Yoga can benefit kids significantly, and in some ways, possibly even more so than it nourishes adults. Here are just some of these benefits:

1. Yoga is non-competitive

In today’s world, we hear so much about being the best and achieving the most. Yoga teaches kids that their bodies are different; different bodies do different things and all of them are okay. There is no one better or worse at yoga than anyone else; we are all just exploring our bodies and learning from them in our own way. Yoga is truly for every body.

2. Yoga teaches self-acceptance

In the same way that it provides children an opportunity to learn something that is non-competitive, it also teaches kids to accept and cherish themselves as they are. Again, with society sending so many messages of inadequacy, yoga teaches kids to love themselves.

Learned young, this incredibly valuable lesson arms kids with the tools to fight off the increasing feelings of self-doubt that come during the teen years and beyond.

3. Namaste: The light in me sees the light in you

Yoga teaches acceptance and tolerance of others. In practicing yoga, kids learn early in life that all living beings are to be cherished and respected as they are, thus helping to create more peaceful local communities and a more peaceful world in our future.

4. Yoga encourages healthy habits

Any exercise program begun in childhood helps kids to remain physically active and healthy as a lifestyle. However, yoga takes that further by teaching not only the healthy habits mentioned above, but also a healthy approach to eating and the ability to calm oneself and focus the mind.

5. Focus. Focus. Focus

We live in a world of distractions. More and more these days, kids seem unable to focus on anything for any decent length of time. Yoga can help with that. It teaches kids to be present, and to concentrate and focus on their breathing.

They learn how the breath can help them throughout the day, in any situation. They learn to focus on the pose by learning correct body alignment, and in so doing, learn to focus on their bodies and how they function—guiding each limb or part of the body through the nuances of the pose.

6. Yoga teaches calming techniques

Young kids deal with frustration most typically by crying and throwing tantrums. When they learn proper, healthy breathing techniques and tools to focus the mind, they begin to learn how to apply those tools in their everyday lives and to react appropriately to any situation.