Children's Yoga Gear to Get Started
Instructors recommend that parents invest in a few inexpensive items to get their children started. With just a small investment, a corner of a room can be converted into a comfortable space with everything a child needs to begin practicing. Compared to the cost of joining a studio or paying for a gym membership, these props are a worthwhile expenditure that will give kids the flexibility to go through the poses, breathing techniques, and meditation any time they feel inspired. It's also a good idea to gather children's yoga books to read before going down this path. The characters share their own journey and all the ways yoga has helped them become stronger both physically and mentally.
- Yoga Pose Cards: There are so many good options available that provide excellent visual and written instruction for kids to complete an entire set of yoga poses. Pictures of the various positions provide excellent clues for kids to follow. During the beginning, kids will likely not be able to perfectly align their bodies with the pictures. That is okay as long as they are not in danger of injuring themselves or pulling a muscle. Initially kids just need to get their bodies into the general position, and then over time they can work to perfect their technique. There are lots of great yoga pose cards for kids, like Yoga Pretzels, which include fifty poses on sturdy cards. Games and other activities are included in this deck. Another popular set for beginners is the Yogi Yoga Cards for Joyful Learning that effectively combine games and poses to keep young ones interested and engaged.
- Children's Yoga Mats: One of the best things about yoga is that it can be done just about anywhere without a lot of expensive equipment. A flat surface, comfortable clothing, and a mat are the only things necessary to work through a series of yoga poses. But if you are so inclined to add a little fun to your child's yoga routine, kids' yoga mats with bold colors, fun characters, and designs appeal to little kids. Mats with unicorns, dinosaurs, pandas, and other characters are always a big hit. The most important features to consider include whether it is lightweight and hypoallergenic. Also, make sure the mat has a non-slip surface and is easily cleaned, or even better, machine washable. An affordable option, especially if buying for multiple children, is Hello Fit Kids Yoga Mat which is durable, functional, and thick enough for kids to hold extended poses safely and comfortably.
- Hoberman Sphere: One of the most important fundamentals in yoga is practicing breathing techniques. Deep, mindful breathing aligns the mind with the physical movements. A Hoberman sphere is often referred to as a breathing ball as it serves as a focal point for mindful breathing. When the ball is expanded, it represents the lungs filling with air. As the sphere is collapsed, yogis exhale slowly. A popular expandable breathing ball can be incorporated into a yoga session, and also used in other stress-relief manners.
- Balance Balls: For kids who are further along developmentally, it may be time to add balance ball to their yoga sessions. These balls are designed to increase lumbar, or lower back, mobility and increase both abdominal and lower back strength. With time, kids will have more control over their core body muscles, which will ultimately help them perfect and hold yoga poses. A popular kids' yoga ball is smaller and durable enough to withstand a lot of activity.
Children's Yoga Gift Ideas
There are lots of fun yoga-related items to get kids excited about trying this new activity. Mats, balance boards, games, and accessories are all fun gift to give little ones who want to improve their core strength, balance, mental health, and have a little fun along the way.
This colorful yoga mat, suitable for kids ages 5-9, comes with a lot of perks. There is a helpful poster with examples of yoga poses to get kids started on their journey. Also, this purchase gives children access to numerous yoga videos and an app that provides detailed yoga instruction. Bring the benefits of a yoga class into a child's home with this all-in-one gift for budding yogis.
A high-quality curvy board is an excellent tool to help children work on balance and posture. Kids will develop better coordination and control by practicing on this balance board. It is durable, supports up to 400 pounds, and can be used both indoors and outdoors. This versatile piece of equipment can also be put to use in other fun ways, like ramps and bridges for toy vehicles, goals for little soccer games, and many other things.
This is just one example of the many adorable yoga mats designs. Choose from sharks, birds, dinosaurs, unicorns, and more! These well-made mats have a textured, slightly sticky surface to prevent slipping. There is a style for every little yoga beginner to make all of their poses even more enjoyable and fun.
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Why Yoga is Beneficial for Children
Kids can reap the rewards from practicing yoga just like adults. It's a practice that can be incorporated into a child's day without interfering with the many other commitments, like school, sports practices or music lesson. Just like eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep, practicing yoga is an excellent way for a child to maintain good mental and physical health.
- Children need tools to handle their stress. Just like their parents, kids are carrying quite a bit of stress on their shoulders. Many times they are not able to articulate what is bothering them, so the symptoms of stress show up in their behavior and temperament. The cause may seem insignificant in comparison to the burden adults are carrying, but it is very real and difficult for little ones to handle. Yoga is an effective way for children of all ages to release the physical symptoms of stress through breathing and stretching. Like the characters in kids's books about anxiety children who feel constantly worried can benefit tremendously by practicing yoga.
- Research points to improvements in children with ADHD who practice yoga. Kids who struggle with impulsivity, inattentiveness and hyperactivity can benefit from daily yoga practice. Physical exercise alone helps with these symptoms, but when the meditative and breathing components are added, the results are even more impressive. Teachers, therapists, parents, and researchers have all reported the benefits, especially in kids who have difficulty listening.
- Yoga improves physical strength and flexibility in children. All kids, no matter how athletic or inactive, will experience positive physical changes by practicing yoga. Children become much more aware of muscles they never knew existed, and learn how to challenge each of their muscle groups in new ways.
- Focus and concentration are at the core of this practice. Children learn how to train their minds to hone in on their poses. They develop a laser focus on their yoga stretches, and block out all other noise, thoughts, and stressors. This ability to concentrate carries over into school and other endeavors. Some studies have reported an improvement in grades amongst students who do yoga.
- Yoga is a practice children can carry into adulthood. Many organized athletic and exercise programs come to an end for kids at some point during their school-age years. Youth sports provide so many health benefits. But the majority of these activities end when kids graduate from high school, and oftentimes even sooner. The beauty of yoga is that kids can do it for the rest of their lives. As their bodies change and age, they can adjust their movements according to their ability and comfort.
- There is no pressure to compete with yoga. In a world where young children feel the need to outperform others to make the cut for a sports team, the pressure can feel overwhelming. Kids are escorted to excessively long practices, private lessons, and extra coaching sessions all in an effort to get ahead. With yoga, there is zero competition. In a roomful of people, there will always be a diverse range of ability in terms of flexibility and fluidity. However, the only thing that matters is how much each individual is benefitting both physically and mentally from the session.
- Emotional control is a key benefit. Kids who are prone to throwing temper tantrums usually outgrow this behavior once they are through the toddler years. But sometimes older children still have difficulty controlling their anger and can have outbursts that are disproportionate to the triggering event. When this happens, the disruptive behavior interferes with relationships and other aspects of a child's life. Breathing and meditation tools are extremely helpful in these situations.