Yoga and Children

Yoga exercises are not recommended for children under 16 because their bodies’ nervous and glandular systems are still growing, and the effect of Yoga exercises on these systems may interfere with natural growth. But children may safely practice meditation and simple breathing exercises as long as the breath is never held. These techniques can greatly help children learn to relax, concentrate, and reduce impulsiveness. Children trained in these techniques are better able to manage emotional upsets and cope with stressful events.

There is no doubt that Yoga postures (asans) and breathing techniques affect the physical body. People these days commonly accept the fact that such therapies as acupressure, neuromuscular massage, and reflexology can have systemic effects due to pressure applied to certain areas of the body. The physical basis for the effects of Yoga asans may be related. The asans and breathing techniques provide a deep massage and strong compression of the parts of the body where endocrine glands are located. Many Yoga stretches seem to target the nerves in the legs, arms, neck, and spine. That is why the children are generally not advised to undertake complicated Yoga postures.

The powerful physical and mental effects of Yoga asans may interfere with their natural growth.