For many adults, yoga is coveted for its ability to improve one’s balance, strength and mental health. But have you ever wondered how kids might benefit from these ancient exercises?
Kids these days are faced with a tremendous amount of stimuli from school schedules, extra-curricular activities, technology, responsibilities at home, and the social scene—which is why more and more parents are introducing their children to the power of yoga to help them stay strong and focused.
Yoga instructor Krupa Thakkar has been teaching youth yoga at Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center for eight years and said her classes have helped school-age children improve their memory and self-confidence, among other things. Together, these benefits empower her students to make the right decisions while allowing their inner strength to flourish.
Yoga introduces kids to the art of living, Krupa said, and to be good and strong—like a coconut.
“I have had a passion for yoga since childhood and explored yoga and natural healing as a ninth grade science project,” Krupa said. “My project was selected for state level competition, which provided the motivation to continue yoga as my own practice. After experiencing the benefits of yoga, I decided to teach it to others.”
According to Harvard Medical School, a growing body of research has already shown that yoga can improve focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, and classroom behavior, and can even reduce anxiety and stress in children. Studies also suggest yoga can help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by improving the core symptoms of ADHD, including inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Jeanna Bespa teaches youth yoga at Oak Point Recreation Center and loves sharing the benefits of yoga with children because it is not competitive. Jeanna, who has been teaching at Oak Point for about four years, is also certified to teach yoga to children with disabilities, including those who are on the autism spectrum. To have them sit and enjoy stillness, even if just for a minute, provides a wealth of value to that child, Jeanna said.
“It’s not just a workout—it’s for your mind and body,” Jeanna said. “Not only are these children learning something valuable for themselves, many of them are introducing it to their parents for the first time too.”
Youth yoga classes are happening now and are available at Tom Muehlenbeck and Oak Point recreation centers. Want to learn more? Call or visit our centers or sign up for a class through our online registration system today!