There are so many reasons why yoga is beneficial for not only expectant moms and moms who have recently given birth, but it’s also helpful for babies, toddlers, and kids of all ages. Yoga in each of these stages of life plays a role in overall health and wellness in many different ways.
YOGA FOR BABIES
Right about now, you may be thinking: my baby can literally suck on his/her own toes. They’re flexible enough! But, as we’ll cover in upcoming articles, yoga isn’t just about increasing your flexibility! Rooted in Sanskrit, the term yoga can be translated as “to unite.” Yoga with your baby continues to strengthen the bond between you and your wee one. It also helps to stretch your wee one’s muscles and help with circulation and strength building – after all, nine months curled up in a snug womb calls for some gentle and natural stretching to become acquainted with this big wide world!
YOGA FOR TODDLERS
Little ones becoming self-aware and filled with so much energy can really benefit from learning ways to channel their liveliness and learn from a young age how movement can help them express themselves and even help them reach a state of calm. At this early-in-life stage, socialization with both adults and other toddlers is important and can help your young one learn how to interact with others, as well as learn how to respect others’ need for space. At this age too, little ones love to copy the movements of adults so yoga is a fantastic way to bond and play with mom and/or dad!
YOGA FOR KIDS
Why do kids need yoga in their lives? For so many reasons! Kids these days experience so much pressure. Pressure to conform to what’s “normal” and fit in, pressure to look and act a certain way, pressure to perform and be the best on the soccer team, pressure to be the best in school and get awe-inspiring grades. It’s estimated that roughly 13% of children suffer from anxiety, and many speculate that this percentage is on the rise. Yoga helps kids in so many, many ways: it gives kids a safe space to be themselves, helps with learning how to quiet their minds from the busy and noisy world around them. It teaches them about their bodies and how they can become more in-tune with them, while also guiding them in self-care, teaching them to care for their bodies and minds. All of these things can help with improved self-esteem and can help provide valuable coping mechanisms when life becomes busy and stressful.
YOGA FOR KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
If you’re a parent of to a kid with special needs, you know that stability and routine can be incredibly important in their lives. We teach private sessions specifically for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) because we know that, specifically with kiddos with special needs such as these, slowing down to concentrate on the present and learning breathing exercises and movements that ground them can be so incredibly beneficial to their overall well-being and can provide them with exercises that they can use, even on their own, when life gets busy and hectic.
YOGA FOR PREGNANT AND NEW MOMS
What an exciting time pregnancy can be! So much excitement and love for someone you have not even met yet! There’s planning and showers and time spent with family and friends eager to help you along in your child-bearing journey. But along with all of that loveliness comes change – in your life, in your body, in your energy levels! Some women report that their regular workouts can be difficult or even painful as their bellies grow and they begin to support more weight than they’re used to. Even regular yoga poses can be more difficult than usual, but that doesn’t mean that you give up on your health and wellness! There are prenatal and postnatal tailored yoga poses and classes that can cater to your changing body (and life!) both before and after your little bundle of joy enters the world. Keeping your body and mind strong is beneficial and healthy for both you and your baby, so don’t neglect your health under the semblance that you’re prioritizing your babies’ or family’s health and wellness. One of my favourite sayings is: “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” You must take care of yourself! While this may be a time of great joy and love, let’s also be honest, it can also be a stressful time. Yoga before and after childbirth can help stabilize your mind and body. It gives you back some “me time” and helps you focus on yourself, so you can have the energy to focus on your growing family too, with a renewed self.
Check out all of our classes (for moms and babies, toddlers, and kids) and programs! We host fun themed classes that include storytelling, song and dance, and arts and crafts. During our classes, we include mindfulness, self-regulation, and stress management. At Once upon a Mat, our Kids Yoga Classes focus on allowing kids to move, be engaged through storytelling and discover ways to relax with breathing techniques. Our Kids Yoga Classes provide an educational journey. Kids learn about yoga, the body and mind. We foster creativity, play and awareness through our yoga and wellness programs!
By: Andrea Harris, Bodhi & Be Marketing