Yoga for kids: A good idea?
Yoga for kids: A good idea?
Is your child about to start practicing yoga at school? Does he or she seem interested in taking a yoga class? If so, you may have questions about the possible benefits of yoga for kids and what a typical program entails. Before your child does his or her first pose, get the facts on yoga for kids.
How can yoga benefit children?
Research on the benefits of yoga for kids is limited. Anecdotal reports suggest that yoga can calm children, reduce obesity, enhance concentration and help children manage certain health conditions, such as headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. Studies suggest that yoga may also benefit children who have various mental and physical disabilities. Yoga may even help children who have eating disorders lessen their preoccupation with food. More studies, however, are needed to confirm the positive health effects of yoga for kids.
At the least, yoga can be a gentle method for your child to get more physical activity and enhance his or her well-being.
What happens during a typical yoga class for kids?
Yoga classes for children rarely focus on the importance of perfecting poses. Instead, they often emphasize yoga basics, such as the cultivation of compassion — rather than competition — and the connection between breathing and different poses. A typical yoga class for kids may involve:
Are there styles of yoga that aren't recommended for children?
There are many different styles of yoga. Two styles that may be inappropriate for children include:
Are there special safety guidelines for kids who practice yoga?
If your child tries yoga, take steps to help him or her avoid injury. For example:
How do I choose a yoga class for my child?
If your child is interested in taking a yoga class, look for a program taught by an instructor who has training in yoga for children. Ask about the instructor's experience with your child's age group and the goal of the class. Consider observing a class prior to registration to see if you're comfortable with the activities involved, the instructor's style, the class size and the environment. Look for a class where the children are having fun and receive positive attention from the instructor. If your child has a medical condition or special needs, be sure to alert the instructor and ask about his or her ability to work with your child.
Last Updated: 2010-11-17
© 1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Terms and conditions of use