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Yoga For Children: 5 Effective And Fun Positions!

In recent years, the discipline of yoga has evolved taking different forms, from pregnant yoga to yoga for the elderly , from therapeutic yoga to yoga for children . 

It is precisely this latter type that we will deal with today. The children Yoga is a young discipline that was founded only recently thanks to the discovery that the benefits of yoga can also be experienced by children and not only by experienced and enlightened people. In fact, yoga is aimed at everyone, without discrimination of age, sex or physical condition because it is a lifestyle and not a sport . The usefulness of bringing children closer to yoga is both mental that physics : yoga children is in fact a psychomotor discipline able to develop the muscles but also keep the mind calm.

Nowadays, children are exposed to many distractions or phenomena that can jeopardize their psychic stability both within the walls of the house, both at school and in a sporting environment. In fact, the little ones are more predisposed to absorbing the negative energy present in our society and the underlying anxiety that dwells in the unsatisfied western man. 

More and more children are suffering from attention deficit syndrome , also known as ” hyperactivity ” (ADHD) and have similar characteristic traits: inattention , restlessness and it is difficult to sit for more than a few minutes (it is good to know that no matter how widespread this syndrome may be, the diagnosis is often misused as every child has within himself the natural desire to experience and learn the world quickly). Yoga helps to increase learning and attention in children in a natural way and develops a strong mind and an active spirit able to overcome any impediment with smile and serenity ; also gives the ability to listen actively and awakens the awareness of their emotions.

How does yoga work on children? On the physical level, the asanas help to correct any wrong postures since childhood, develop the muscles in a harmonious way and improve coordination. Every child who experiences yoga also learns to love his body as he gets used to paying attention to any sensation he experiences during practice. Thanks to the chanting of mantras , the child experiences the beauty of sound and experiences the vibrational waves that create harmony and serenity in the mind. Through the  mandalas (images depicting dream symbols or graphic representations) the child can develop his own creativity and intuition in a disinterested way and also relax the mind and oxygenate the brain.

Many yoga positions are inspired by elements that exist in nature, be they animals, trees or various entities. This pretext manages to add value to the practice of the child thanks to the identification in every animal or natural object.

Let’s see together the most known positions:

The position of the tree is one of the most effective and fun. The child experiences his balance, concentration and attention to the outside, imagining a beautiful and strong shrub

The position of the triangle , also known as Trikonasana , recalls the shape of the large and golden pyramids. Assuming the position of the triangle respecting its limits, the child can stabilize the center of gravity of his body, perceive the alignment between hip and shoulder and make strong legs.

The dog that looks down is one of the best known postures in yoga and remembers the position the dog takes when he stretches after having just woken up. Thanks to this position, the child is able to stretch the back of the thighs, strengthen the arms and lengthen the spine

The position of the cobra , also known as bhujangasana , is one of the most effective for opening the chest and resolving any incorrect posture of the spine. It is important to keep the neck straight, the buttocks contracted and the elbows slightly bent. Breathing is thoracic and your face is smiling!

The position of the cat is another posture reminiscent of a well-known animal that is often present in many homes. The child has the opportunity to have fun taking this position and imagining being a sweet feline that manages to relax the spine thanks to his breath. Each breath inspects itself by gently arching the back, each exhalation looks down to the navel, letting the neck fall downwards.

The 7 Positions Of Traditional Yoga

The term asana means ” comfortable and comfortable position that can be maintained for a long period of time “. The yoga is based on the practice of many different nature asanas that make strong physique and naturally lengthen the muscles. This practice is therefore perfect for those who want to shape their body without increasing the volume, but making it compact and resistant to efforts.

Here are the positions

Let’s see together the 7 illustrated positions of the most famous traditional yoga, to understand the basis of the discipline and how it benefits the body.

Salamba Sarvangasana , the position of the candle with support. This position in india is defined as the queen  of all asanas because it is capable of providing many benefits throughout the body. It is performed by supine raising the legs and then the lumbar section, keeping the limbs perfectly stretched. In this way the blood and lymph circulation receives a different thrust that favors the oxygenation of the body . The musculature benefits, especially the lumbar area.

Sirshasana , the position on the head. This is a slightly difficult asana, as it requires a great mastery of movements and a good center of gravity that balances the whole body . This position is not recommended for those with significant back and neck problems. Sishasana is called by the father as it allows you to act profoundly on the control of the body.

