A 2010 report published in the Journal of Happiness Studies showed that children aged eight to twelve who were more spiritual were also happier. Spirituality in this case was defined not by a child’s religious practices, such as attending church, but by a child’s ability to find meaning and value in his life, and engage in deep interpersonal relationships. Your child’s spirit connects him with others and is essential to a healthy, well adjusted child. Yoga practices will help foster your child’s spiritual growth by helping him see the beauty and light within himself, boosting confidence, and allowing him to feel more comfortable in his body. Yoga will help him get in touch with who he is inside, and in turn will help your child connect with himself, others, and the world in a richer, more positive, and peaceful way.
By establishing a yoga routine, your child will gain many of the recognized benefits of yoga for a child’s spirit. He’ll build confidence and self esteem, support character development and emotional intelligence, and enhance team skills and social interaction. Yoga helps develop self control, supports individuality and self expression, and encourages a sense of civic obligation. With regular practice, your child will gain a sense of connectedness, inspiring respect for himself and others.
Nourish Your Child’s Spirituality
Yoga research is now shill ing to include perspectives on young children. In a 2008 study, Patricia Jennings, PhD, of Penn State University found that contemplative practices such as yoga begun in early childhood “may support children’s quest for meaning and promote positive experiences of wonder and awe that motivate learning.” Jennings also explains that contemplative knowing often fostered through yoga connects children to others, to shared human values, and to life’s meaning.
Building Solid Life Values
Yoga helps foster important life values in children. By developing a consistent practice with your child, you will help your child cultivate discipline, self-control, patience, gratitude, respect, and contentment, among other positive qualities and life skills. The yoga principles that you promote in and out of yoga sessions with your child will be increasingly adopted the more you practice together. Donna Freeman, in her 2010 book, Once Upon a Pose: A Guide to Yoga Adventure Stories for Children, writes: “Teaching children these ethics helps them learn respect for themselves and others, as well as an appreciation for the world in which they live.” Don’t be surprised if after a few weeks, you notice your child cleaning up his room, actively taking part in chores without being told to, and generally being more respectful and aware of the people, belongings, and environment surrounding him these are the yoga principles at work!