Ever wonder why your toddler is constantly on-the-go? They are busy discovering their bodies and developing gross motor skills.

As young children move around, they gain a sense of their own bodies, how it moves in relation to space and how it functions doing different activities. The non-competitive nature of yoga promotes self-esteem and body awareness, which will benefit children for the rest of their lives. Body awareness is an important precursor to learning, typically developed during early childhood years. Increasing body awareness can actually ensure success in future academic skills.

Yoga gives children a chance to tune into their bodies as they move from posture to posture. The practice increases muscle strength, flexibility and range of motion, while teaching children to learn their limits and pay attention to how their body feels. Being aware of their bodies will actually encourage good pencil grip, handwriting and, of course, gross motor skills.

Spatial relations and distinguishing between right and left, also necessary components for learning, can be developed through yoga. Many postures are repeated on both the right and left side of the body. This repetition is thought to harmonize the left and right hemisphere of the brain.

Yoga for Body Awareness:
Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskar A)

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  • Reach arms overhead

  • Standing Foward Bend (Utanasana)

  • Half-way lift to a flat back, palms press into the earth or shins (Ardah Utanasana)

  • Plank Pose (Dandasana)

  • Low Plank – Bend elbows halfway (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Modification: Drop knees, chest and chin

  • Cobra (link to Yoga article with Cobra)

  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Savasana)

SHARED By: Hilarie Moore, Yoga and Movement Instructor at Gymtime and York Avenue Preschool