shouldn’t keep you away from the wonderful world of yoga.  If you’re worried about it, ask the teacher or studio if they incorporate any spirituality into their teaching.  If it’s a class for kids, chances are it won’t.  Once you’ve gotten past any doubts if your child should practice yoga, you can start to look at all of the reasons why they should.

What is Yoga?

The simplest way I explain yoga to kids and not-yet-yogis is: yoga is a series of movements connected to breathing.  Cut out the fancy poses, peaceful studios, expensive yoga pants, etc. and that’s what you’re left with.  Which is one of the reasons yoga is so wonderful for kids (and everyone else)- it’s simple.  While mats are a staple of yoga, you don’t need one to practice, nor do you need the straps or blocks or bolsters.  All you need to practice yoga is your body in any form, shape or size  And that’s a great place to start.  Because whether or not your child excels in sports, yoga is guaranteed something they can do.

Why is Yoga Good for Kids?

Besides the simplicity of practice, the benefits of yoga for children is extensive.  From young children to teenagers, inactive kids to serious athletes, yoga can help:

-Increase concentration

-Lower stress

-Improve body control and awareness

-Reduce risk of injury

And that’s just a small sampling of the benefits.  Kids can practice yoga on their own or it can be used as a great social tool or family workout.  Because yoga is non-competitive, it can be done in groups of individuals with very different athletic abilities.  While I am a big proponent of kids experiencing appropriate competitive environments, it’s very important to find activities where kids can find quality movement and see improvement without the pressure to win or compare themselves to someone else.

To read the whole article, do visit http://www.superhealthykids.com.

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