Benefits of Yoga in Early Childhood


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While we know the importance of practicing mindfulness and wellness for ourselves, have you ever thought about incorporating it into your curriculum for the children in your care? Just as our bodies and minds benefit from simple meditation and yoga practices, children can too! According to an article from PBS, Why Yoga and Kids Go Together, “Yoga is about exploring and learning in a fun, safe and playful way. Yoga and kids are a perfect match.” The article explores many of the benefits and lesson are some of the important skills that children can learn from yoga:


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  • Yoga teaches us about our bodies:

    • When we practice the physical postures or exercises (called asanas), we learn how to move more freely and with greater ease and awareness. These postures help our bodies become strong and flexible.”

    • Yoga teaches us the importance of listening to our bodies, by noticing how different poses feel and modifying when something feels uncomfortable.

  • Yoga teaches us to breathe better: When we breathe deeply and fully (called pranayama) and become more aware, we can bring peacefulness or energy to our bodies.

  • Yoga teaches us about taking care of ourselves: Yoga is a great way to move our bodies and feel healthy. Teaching children how to take care of themselves is one way to show love. As with all forms of exercise, a good yoga practice can mean a good night’s sleep!

Erica Filyo, a certified yoga instructor and founder of Childblossom Yoga in St. Charles, teaches yoga to children in early childhood. The classes begin with story time, followed by breathing exercises, stretching, and then playing activities and games, all while incorporating yoga poses. The class ends with guided imagery to calm their bodies and minds. Filyo is also a learning behavioral specialist, and when asked about the class she said, “There is a real need for incorporating movement and breath into social and emotional learning…Exercises for kids to draw their breath through their entire body allows them to get in touch with utilizing every muscle.”

You don’t have to be a yogi or certified yoga instructor to introduce yoga to your teaching practice. If you are interested in introducing yoga to the children you work with, a good place to start is with some books that introduce basic poses and yoga positions. A few great options are listed below:

  1. Good Morning Yoga by Miriam Gates

  2. Yoga Bug by Sarah Jane Hinder

  3. The ABCs of Yoga for Kids written by Teresa Power, illustrated by Kathleen Rietz

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