What Is Yoga?
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘yoga’? Is your answer stretching, breathing or twisting your body in different shapes? If yes, then you are on the same track as most people. However, yoga is so much more than that. Originated many centuries ago in India, yoga is essentially the alignment of our physical body with our mental well being. It is a form of meditational exercise that combines stretching along with deep breathing to give you a sense of peace and serenity.
There is a common misconception that yoga is quite easy. However, this is far from the truth. A lot of the asanas or positions performed in yoga require you to stretch your body in a way that it hasn’t been stretched before. You are essentially activating dormant muscles in your body that haven’t been used before. However, at the same time, you do get instructions regarding each pose and modifications can be made to ensure you aren’t exerting excess pressure or strain.
The Benefits Of Yoga
In today’s stressful environment, with people following unhealthy lifestyle habits we are bound to be tormented by anxiety and stress. However, the next time your problems are getting the best of you, don’t go for the alcohol or drugs to blow off some steam. Grab a yoga mat instead.
If we take a look into the number of benefits, yoga has to offer, there are countless.
- Provides relief from countless physical ailments: Yoga is essentially a practice of different postures or asanas that strengthen your body and mind. It is known to treat hypertension, obesity, asthma etc.
- Aids in concentration: the practice of different breathing techniques is what calms the mind. Yoga tends to sharpen an intellectual mind. It helps you in having good control and balance of your emotions. It encourages healthy emotional behavior.
- Practical philosophy: It teaches an individual about various virtues like patience, self-discipline, and self-awareness.
- No age barrier: Yoga can be performed by any individual. Be it a small kid or even the elderly, anyone can practice this ancient art of meditational exercise to achieve their desired goal.
Remember that yoga is not a free size or one-size fits all activity. What works out for you might not work out for someone else. More importantly, there are different poses that serve different purposes.
Yoga For Kids
Any gender at any age can perform yoga as it is a versatile art form that serves a different goal for a different purpose. Kids these days live in an extremely stressful world of competitive games, peer pressure, and rigorous lessons. To the common eye, they might not be going through a lot, but the pressure keeps mounting. You might have noticed, more schools are introducing yoga as an essential part of their curriculum. This is because it has innumerable benefits and has a huge impact on kid’s lives.
Practicing yoga right from a young age will sculpt your kid’s mind and body. It will shape them to grow into focused, calm and creative individuals. In today’s competitive world, even kids go through a lot of peer pressure and stressful competition. Yoga is an excellent medium to streamline this pressure and release stress through stretching and breathing exercises. Moreover, studies have also shown that practicing yoga from a young age can help avoid problems like anxiety disorders, depression patterns etc.
Benefits Of Yoga For Kids
- Teaches acceptance and tolerance: Namaste, which means the light in me sees the light in you. This is just one of the many examples of how yoga inculcates acceptance and tolerance in young minds. It promotes the message of peace and balance in life.
- Helps you focus and concentrate: In a world full of distractions, yoga can be your guiding light. Breathing exercises, when combined with a few specific asanas, can help center and balance your thought process. This also helps in understanding and connecting you with how each part of your body functions. It encourages awareness.
- Supports positive mental health: Yoga is known to improve the overall mental well being by reducing stress and anxiety levels.
- Promotes a healthy body: Through a good blend of various stretching and breathing exercises, the kid develops a healthier stronger body. This activity also improves flexibility and coordination in many kids.
- Improves confidence: Through the completion of each asana, the child senses a feeling of achievement and satisfaction. It is known to boost confidence and self-esteem levels in children. It also at the same time, prevents the kid from having later episodes of mental breakdowns in their lives.
Yoga Poses For Kids
- Surya namaskar- sun salutation
- Virabhadrasana– warrior pose
- Dhanurasana– bow pose
- Sarvangasana– shoulder stand pose
- Vrikshasana– tree pose
- Shavasana– corpse pose
A good tip is to demonstrate these asanas instead fo speaking them out loud. Chances are they are more likely to register the pose better with their eyes rather than their ears.