Even if your child doesn't formally participate in any sports, they can still reap wonderful benefits from doing simple stretches, going for a walk or riding a bike. Another activity that's gaining widespread popularity is yoga, and when you look at the list of benefits it can have on people of all ages, it's easy to see why.
Yoga is very easy to work into your child's daily routine, and you can enjoy it together whether it's in the living room, in the backyard or at the park.
Here are some of the fantastic benefits of yoga:
builds focus and concentration
increases strength and flexibility
improves balance and coordination
boosts confidence and self-esteem
fosters a feeling of wellbeing and respect for others.
Here are some simple yoga exercises and tips to try with your little ones at home:
A good way to get started is to slowly turn your head from side to side. Take this opportunity to build early counting skills, counting the number of times your kids turn their head. Then count some shoulder rolls together too.
Slowly roll down in a forward motion, bending at the waist and try to touch those little toes. Remember, not everyone is very flexible at the start, and it's perfectly fine if your child starts by touching their knees. Repeat this at least three or four times.
Star jumps are a good way to get the blood pumping. A couple of star jumps should be lots of fun!
After warming up, you can introduce quality yoga aids designed for young children. A great option is the award-winning kit by YOGi FUN which pairs humorous illustrations with rhyming poems explaining how to perform the different poses. Studies show that kids learn best through play, so this is a great one to try out at home.
Once you start learning different yoga poses and exercises, don't be afraid to mix things up every day. A great way to do this is with the Yogi FUN dice, which contain four artistic wooden die with 18 colourful yoga poses. An instruction dice adds some spice to keep things fresh and interesting. Each symbol on the instruction dice will assist your child in developing the following skills: choosing, breathing, improvising, having “good” luck, having “bad” luck, opening their hearts to their friends and saying nice words.
Remember: It's important to warm up those muscles properly before any strenuous or new activities and consult a physician immediately in any circumstances of distress.
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