Yoga is a gift and has become quite mainstream for adults in recent years. It is an uplifting, noncompetitive, mind-expanding, and fun way for children to build strength, spirit, and self-esteem. But children aren’t little adults: they have different needs, respond to different stimuli, and learn in different ways.
Yoga has to be adapted for the little ones so they can benefit significantly, and in some ways, possibly even more so than it nourishes adults. Stretch like a dog, balance like a flamingo, breathe like a bunny, or stand strong and tall like a tree, makes them play, and connect more deeply with their inner self and develop an intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds them.
Our children live in a hurry-up world of busy parents, school pressures, incessant lessons, video games, malls, and competitive sports. We usually don’t think of these influences as stressful for our kids, but often they are.
Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Firstly, any exercise program begun in childhood helps kids to remain physically active and healthy as a lifestyle. Yoga is non-competitive and teaches self-acceptance. There is no one better or worse at yoga than anyone else; we are all just exploring our bodies and learning from them in our own way. Yoga is truly for every body.
Yoga also teaches acceptance and tolerance of others. In practicing yoga, kids learn early in life that all living beings are to be cherished and respected as they are, thus helping to create more peaceful local communities and a more peaceful world in our future.
Every time there is more studies that explore the relationship between yoga participation and the effects on children’s academic achievement (grades, homework, academic challenges, concentration, attention to detail), general health (stress, posture, absenteeism, nervousness, energy level) and personal attributes (self-confidence, behavior, personal responsibility, sense of humor, creativity). Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination,body alignment and body awareness. In addition, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improves.
Nowadays, to encourage the practice of this technique at home is very simple with the new technologies. Tutorials, virtual classes or even videos from Trolls, Frozen and Spiderman are available so the little ones can practice it at home. Children learn more about their minds and bodies and what they are capable of.
Athleisure wear companies are fast recognizing and responding to the outfitting needs of the growing numbers of kids and teens who practice yoga too. Brands are offering trendy confortable clothes for kids and teens.
For the inspiration behind some of this season’s most fashion-forward kids yoga looks, we looked at the companies and brands driving the trends. Zara, Zakti Activewear, Ivivva Athletica, K-deer, GAP, Adidas, Nike, USA Pro (by Little Mix) or AZ among others.
We realize that not only the leggins and tops are trend. The boom of eco-friendly materials is evident in all accessories like Gathre Mats. Prints and illustration also added value to attract the youngest to the practice of this millenary technique. If children can learn how to relax and be still, they will be able to handle better the stressors and pressures that will begin to hit them as they get older. Yoga brings that marvelous inner light that all children have to the surface.