There are wide ranges of benefits for children that practice yoga. As an individualistic and non-competitive exercise, yoga, unlike many other games and sports for children, allows all individuals the opportunity to participate. Participation in yoga has a variety of benefits for children including:
• Builds confidence and self-esteem
• Increases physical flexibility (beneficial for all sports)
• Raises awareness about the importance of good health and posture, including maintaining a healthy weight
• Teaches healthy self-regulation
• Awakens passion and creativity
• Cultivates more sensitive listening and tolerance
• Promotes effective techniques (such as breathing) for managing stress
• Helps children channel their energy
Perhaps the greatest benefit of yoga over other physical activities lies in the integrated relaxation response, which is triggered by a combination of mindful postures, which involve basic stretching and purposeful breathing.
Yoga is especially helpful for the special child, such as those with ADD, ADHD, Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and those with sensory integration issues. For example children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), experience inattention, difficulty following directions, poor control over impulses, excessive motor activity in many but not all cases, and difficulty conforming to social norms. What yoga can do is to help make a mind-body connection which many ADDers lack. Calming the body and easing it into the relaxation mode coupled with a greater awareness of their movement establishes a crucial link that many other forms of therapy cannot deliver.