The physical and mental benefits are increasingly used by adults to reduce stress, increase stamina, flexibility and strength, but there are also many additional benefits to children and teenagers. Here are 10 great reasons why children should do yoga:

  • Yoga improves strength: despite appearing to be a low-impact activity, yoga requires greater muscular strength the more advanced one becomes. Children develop stronger muscles from practicing yoga
  • Yoga improves flexibility: the deep stretching and breathing involved in yoga improves muscular flexibility
  • Yoga improves focus and attention: yoga requires concentration. Whilst some children might not find this easy at first, the more they practice, the easier focusing (during and after the sessions) will be
  • Yoga improves balance and coordination: many yoga poses require the ability to balance. This is not always easy for children at first, but as their practice continues their balance will improve
  • Yoga helps children develop control and awareness of their breathing: breath awareness and the ability to calm down and meditate are skills children can use for their whole lives
  • Yoga helps children deal with stress: when children 'slow down' to participate in the practice of yoga, they learn techniques to help them deal with life's challenges
  • Yoga helps children learn how to control their emotions: the calming techniques learned in yoga may help them manage emotional outbursts
  • Yoga improves posture: children who spend a lot of time sitting at desks at school or in front of the computer at home may develop upper body tension and increased spinal pressure. Yoga helps to relieve this
  • Yoga helps build patience: it takes time and patience to learn a new physical skill such as the different poses introduced, building patience and resilience along the way!
  • Yoga is a fun way to get exercise! Doing playful yoga poses is a great, non-threatening way for children to get moving.

Teenagers and young adults also benefit from these 10 great points, but they also benefit in additional ways. Sitting at a desk for hours at school, slouching over a computer, making choices about friends, activities and education..... Teenagers feel pulled in many directions, often over-tired and subjected to a lot of stress of both the mind and body. Yoga can help alleviate some of these issues.

  • Yoga helps to improve body image and self-esteem: it helps to provide a strong, internal perspective free of media and other external influences by showing each individual what their body can do, letting go of the tendency to be self-critical (and judgmental of others)
  • Yoga promotes better posture: by learning to develop an understanding of body mechanics, healthy movement patterns and ideal postural alignment
  • Yoga helps to reduce stress: the rhythmic breathing and stretching involved in yoga are useful for quieting the mind, promoting good sleep and calming the nerves. Yoga also helps to develop the skill of non-action and the awareness to physically relax. Great at exam time!
  • Yoga provides tools for life: teenagers have a lot on their minds - how to fit in with families, friends, teachers and where they belong in the world. Yoga gives them two things they need: physical fitness and emotional nourishment; tools for dealing with the ups and downs of their life and balanced living
  • Yoga develops the ability to concentrate and focus through the practical and regular disciplines of breath and body work
  • Yoga helps to equalise energy, revitalising low energy and calming hyperactivity
  • Yoga assists the athlete and the non-athlete: by building strength of muscles and bones though holding poses and lengthening muscles to increase joint mobility, yoga promotes greater flexibility, agility and balance; it also teaches how to stretch better resulting in fewer injuries