I’m a bit of a neuropsychology nerd. I find it fascinating and so helpful to truly understand people. While I already understood that yoga can be helpful in treating trauma and PTSD, Dr. Bruce Perry, whom I greatly admire, introduced me to the idea that yoga can also be helpful in helping the brain develop in an organized fashion, especially for children who have been traumatized.
As a result, I routinely recommend adoptive parents practice yoga with their children. Whether your child has been adopted, traumatized, has other struggles or not, yoga can help him or her develop physical, emotionally, and neurologically; here’s why:
- Learning to control breath and body can help children feel more in control of themselves, which can be extremely powerful for children that have been traumatized, children that have been adopted, and children diagnosed with ADHD.
- Yoga has been known to enhance concentration and attention span, while teaching focus.
- Children can increase confidence by successfully attempting new poses and developing new skills.
- Flexibility can prevent injuries, and children can increase strength through yoga with little risk of injury.
- Yoga develops bodies, brains, and motor skills.
- Yoga can teach self-awareness by teaching children to pay attention to their bodies and thoughts.
- The routine of yoga can be extremely calming to children.
- Positive yoga instructors teach acceptance of self and others.
There are many physical, emotional, and developmental reasons why I think yoga can be extremely beneficial to children. A child does not need a specific diagnosis to benefit from yoga, nor do certain diagnosis eliminate the benefits a child might receive through yoga.
When parents practice yoga with their children it models healthy habits, strengthens attachment, and gives parents and children a shared understanding and experience.
While I know that I have seen yoga classes for kids at several studios around Indianapolis, they were not easy to find through an internet search. I encourage you to call local yoga studios, gyms, and health clubs to ask about classes for children or classes that welcome children.
The Authentic Yoga iPad app is also a customizable option that allows small doses of yoga, which may be helpful if you have young children. Additionally, if any Indianapolis studios would like to contact me, I am happy to share your kid-friendly yoga classes via my professional Facebook and Twitter accounts.
September 5th, 2012