Written by Emily Kennedy- Toronto Children’s Diet and Exercise Examiner

Children who practice yoga are better able to regulate their emotions, manage stress and calm themselves. Studies now show that they may also choose better foods to eat and engage in more physical activity than children who do not.

It seems simple. Many children who are sedentary and overweight lack a connection to their own bodies, their environment and the food they eat. Yoga facilitates this mind-body connection.

Children derive enormous body and mind benefits from yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. Mentally, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improves. In doing yoga, children exercise, play, connect more deeply with their inner selves, and develop between spatial awareness of the world around them.

According to children’s yoga instructors, the greatest challenge with children is to hold their attention long enough to teach them the benefits of yoga. Luckily, most children love to move and jump at the chance to assume the role of animals, trees, flowers, or warriors. Grown-ups can step back and allow them to bark in the upward dog pose, hiss in the cobra, and meow in cat back stretch. They can also recite the ABCs or 123s as they are holding poses.

Across Canada, an estimated one million adults practice yoga on a regular basis. Are you one of them? Consider sharing a few poses with the children in your life.

Live in Toronto? Check out these yoga classes for children and families:

YogaBuds – Toronto’s First Family Yoga Studio
http://www.yogabuds.com/family-yoga-classes.htm

Yoga 4 Kids
http://www.yoga4kids.org/

Casey’s Comments

Just like adults, when kids move and engage in physical activity they eat better and they are overall healthier! Yoga and healthy eating are two keys to helping beat the obesity epidemic that is upon our future generations. Help kids stay healthy today!

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