Can Children Do Yoga?

Can Children Do Yoga?
Asking, “Can children do yoga?” is similar to asking, “Should children exercise?” All children need exercise in moderation, which is no different with yoga. While there are some conflicting opinions on whether or not yoga is good for kids, ultimately it’s up to the parent to decide what’s best for their child after research and consideration. Children can absolutely do yoga and benefit from it, but you definitely want to consider the pros and cons before jumping right in.

Yoga for children

First off, the pros! When practiced properly and in moderation, yoga can be a great way for children to develop healthy habits and become more familiar with their bodies. Children’s muscles and reflexes are still developing, and the balance support of yoga can help them move more freely and with more awareness. Also, if you feel that your child has an overabundance of energy that can make them restless or frustrated, the deep breathing exercises of yoga can help calm them and bring inner peace.

Yoga also teaches us to be still, developing attentive listening skills that can be applied to lessons and homework. Remember, children are just little people — they experience stress just like the rest of us! If yoga can reduce stress levels for adults, it only makes sense that it works for children as well. School, friends and even playing outside can cause different kinds of stress, and children are not always aware of why they feel frustrated or wound-up. Teaching them to unwind through yoga will give them the tools they need to understand their own bodies and tame their stress levels.

What to avoid when teaching yoga to children

Of course, as with any kind of exercise, the extent to which children practice yoga should be monitored. Too much exercise can stunt growth, so try to stay away from rigorous yoga routines or even slightly advanced moves. The goal should be to make your child healthy and happy, so asanas geared towards weight-loss or muscle building should be avoided. Also, because their muscles are still in serious development mode, they will likely have difficulty balancing themselves; make sure an adult is present to help prevent injury, or stress the importance of performing only the most basic positions when alone.

If you decide to implement yoga into your child’s lifestyle, definitely add it as a supplement and not a replacement for other interactive activities. Children need to play and connect with the world, and it’s important to note that social development is equally as important as physical and mental development at such a young age. Let them run around with friends, play video games and ride bikes, then provide them with some low-impact exercise to calm the nerves and relax the mind!

For a great resource on how yoga can be used with children, visit, an empowering initiative by Anthony Berlingeri.

*Photo courtesy of Yoga Affects Youth.