I was delighted to get the message that yoga classes were to be a part of school life for my three boys. Yoga is a great way to raise a child’s self-awareness and give them simple tools to ease tension, but it’s not the first extracurricular activity boys think of trying. Here are seven reasons why that should change.
1. Yoga actively calms both the body and mind by creating a basic awareness of the breath. Simple breathing techniques slow a child down. It’s fun too – especially if you weave a story into the breathing exercise.
2. Yoga can calm a child’s busy mind. A skilled teacher can guide children through a mindful practice, taking the focus away from the massive amount of sensory input around children. Yoga helps to focus a child’s attention inward.
3. Yoga is fully inclusive and uncompetitive. A child does not need to be physically fit or have good hand-eye coordination to practice yoga, unlike many other sports. Not all boys enjoy team or contact sports; yoga is a great alternative.
3. Yoga is fun and encourages a child to use their imagination and fantasy. Boys can go on great adventures where they fly like a bird, stand tall and strong like a tree, make lots of noise like a roaring lion or purr quietly like a contented cat.
5. Yoga increases a child’s confidence. There are yoga exercises which encourage children to express their emotions. Using creative visualisation techniques yoga helps children understand just how unique and special they are.
6. Yoga improves concentration. Balancing postures help children concentrate and focus their mind; keeping their mind in one place instead of letting it wander.
7. Most importantly, yoga teaches boys how to relax. Yoga teaches children that it feels good to relax. Using the ‘tense and release’ technique children experience what it’s like to feel tension, and then let it go.
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