I’ve always wanted my little one to participate in activities. Until recently, child yoga wasn’t even on my mom radar. We enrolled sweet Luis in soccer, which sadly didn’t work out because well, as it turns out, he prefers to play with dirt! There was the brief stint in a toddler gymnastics class that cost me an arm and a leg. And then there is piano class, which, oi vei, did I mention he’s a toddler?
It’s tough to keep him entertained while participating in activities that are also beneficial for his development. So when I saw a social media event for a child yoga class for toddlers at YogaPlay, I was intrigued. Yoga for kids? I’d never considered it! With absolutely zero knowledge of yoga, I slapped on some leggings and headed to a mommy and me class with my little one. Did I love it? YES! Did he enjoy it? YES! I’m so glad I ran across this budding activity for Luisito.
7 Benefits of Child Yoga
As we have grown in our yoga practice, I have seen so many changes in my 4-year-old. And I’ve found other child yoga opportunities as well. Hope you enjoy, and I encourage you to check out a child yoga class!
1. Improves mind-body connection
Yoga is intended to strengthen the body while calming the mind. Luis has definitely taken this into practice during his sessions. Through his time in yoga, he has practiced relaxing the mind by focusing on certain poses and exercises.
2. Improves coordination and balance
Luis loves when he and his peers “build bridges” in yoga by laying out foam stepping stones and balance on each foot as they step across. I have noticed that over time he has definitely improved his overall balance, which I know is a great motor activity for his growing body.
3. Improves concentration
Luis has shown me that concentration can be achieved, even for a 4-year-old! Through attempting various poses, he has had to focus on his activity to complete it correctly. Since he began yoga, I can honestly say that I’ve seen a carryover of attention skills for when he is completing homework for his Pre-K3 class. Who knew?!
4. Increases self-esteem
Yoga encourages Luis to master poses and exercises through his own effort. When we are at home, I have been pleasantly surprised to hear him proclaim, “Look mommy, I’m doing the airplane,” while he stands on one leg with his arms out wide. He is proud of himself for being able to do certain poses, and I enjoy watching him build a healthy self-esteem.
5. Maintains flexibility
I am not a yoga connoisseur, but watching little ones do different poses even makes me feel the stretch! Poses are done while sitting, standing and anything in between.
6. Sparks creativity
My son is a typical 4-year-old; he plays pretend with his toys and comes up with things that I would have never thought of. I love that yoga fosters an environment that furthers his creativity. Oftentimes a session will revolve around a certain location, such as pretending to be in a jungle or at the park. Luis definitely loves it, and this momma loves watching and listening to the wacky things he comes up with!
7. Encourages kindness
If there is one thing that I want my son to be, it is to be kind. If there is one thing I want him to do, it is to do good. So when the yoga instructor reviews a daily affirmation, it is something that brings joy to my heart as a mother. For example, a daily affirmation that I personally enjoyed was “I act with love.” In today’s society, hearing such positive and uplifting messages is truly important, and as we know, toddlers listen to everything. So why not listen to this instead?
Want to see the benefits for yourself? Grab your kids and leave your shoes at home. Here are some locations offering classes. If you know of others, please leave us a comment below!
605 E Violet, Suite 6
Infinite Love Weekly Meditation for Kids
2205 Cornerstone Blvd
Speer Memorial Library
801 E. 12th Street
Free Kids Yoga available during Little Tykes Story Time, Wed. 10AM
*Photos courtesy of YogaPlay