Halasana , position of the plow. This asana is very well known and beneficial, as it helps to relax the muscles of the back and the lower limbs. It comes from supine, going into the candle and only later bringing the legs backwards. If possible, the back of the feet rests on the ground, if it is complex it is sufficient to bend the knees and bring them towards the forehead. The position develops a beneficial massage towards the internal organs, especially the heart.

Matsyasana , the position of the fish is one of the best positions to oxygenate the thyroid and open the chest. It helps to relax the muscles of the back and the pelvis . The position is performed from the back, trying to lift the torso and to bring the head backwards by force in the arms

Paschimottanasana , the position sitting forward. It is one of the most classical positions of yoga that is one of the twelve fundamental elements of hatha yoga . It is performed by sitting with legs outstretched, bringing the torso forward and trying to reach the feet with the palms of the hands , possibly embracing them. The position favors an internal massage of the reproductive organs and, at the same time, relaxes the muscles of the legs and the lumbar region.

Bhujangasana , the position of the cobra. It is a very relaxing asana, which takes care of stretching the pelvis and chest muscles. From the extended position on the stomach you have to lift the pelvis and then point the arms to the ground to stretch the torso as much as possible. Perfect for those who need to stretch the neck area and then seek relief for cervical pain.

Shalabhasana , the position of the locust. This classic position helps both to strengthen the muscles and to develop the center of gravity of the body . The asana is performed on the stomach, lifting the legs and arms at the same time. In this way the sole basin rests on the ground and the limbs float in the air maintaining a beneficial state of tension.

What Movements And Exercises Do To Avoid Or Reduce Back Pain?

To feel better with your back you can work by preventing, observing a correct posture and some advice that I will give you below.

If you already have back pains, in addition to specific back exercises, you can avoid complications by observing these tips:

· adapt the position in which you sleep to your physiology of the column, choosing also a pillow suitable for your cervical lordosis as you spend many hours every night in bed;

· find stratagems to not keep too long a position (no more than 30 minutes in a row) and change it completely to let the column breathe. For example, if you happen to spend a lot of time standing up, use the backspace of the pelvis or place one foot on a rise for a few breaths. If instead you have to sit for some time it is good to get up and perform an extended posture to mobilize our column remained very still;

· in case of cervicalgia or lumbago due to the prolonged working position, ask a specialist of specific exercises of elongation and mobilization that allow you to dissolve muscular tension and let the spine breathe;

· avoids the bending movements of the bust forward , to stretch, to sweep at home, to brush your teeth, to push the wheelchair and to redo the bed: instead of flexing the column use the flexion of your legs that have bigger muscles and strong that you can keep trained. Remember at the end of the day it is better to have tired legs and not the bad back!

· the same thing said above is worth even more when you lift the weights, it is essential to have as-a lift-to-weight strong legs and maintain the curves of the column and thus lift the weight by bending the knees, keeping the extension of the column and bringing the object as close to the our body;

· Avoid the rotations of the trunk  keeping the legs still, especially if combined with flexion, move the feet and rotate the whole body together;

· When you have to get up from the supine position, always do it by rotating on one side;

· In case of effort, push, pull, raise activate the transverse muscle of the abdomen to protection;

· Drink a lot to keep the intervertebral discs hydrated;

· Take care of your breathing with exercises to learn how to use it properly using the diaphragm muscle.

If you already have back pains that persist, but you are not in the acute phase of a few days when you can rest, here are some general tips, but remember that it is always important that you refer to a specialist because each of us is a different person that must be treated in an individualized way.

· Do not stay in bed or on the couch, try to move otherwise your back muscles will lose tone, creating even more pain and it will be even harder to reinforce them later, then start with some aerobic exercise, with walking;

· Perform breathing exercises ;

· Perform 2 or 3 times a week stretching to specific muscles that could affect your specific pain;

· Try to strengthen the muscles starting with the abdominals ;

· Exercises on the diaphragm muscle and proprioception are very important .

Always remember that the posture that you keep during the day is very important, especially in those places where you stay for a long time like at work or lying in bed.

Permanent Sitting Makes You Sick – This is How Yoga Can Help!

Whether on the way to work in the car, in the office in front of the computer or in the evening at home on the sofa – we spend most of the day sitting down. This comfortable and at first seemingly harmless posture can, if it is taken permanently, lead to physical discomfort and make you sick.

The resulting lack of exercise has become a social phenomenon and one of the most common causes of many civilization diseases. Mostly we sit with a round back, pulled forward and strained shoulders and pushed forward neck, angled hips and knee joints and crossed legs, for hours at the desk without us to touch. I would like to draw your attention to the health consequences of our seating culture and how you can counteract these with various yoga exercises.

