Yoga for children: 5 asanas to improve your kid's concentration
Regular practice of yoga can help improve focus, concentration and balance in children. Here are 5 yoga asanas that should be practiced by kids to boost their brain development.
Yoga is known to bring our mind and body in harmony. It not only helps us to be physically healthy and mentally agile, but also know ourselves better. It can be practiced by people of all age groups including children.
Regular practice of yoga can help improve attention span and concentration which can be useful for children as learning and education are part of their growing process. Yoga not only helps in improving focus and concentration of kids but also in retention of what they have learnt.
"Focus, concentration and balance can be difficult for some children. With practice, Yoga offers an opportunity to enhance those skills and builds confidence. Yoga education supports brain-based learning through movement, play, emotion and social learning. It increases readiness to learn, enriches the brain and creates new brain cells. Yoga is also beneficial for sensory integration and prepares the brain for complex tasks and learning," says Sabrina Merchant, a certified kids Yoga and Mindfulness Expert, Founder of Li’l Yogis and author of Ocean Yoga.
Merchant also suggests asanas to boost concentration of kids:
1. Tree Pose or Vrikshasana
Begin by standing straight with toes, feet and knees together. Bring your palms together. Find a focus point with your eyes.
When you are ready, shift your weight to the left foot and turn your right knee out to the side.
Rest your right heel on the left ankle, keeping your toes on the floor. If you are feeling balanced, try lifting your right foot up to rest on the inside of your calf, or bring your foot up all the way to press into your inner thigh.
Slowly grow your arm branches by reaching up to the sky. You can bring your hands together over your head or keep them apart.
Balance for three to ten slow, deep breaths or for as long as you are able to.
2. Eagle Pose or Garudasana
Start by standing on your mat, feet together.
Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and, balancing on your right foot, lift your left leg and cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor. Balance on the right foot.
Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor, palms facing each other.
Cross your arms. Bend your elbows and try to touch your palms together to form a Namaste.
Keep chin level to the ground and focus straight ahead.
Hold this pose for 10 counts.
Repeat on the other side.
3. Frog Pose or Mandukasana
Bring your feet wider than your hips with toes turned slightly out.
Drop your hips down and back, but keep your spine straight and feet flat.
Bring your hands into prayer position in front of your heart and keep your chest open as you breathe deeply.
4. Flamingo Pose
Start with standing straight with toes, feet and knees together.
Transfer your weight to your left leg and slowly lift your right leg up by bending your right knee and holding the right foot with your right hand.
Extend your left hand in front and balance on one leg like a flamingo.
Count till 10. Come back to start position and repeat on left side.
5. King Dancer Pose or Natarajasana
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Bend one foot up, and hold onto that foot with your hand.
Keep your body upright, and lift your free hand over your head.
Maintaining your balance try bend forward, pulling your lifted leg towards the ceiling.
Gently release your leg, and return your hands to your sides.
Repeat on your opposite side.