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10 reasons yoga is great for ALL children

"It's yoga time!" I hear as I pace across the gym, seeing eager faces peek out of the door, the sound of rustling bags and hurried scraping chairs.

I am on my way to collect my yoga students, a selection of five lively 8-year-olds from their classroom. They have been working with me every week for the past two months. I'll admit, when they first started coming they were reluctant to try yoga - and some of the boys thought that yoga was just for girls - but we went with the motto of 'give it a go' and they are now visibly excited to come to class.

"Can we lead our own mini class today?" One of my students asks joyfully. This is something I promised last class, as I began to see the children remembering poses, sequences, and becoming more confident within their yoga knowledge.

"Maybe we can show the rest of our class the new poses and breathing techniques we learn today!" Another student exclaims. They want to share their new knowledge with others.

This is a lovely anecdote, however, in most of my classroom teaching career yoga has not featured regularly in the schools I have taught in. It is the exception, rather than the rule, that yoga and mindfulness feature in lessons.

This is something The Calm Club is on a mission to change: yoga has so many benefits for ALL children!

Here are 10 of them..

  1. Yoga is a non-competitive, accessible, non-judgemental way of moving. Some form of yoga can be done by any child, regardless of what they look like and how 'good' at sport they are.

  2. Yoga teaches a child how to take a moment to his or herself, and breathe. It promotes mental and emotional clarity. Yoga is unique in this way.

  3. You can practice physical yoga with very little equipment, a mat is really all you need.

  4. Yoga can build self-esteem and self-respect. It’s an opportunity to practice focused play and movement, without being perfect or 'good' at the pose.

  5. Yoga games and partner activities build collaboration, communication and soft skills like leadership. Yoga challenges children to work with each other in a supportive and creative way.

  6. Yoga enhances coordination and promotes balance, in turn improving focus and concentration.

  7. Yoga enhances flexibility, challenging muscles that may not be used routinely, especially when those ones we sit on a lot!

  8. Yoga encourages mindfulness and a mind-body connection that most of us ignore during our daily lives. This is a toolkit that children take with them throughout their lives!

  9. Multiple studies of children with behavioural and physical challenges demonstrate benefits. Yoga practice can decrease aggressive behaviour, hyperactivity, and social withdrawal in children with autism and those with ADHD.

  10. Yoga promotes patience. Need I say more on this hugely valuable skill?!

Still not sure? Come and try a class, event or programme with us.

At The Calm Club we have years of cumulative experience with children of all ages, and believe that yoga should be accessible to everyone.

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