If you've ever been to a toddler yoga class, it's, well, interesting. Depending on the ages and developmental levels of the children, you could basically see anything happening!
For a little while, I didn't think any actual yoga-ing was possible with these sweet little youngsters. But through some research and playing yoga with my own son and seeing him move, it became clear that toddler yoga indeed happens and is incredibly beneficial. Here are a few of the benefits* of doing yoga with a toddler:
- Fewer Tantrums - Doing yoga with your toddler can help you get a sense of which poses may help them to become more calm. Helen Garabedian of Itsy Bitsy Yoga claims that in her experience, more energetic poses can calm toddlers with the greatest of success!
- Better and Longer Sleep - Practicing relaxation and stimulating all the various bodily processes in yoga helps adults and children sleep better. And as we know, sleep begets sleep!
- Improved Digestion - Moving the body and stimulating the intestines helps our little ones to digest better!
- Higher Self-Esteem - Yoga helps us to focus on the things we can do, as opposed to the things we can't. In a non-competitive environment, yoga helps toddlers to learn about themselves and accept themselves exactly where they are. It is important in toddler yoga to encourage and support your child in every pose, no matter how they look. As they say, "Don't put your body into the pose, put the pose into your body." Oftentimes children are the better teachers of this than the parents!
- Better Listening Skills - It is simple and repetitive statements that respond well to your toddler's ears. After she hears these in toddler yoga, frustration and distraction will slow and she will be better able to act on direction.
- Increased Self-Expression - Toddler minds are creative and imaginative! Many poses that we do in class have been inspired by the children. Wherever possible, I like to watch as the children 'co-create' the class and see where their imaginations lead!
Just a few of the golden benefits of Toddler Yoga. Stay tuned for next week as I finish off the list!
For the love of our families,
*This list is compiled from Helen Garabedian's Book, Itsy Bitsy Yoga. The comments are mine.