Our lives are becoming increasingly fast-paced and creating an environment that keeps us destined for burnout.
Today, people are turning toward meditation and yoga practices to find their inner peace in an ever-chaotic world. But it’s not just adults who experience life’s pressures and hectic schedules. Our children are busier than ever.
While we see the benefits of these changes in our lives, we may struggle with how to introduce yogic principles to our children in a way that will help lay the foundation for a lifelong journey.
After all, creating the foundation of breath-work and yoga is an infallible gift for our child in an ever-changing and chaotic world.
Here are 7 simple ways to introduce yoga to your children.
Incorporate Mindfulness Into Daily Life
One of the simplest ways to ease children into the idea of yogic principles is to teach them to be mindful during day-to-day activities.
For example, ask your child what they can see or hear during outdoor walks. Help them experience life with all 5 senses until they learn to look for themselves.
“See how the leaves dance when the wind blows?”
“Can you see the colors of the sunset? What colors do you see?”
“Can you hear the birds in the trees?”
Teaching your children to slow down and live in the moment can help them prepare for a yoga or meditation practice.
Read Children’s Books About Yoga
Bring literature that is age appropriate into your home to help children see yoga as more than just a physical exercise.
Children’s books, like those in the Om Child Series by Lisa Edwards and Sandhya Prabhat, help introduce yogic principles that can be used in their daily lives. Whether you are reading with your child about ahimsa, balance, or chakras, books offer a colorful and exciting story for kids of all ages to relate to.
Practice Yoga While They Are Near
Children learn the most from watching us. Whether they are picking up how we do tasks, talk to one another, or handle a situation, children, whether we like it or not, are the greatest imitators.
Shouldn’t children also see us taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually?
While attempting to do an entire yoga session while your children are present can be a challenge, exposing them to what a yoga practice entails can intrigue them and create an interest in joining you at a later time.
Invite Them Into Your Practice
Looking for a way to spend more time with your child and help guide them on their mindfulness path? Invite them to your practice.
Including your child while you practice is a simple and effective way to introduce them to yoga and help teach them asanas and meditations.
Attend a Children’ Yoga Class
Sometimes, we just don’t know where to start. Attending a yoga class designed for children can be beneficial if this is the case. Trained yoga instructors will facilitate the class allowing you to focus more on bonding with your child.
Yoga classes can double as social time for your child as well. They get to see their peers learning and enjoying a yoga practice, making them feel like part of a collective group. It also creates opportunities for your children and you to make new friends.
Utilize Online Resources
Sometimes, it isn’t feasible to make it to a scheduled yoga class. But in today’s world, the internet provides (almost) everything we could need.
A simple search on YouTube will render thousands of results for videos of yoga sessions for children. However, it’s always best to vet the videos yourself before showing your child.
Utilizing free online resources like my free breathwork meditation by Soma Breath allows you to reel in the benefits of professional guidance without the price tag of classes at a studio.
Keep It Simple
When breaking down the asanas or breathing activities, make sure you use language your child can understand.
For marjaryasana (cat pose), make it fun, and tell kids to pretend they are a cat with an arched back. Maybe add some meows to create an experience.
If you want to teach breathing techniques, introduce the birthday cake scenario. Have the child imagine there is a delicious cake in front of them. Have them deeply inhale to “smell the cake” and then exhale to “blow out all the candles.”
Kids learn while playing and having fun. Even adults can benefit from not taking our practice (or life!) too seriously.
Ready to Make A Difference in Your Child’s and Other Children’s Lives?
It’s no secret that introducing and sticking to a yoga practice will help your child manage their mental health and help with motivation and challenging behavior. When more children are exposed to breathwork or yogic practices, they grow up with healthy coping mechanisms to fall back on.
If you are being called to help integrate holistic healing into the lives of children in your area, beginning a yoga teacher training course and adding a specialization certificate in children’s yoga or becoming a trained breathwork facilitator may be right for you.
Whether you want to help guide your child by integrating them into your practice or start a revolution of peace in your community, introducing children to yoga gives them the tools they need for a lifelong journey into themselves.
How can you incorporate yogic practices and teachings into your children’s daily routine?
Niraj is a certified pharmacist turned holistic health and breath-work expert, professional musician, serial entrepreneur, and one of the world’s most sought-after spiritual ceremony facilitators.