So, damaging is permanent sitting – health consequences:

Long sitting shortens your hip flexors and is often the cause of back and hip pain

The unnatural position when sitting, with round back, angled legs and thus permanently bent hips, shorten your muscles in the groin, on the thigh front and also in your lower back. The permanently tense and flexed hip flexor gets accustomed to this permanent condition at some point. Without sufficient and compensatory movement, your connective tissue around your muscle will be shortened and your hip flexors will eventually not stretch completely and pull the vertebrae to which it is attached forward and a hollow cross is created. The altered posture can put a heavy strain on your vertebrae and intervertebral discs in your lumbar region and can lead to painful tension in your lower back and in your hips.

Your spine and intervertebral discs are burdened by permanent sitting, which causes back pain

You perceive sitting in comparison to standing as soothing? Relaxing for your intervertebral discs is by no means. Often, we work in a slightly forward leaning position, spending hours concentrating on the computer, not realizing how round and crooked our back is. Due to the constantly slumped sitting posture, your core muscles are restored and can no longer fulfill the natural support function of your spine. Your spinal discs, the shock absorbers of your spine, are subjected to a relatively high pressure in this posture, pushed back and restricted their supply of nutrients and fluid, which can promote a herniated disc.

Through a permanently sedentary activity, your shoulder girdle and neck muscles are tense, causing headaches

If you sit for hours at the desk and stare into the screen of your computer, you tend to push your head forward and pull your shoulders up. This wrong posture permanently leads to tensions in your shoulder girdle and neck muscles. The consequences are pain and restricted movement of your cervical spine, your shoulder area or even your thoracic spine. Due to the faulty and cramped posture can also arise as an additional side effect tension headache.

Long sitting leads to a chronic shortening of your leg backs, back pain can be the result

In a sitting posture with a curved torso and crossed legs, the backs of your thighs contract continuously. If you still move too little and your leg backs do not stretch sufficiently, painful tension can arise in this area. In addition, then tilted by the shortened hamstrings, your pelvis in the wrong direction. This false loading increases the pressure on your spinal discs in the lower back and can cause pain in the lumbar region.

Due to the lack of exercise causes sitting indigestion

For your gut is like your entire body – long sitting makes lethargic. The collapsed position of your upper body and your curved back will squeeze your inner organs together. This will worsen your circulation in some places and in certain organs. The permanent lack of exercise and the reduced blood flow in the organs interfere with your intestinal function and slow down your digestion. Indigestion, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, and heartburn are the result.

Sitting lowers your metabolism and increases the risk of various metabolic and cardiovascular diseases

An active metabolism invigorates your body and ensures that you feel awake and active and helps you to burn fat. The vessels of your body provide your organs and your muscles with oxygen and nutrients. By sitting for a long time your metabolism becomes sluggish, the blood circulation in your blood vessels and in your legs is suppressed and a feeling of fatigue develops. The slowing down of the metabolism has permanent consequences for the function of your organs and body tissue.

Which Yoga Suits Me? 10 Yoga Styles in Comparison

1. Hatha Yoga – holistic & powerful

Hatha Yoga is probably the best known and most traditional form of the numerous types of yoga. In this yoga form, the balance between body and mind is sought. You can accomplish this with precise body postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation (dhyana) and deep relaxation (savasana).

In Hatha Yoga, the positions are taken slowly and held for a comparatively long time. In general, in a Hatha Yoga lesson, your body will be stretched, aligned, stabilized and strengthened, while at the same time being trained in your balance, body awareness, your ability to focus and focus, and your self-retreat.

Through the gentle exercises and the use of yoga aids, the body-oriented training is particularly suitable for beginners and untrained, as well as for anyone who seeks more connection to his own body.

2. Vinyasa Yoga – dynamic & physical

Vinyasa, also known as Vinyasa Flow Yoga, is a powerful and dynamic yoga style in which the various asanas (bodily postures) merge smoothly into one another and are combined with the conscious perception of the breath. This yoga style lives on the constant change in stretching and strengthening positions which are fluently linked.

Vinyasa courses can be quite strenuous and difficult and usually involve sun salutations, with the movements always synchronized with the breath. Of course, beginner courses are designed so that you can compete as a normal athletic person. Vinyasa especially strengthens the concentration and flexibility of beginners and later, as the exercises become more complex, more strength, stamina and mindfulness are trained. The progress of the movement, the more advanced the yoga class is, the more fluent and varied the movements.

