Yoga for kids: What are the benefits?

Love yoga? Try it with your kids. Yoga is accessible and greatly beneficial to people of all ages.

Daddy doing yoga with daughter

Yoga isn’t just for adults! This sport is becoming more and more popular with kids and families. You’ve probably heard of studios offering classes for kids. Plus, some schools are starting to integrate yoga into their curriculum. But no need to go to a studio, you can do it at home as a family.

Kids can do yoga as soon as they learn how to walk. There are no contraindications. However, the types of exercises and length of sessions have to be adapted to their age and attention span. “Until the age of eight or nine, kids can do sessions of up to 30, or sometime 45 minutes,” says yoga teacher Julie Guéry. “It helps them learn to stay calm and focused. But they have to be able to concentrate, and after a while, it becomes difficult for kids to stay focused on one activity.” For older kids, yoga sessions can go a little longer, around one hour.

Mother and daughter do yoga

When doing yoga with kids, put fun first!

Most yoga poses are accessible to children,” says our coach. “Of course, there’s a learning curve. But anything an adult can do, a kid can do.” Keep it playful and incorporate storytelling to keep kids engaged. Yoga will help them work on concentration, precision, and discipline.

To achieve this with younger kids, it’s better to be flexible and present it as a game. Use your imagination!

“Many poses have names or nicknames that children can recognize: the cat, the dog, the mountain, the tree, the warrior.

Doing yoga as a family  

Working your imagination and muscles at the same time? Sign us up! “Yoga can totally be practiced as a family,” says our coach. Even if you’re not all at the same level, it’s fun to do together. Plus, yoga can be truly beneficial for children’s development. It’ll help them develop better coordination, balance, and more!

Helping kids explore possibilities

Yoga helps children learn to regulate their breathing,” adds Julie. Kids also learn to move each body part independently, which improves their proprioception (the ability to perceive the position of one’s body parts). In a way, yoga is also about self-discovery.

Yoga stimulates joint mobility and muscle flexibility,” continues Julie. “Holding different poses works deep muscles, and transitions help improve flexibility.” As a bonus, yoga can also boost self-confidence.

a little girl explores yoga on a mat
A little girl relaxing and concentrating on a yoga mat

Teaching kids to concentrate through yoga

To do yoga, you need to be able to concentrate. And don’t think that kids can’t do it, quite the opposite! If you make it captivating with stories full of animals and imaginary characters, yoga is sure to be a hit with little ones. “You have to choose the right moment so your kid will be up for it. Start telling your story and go through the first few poses.” You can play music if you think it’ll help them focus better.

pregnant mom does yoga with her eldest daughter

Relieving stress with yoga

Adding a weekly yoga session to your schedule can be a good idea. “Between school, extracurricular activities, and daily obligations, kids have a busy daily life (a bit like their parents)” says Julie with a smile. “A yoga session lets you hit pause and spend quality time together.

Yoga also helps them cope with stressful situations like an exam or competition, or when they feel angry. It is an opportunity for them to learn more about different breathing techniques and how they can use them.

Easy yoga poses for kids: Cat, downward dog, tree, mountain

While most yoga poses are accessible to children, simple ones such as the cat, cobra, downward dog, or tree are good options to improve their balance. Start with these and you’ll be off to a great start! It takes hours of training to learn to regulate one’s breathing and stay focused for a long time, so don’t worry about getting it right the first time. In any case, if you decide to try yoga with your child, take it one posture at a time. “If your kids are very active, I highly recommend yoga,” says Julie. “It should be part of their routine, kind of like a ritual, a privileged moment with their parent.

yoga with dad fun time
Yoga mat for children

Kids and yoga: it’s all about observation and patience

The sequencing of movements and poses should always be gentle,” says Julie. “It shouldn’t be hard or painful.” You can teach kids a new posture each week. This will keep them interested without overwhelming them. Kids will gain self-confidence with each new pose they learn.

Download our animal picture card game

Isn’t a picture worth a thousand words? Use these cards to help your kid understand different poses and make the activity more fun.  Print these at home or display them on your phone. An adorable cat is demonstrating different poses. You can even make a game out of it by drawing the cards at random.

Daddy and daughter doing yoga for fun

YOGA session for kids

Want to get started now? Follow this 15-minute video. *In French Only*

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