Five Ways Yoga Helps Kids Succeed In Life

Laura Cofsky WPK

You want your child to succeed. Heck, it’s practically in the job description for “parent/guardian.” You want to be your child’s hero/heroine; and often, for the first few years, you can fulfill this role. You can scare away the monsters, fight nightmares, and provide your kid with what they need to grow into a healthy toddler. But what happens as they grow older? Unfortunately, as kids start to mature, they need to become their own heroes and heroines. So the best thing you can do for your little one is to prepare them to fight their own battles. And yoga can help. Starting your child on a regular yoga practice has myriad benefits. Here are five ways in which yoga helps kids to succeed in life:

  1. Yoga improves concentration and school success: Studies show that students who practice yoga perform better in school. There are many possible explanations for this: decreased stress, improved focus, and increased confidence, to name just a few. Regardless, yoga will give your little one a leg up in the classroom.

  2. Yoga has a positive impact on self-esteem and confidence: Yoga teaches children to “persevere, be patient, and work towards their goals.” And when students are able to achieve the trickier poses, it gives them confidence in their abilities. The more they succeed in their practice—and learn how to deal with setbacks—the better equipped they’ll be to take on challenges outside the mat.

  3. Yoga improves physical health: The sheer number of physical health benefits associated with a regular yoga practice is staggering. Research indicates that it can improve everything from cardiovascular health and joint function to blood circulation and digestion. Furthermore, yoga, like other exercises, can help combat obesity and its associated health issues.

  4. Yoga helps people of all ages cope with stress and anxiety: As we grow up, we face increasingly more stressful situations: friend and relationship issues, difficult school exams, and other icky real-life problems. At first, it can be difficult to adjust to our new and changing roles. The meditative and mindfulness properties of yoga can help to quiet the mind and keep practitioners focused on what needs to be done, therefore decreasing stress and anxiety. There’s also evidence that suggests yoga can improve symptoms of depression and insomnia as well.

  5. Yoga gives children control over their bodies and minds: Yoga requires us to listen to our bodies, modify poses and know when it’s time to say, “no.”  Over time, these skills translate into adopting healthy habits and trusting our gut. As we grow, we’re asked to take on increasingly challenging responsibilities. As adults, we become independent entities, and knowing how to listen to our bodies and focus our minds will be invaluable. Even if you’re still your child’s best defense against the Boogeyman, it’s your job to empower your kid to fight their own battles, and take on the Boogeyman.

Laura Cofsky is the communications strategist for -and advisory committee member at -Hosh Kids. A recent University of Pennsylvania graduate, Laura has interned with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fitness Magazine, Dow Jones, and USA Today. You can read her work on the Hosh Yoga and Hosh Kids blogs, and follow her on Twitter @LauraCky1.

Laura CofskyFive Ways Yoga Helps Kids Succeed In Life