This yoga style is particularly suitable for people who like a dynamic, athletic yoga practice and enjoy the movement.

3. Bikram Yoga / Hot Yoga – athletic & sweaty

Bikram Yoga is trendy and probably one of the most popular yoga styles worldwide. The series is named after the Indian athlete Bikram Choudhury, who has brought 26 simple but challenging Hatha Yoga exercises in combination with 2 breathing exercises in an effective sequence. Unlike most types of yoga, Bikram does not have a holistic approach that aims for a combined effect on the body, mind and soul.

The Bikram Yoga series is designed so that each exercise optimally prepares the body for the next exercise. During the 90-minute yoga routine your entire organism is addressed, through compression and stretching your internal organs massaged and your glandular system stimulated. By repeating the exercises, you can progress quickly.

Bikram Yoga is practiced under hot conditions – the high room temperature of about 40 ° Celsius and a humidity of about 40% allow you to stretch your musculoskeletal system very intensively, increase your flexibility, improve your condition and detoxify your body. In addition, your sense of balance will be improved and your back strengthened. Bikram Yoga is brand protected and therefore mostly known in this country as Hot Yoga.

Bikram Yoga is suitable for anyone who gets along well with heat. People with circulatory problems should check with their doctor before a Bikram lesson. Especially for beginners, the entry is easy, because the sequence of exercises is always the same. No previous experience is necessary.

4. Yin Yoga – calm & deep

Yin Yoga is a meditative, slow and passive yoga style with a tremendous depth effect. It’s all about relaxing in the asanas (postures) and letting the breath flow freely to find inner peace and release subliminal tensions and blockages in the body.

Most positions are practiced while lying down and sitting and kept passive for a long time (3-6 minutes). The muscles are relaxed and the body stays calm. As a result, your more compact connective tissue structures around the joints can be safely stimulated.

Because of the long stay in the individual Yin Yoga poses, your deep connective tissue (fascia) will be stretched and your joints opened. On a physical level, Yin Yoga preserves and promotes your natural mobility, which regresses with age. At the energetic level, the meridian system of your body is stimulated and the energy flow (chi) in your body is harmonized.

Yin Yoga is the perfect complement to dynamic and powerful yoga styles like Vinyasa and Ashtanga and prepares your body and mind for meditation.

This calm yoga style is particularly suitable for you, if you are limited in your mobility, want to learn to let go and to experience a deep self-awareness and relaxation.

5. Iyengar Yoga – precise & effective

Iyengar Yoga is a method developed and refined by the influential yoga master BKS Iyengar in years of work. This yoga style has a therapeutic approach and is a practical exercise method that is characterized by absolute precision in the exercise of individual postures. Workers use a variety of yoga tools such as blocks, straps, pillows, blankets, and chairs to guide students into alignment.

Breathing and mind, long-held asanas (postures) and a calming awareness are the essence of this famous yoga method of the famous Indian guru UCS The Hatha yoga exercises integrate your whole body, encompassing both lying, powerful standing and sitting postures as well as forward, backbends, Reversal postures and rotational postures as well as exercises for relaxation and regeneration. Devotion and attention to detail and a perfect alignment are always very important, as well as special breathing techniques (pranayama).

In Iyengar yoga, there is no fixed sequence of yoga postures that are repeated at each lesson in the same way. Instead, individual exercises are selected from a large repertoire of attitudes as well as specific ways of working and variations and brought into a meaningful and harmonious order depending on the theme or focus of the yoga class.

The use of aids allows anyone, even physically or physically handicapped persons, older and weaker people, as well as immobile students to perform the exercises effectively and accurately. Iyengar Yoga is great for both beginners and advanced, as the asanas are very extensive.

6. Sivananda Yoga – holistic & spiritual

Sivananda Yoga is named after the founder Swami Sivananda Saraswathi. In this classic and holistic yoga practice several yoga styles are integrated. The goal is to achieve and maintain the combination of the five pillars of asana (yoga practice), pranayama (breathing exercises), deep relaxation as well as vegetarian diet, positive thinking and mediation, mental and physical health.

You can imagine a Sivananda Yoga lesson more calmly and relaxed, while at the same time awakening your energies and harmonizing your body and mind.

In contrast to many modern yoga styles, a Sivananda Yoga lesson consists of mediation, breathing techniques, relaxation exercises and mantras in addition to body postures, and the final relaxation is not neglected. Some Western yogis are therefore irritated at their first Sivananda hour, find it too esoteric or spiritual. Others appreciate the holistic approach of tradition.

