Yoga has become a common practice amongst people in the times we live in. For some of us, it works as an escape. While for some it is a process wherein they heal themselves. Some people are practicing Yoga simply for fitness. As far as kids are concerned, it is seen that kids are practicing Yoga from a very tender age these days, right from their schools- which is good for them in the long run. They develop a sense of consciousness within them and tend to perform better in life ahead.
What is Yoga?
Yoga involves asanas (poses) that require you to stretch out your entire body. There are different asanas for different body parts. This stretching demands great focus and deep breathing simultaneously. If one practices Yoga with great passion, they can open themselves to absolutely new dimensions of life.
This isn’t exclusive to adults. These days it is common to see kids practicing Yoga and great results are seen! And amidst a crisis like Corona, it is essential for us adults to acknowledge our kids’ mental health too. It may not seem so, but with this dramatic change in times, it is no surprise to see kids suffer from stress and anxiety- which if not taken care of at the right time, can turn out to be really dangerous in the future for them.
While they have been occupied with their online classes and stuck with limited options of entertainment within their house, we can help them with practicing Yoga so that they can stay involved in the limited space they have with a certain interest intact. Just a few minutes to spare a day and you’re good to go!
Let us take a look at certain asanas that be beneficial for your kid’s mental health:
1.Lotus Pose/ Padmasana- The Lotus Pose is an easy asana that requires one to sit straight with your spine erect in a meditative state. Place your right foot on your left thigh and your left foot at your right thigh near the abdomen on both sides. The sole of your feet should be facing inwards. Make sure your head is looking forward while your back is straight and your eyes closed.Now breathe in and out while you hold yourself in this posture for 5-10 minutes.
2.Snake Pose/ Bhujangasana- While practicing Snake Asana, make sure you are laying flat on your belly with your forehead and your knees touching the floor. Your palms should be placed close to your chest touching the floor. Lift up your hands slowly making sure they are lifting up your face, facing upwards. Inhale while you are looking upwards and hold yourself. Come out of this pose while you are exhaling and again place your forehead on the ground.
3.Dog Down Pose/ Adho Mukha Svanasana- As you place your palms closer to your chest, do keep your legs together. Push your body upwards by pushing up your chest. Tuck your toes. Lift your knees up from the mat and spread your foot apart. The position you will be in is called Adho Mukha Svanasana. While you’re in this pose, your palms are placed with your fingers apart and your legs will have your heels touching the floor. While your lower back is extended, your hip is up and your abdomen is contracted. Make sure you’re taking 4-5 good deep breaths while you’re in this position. Come out of this pose by bringing your knees to the floor and place your hips back at the heel of your feet. Place your forehead downwards and relax for a minute then slowly come back to your sitting position.
4.Tree Pose/ Vrikshasana- Talking about Vrikshasana, stand on your feet with your hands folded and placed in front of your sternum. Slowly shift the weight of your body to your left foot while you are lifting up your right foot touching your inner thigh. Raise your folded hands upwards simultaneously while you’re lifting your feet. Hold yourself in that position and take a few deep breaths.
5.Butterfly Pose/ Bhadhakonasana- Bring forth both of your feet together by the sole and your knees outwards. This is an easy asana that requires you to flap your knees like a butterfly. As soon as you lift up your knees, make sure you breathe in and while you bring your knees down, you exhale. And just like that, you’ve learnt another fun asana for your kid!
6.The Warrior Pose/ Virabhadrasana- This asana is very easy as it includes nothing more than stretching. Spread your legs far apart and bend your right foot forming a 90° while you have stretched both of your hands to both of your sides. Stay in that posture for a few minutes followed by breathing in and out.
7.Vajrasana- This asana is what a typical meditative posture looks like. Fold your knees and keep your back straight while you’re looking forward. Place your palm upwards on top of your thighs. Spend a few minutes that way and breathe.
8.The Dancer Pose/Natrajasana- Keep both of your legs on the floor. After that, lift up your left foot and grip your ankle tight with your left hand. Extend your right hand forward and stay in this position for a while. Relax and breathe and slowly release yourself and bring both of your feet to the ground.
9.Standing Forward Send Pose/Uttanasana- This asana begins with standing straight and breathing in. Now slowly bend your body downwards and exhale slowly. Make sure your head doesn’t touch your knees. Place your hands on the ground. Stay in this position for a few minutes and slowly bring your body up straight with your hands placed on your hips while you are slowly inhaling.
10.Child’s Pose/Balasana- Begin Balasana by sitting up straight in a meditative position with your eyes shut, back erect and head straight. Now bend your chest downwards to touch your thighs and your head touch the ground. Do this while straightening your arms from both sides. Stay in this position for a few minutes and release yourself.
So these were some Yoga Asanas beneficial for the mental health of your children. All of these asanas focus on enhancing their ability to concentrate, while keeping their body fit and flexible simultaneously. These asanas will also work on strengthening the muscles and are also beneficial for digestion. Results can naturally be seen after two or three weeks of practice. Yoga can never carry a side-effect. One just has to be a little slow in the process, especially when we’re talking about kids here. Yoga this way, along with flexibility, develops a sense of patience within us too.
Therefore, finishing this article by quoting what Sadhguru had once said on Yoga, “With Yoga, not only your body can become flexible. Your mind and emotions, and above all your consciousness should become flexible.”