The Value of Non-Competitive Kids Yoga

8 Ways to see the true value of Non-Competitive Kids Yoga

1.  Kids love yoga!  Getting physical can be embarrassing for kids who are out of shape or uncoordinated, and there are too many kids out of shape these days for obstacles like embarrassment.  The thought of gasping and tripping your way to learning to take a shot or play defense discourages many kids from even starting a team sport.  In yoga, the learning curve is more private and personal.  It’s easier to get started and you continue at your own pace.  Kids may not want to join a team, but kids love yoga!

2. Big Value:  Affordable for any school/daycare/family:
Competitive sports need equipment, referees, a team of players and another team to play against.  Many sports are just plain expensive.  Yoga is a great value, all you need is some open space – all the other props in yoga are really just extras.  After kids take yoga, parents often witness them downward dogging or meditating on the living room floor or in their bed – that’s something that you won’t find a hockey player doing.

3. It’s never been easier to get kids active:  In competitive sports only a few people make a team and rest are spectators. In yoga everyone participates, there are no spectators!

4. The foundation for a lifetime of health:  Many kids who are athletes in school find a void once they finish school  Most eventually stop playing sports which means they stop exercising.  Yoga is a lifelong practice that grows with you as you grow older.

5. Learn to relax with yoga:  In the end, competitive sports are a win/lose proposition, that’s why we keep score and stats.  One side wins and one side loses. In yoga everyone feels like a winner after practicing.

6. Perfect for Beginners:  For an out of shape child, exercise hurts physically.  Stretching hurts, running hurts, lifting hurts – you get the idea.  Yes, yoga will also hurt for a newbie too.  But yoga allows people to go at their own pace more easily than competitive sports.  Five minutes on the basketball court is a horror for someone out of shape.  In yoga, the individual can determine the intensity of their effort.  Five minutes of yoga is different for each person because there is no group expectation.  Working at your own pace makes exercise a more enjoyable experience which may keep kids exercising!

7.  Kid-Friendly tools for success:  Balance, coordination, and focus carry off the court and the yoga mat.  These skills can be derived from sports, but they are learned directly from yoga.  In fact may athletes use yoga and mediation to help them control stress and anxiety and to visualize success.  If you do yoga, you learn skills to use in real life.

8. Help children deal effectively with stress:  Life is a battlefield, just read the Bhagavad Gita.  We all need to find our inner compass, our inner Guru, to guide us through battle.  Sports build us to be tough competitors.  Yoga helps us decide what team to play for.

List Created by Young Yoga Masters (www.youngyogamasters.com)

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