Sivananda Yoga is ideal for those who value a holistic approach and want to include body, mind and soul in the yoga practice.

7. Ashtanga Yoga – purist & disciplined

The Sanskrit term “Ashtanga” translated means “eight members” and thus refers to the eight-limbed path of Patanjali. Of all the yoga styles he is considered the hardest and hardest. Purists swear by him, others are too strict and exhausting. But undisputed Ashtanga is one of the most important classical yoga methods.

Ashtanga yoga is a very physical way of doing yoga. Sometimes very difficult exercises are carried out in flowing vinyasa style in harmony with the breath. 

The Ashtanga Yoga system consists of six, increasingly heavy series. Most of the six are taught only the first series. Only after one series is fully mastered, you practice the next. Since the series are all very demanding, there are not many people beyond the second series. For a balanced yoga practice, the first series called Yoga Chikitsa (meaning “Yoga Therapy”) is often sufficient. This series consists of a fixed sequence of positions composed of sun salutations, standing positions, a middle section and the final sequence. Each movement is initiated by inhalation or exhalation, and each position is held for a fixed number of breaths. Once the process has been learned, the practice of meditation can start moving.

Ashtanga yoga is traditionally taught in the so-called Mysore style, with the yoga teacher walking around and assisting but giving no general directions. So private lessons in a group atmosphere. In the process, you gradually learn the Ashtanga sequence so that you can practice it independently at some point. Independent practice has the advantage that you are less distracted and it is also easier that you can really concentrate on yourself and your own practice. In addition to the Mysore style, there are also LED classes, in these yoga classes body postures and breath are announced.

Ashtanga Yoga is for disciplined people who like clear rules and instructions and do not feel like having a softening program.

8. Jivamukti Yoga – musical & challenging

Jivamukti Yoga is a modern and dynamic form of Hatha Yoga that is physically and intellectually challenging as well as stimulating. This popular yoga style from New York was founded in the 1980s by American artist couple Sharon Gannon and David Life.

The yoga classes include strengthening and flowing body postures. In addition, stimulating music, singing of mantras (chanting), meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises), individual hands-on assistance and yoga-philosophical instruction always play an important role. In order for the yoga classes to be inspiring, the sequences are very varied and creatively designed and different from hour to hour.

Jivamukti Yoga is for people who want to live out the spiritual background in addition to the classical yoga a little more. It should lead to more awareness, courage and strength. But you have to be reasonably fit and agile, because Jivamukti is also one of the more strenuous types of yoga.

9. Kundalini Yoga – conscious & energizing

Kundalini Yoga, also known as the “Yoga of Consciousness”, was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan from northern India in the late 1960s. In this dynamic, playful form of yoga, physical exercises are combined with relaxation techniques, mantras are sung and meditated.

A Kundalini Yoga class usually involves dynamic exercises, in which the energy in the body is activated and made to flow through various yoga positions and breathing exercises. Kundalini Yoga cultivates joyful power, agility and a clear mind. If you are strongly challenged in everyday life, you can experience the opposites of strength building and letting go, as well as of energy charge and relaxation during the exercises. Breathing, a conscious body awareness and mindfulness are always in the foreground.

Kundalini Yoga is suitable for yogis and yoginis of all ages, as the postures are simple and you do not have to stretch or stretch. There is no special physical fitness or mobility required and requires no prior knowledge of other yoga directions.

10. Anusara Yoga – heart opening & thought out

Anusara Yoga is a modern and still relatively young yoga style from the USA and was founded in 1997 by the American John Friend. Anusara means “flow with grace” and attaches particular importance to a precise orientation of the yoga postures. In this kinematics are mainly focused on physically demanding and strengthening exercises that open the chest and thus the heart.

The yoga teacher often picks up on a philosophical topic and then transfers it to everyday life. The theme is the focus of the yoga class. In addition to the opening of the heart, Anusara Yoga focuses on the anatomy and the feeling of being in an exact alignment. With the help of biomechanics and bioenergetics, John Friend developed extremely precise alignment principles. These are intended to help prevent and reduce injuries and postural damage.

Anusara Yoga is particularly suitable for newcomers, as you slowly, with precision and peace, approaching each yoga position and the exact alignment also minimizes the risk of injury. I would recommend Anusara Yoga to anyone who not only wants to go through life more positively and find their own center, but also loves physical movements with flowing elements.