There’s good reason that everyone from Adam Levine to Jennifer Aniston touts the positive effects of yoga. In addition to the self-reflection and flexibility benefits, yoga helps build strength, stamina, and coordination. But what might surprise you most is that it’s a practice that even our littlest ones can benefit from. You’ve heard of baby yoga right? Well, the number of classes for infants 0 and up is growing and there are now even mats designed specifically for toddlers (yes, they’re small and light enough for our little ones to carry…”just like mom!”).
So why exactly should a child that can barely talk start practicing yoga? Not only can yoga help children develop a strong immune system, it can help them hone cooperation, compassion and stress coping skills. As children get older it also works to give them a break from the competitive nature of sports. In fact it has been proven time and time again that, when started at an early age, yoga cultivates confidence, coordination and body awareness in a playful way. It also works to improve a child’s focus, concentration, and ability to sooth themselves while teaching children to shift inward and away from the chaos of technology.
Manduka – the leader when it comes to all things yoga gear – has come out with an eco-friendly mat for little yogis. Called the LiveON Kids Mat, it’s made from 100% reclaimable and recyclable PLUSfoam. It has a playful design that kids will love, supportive cushion to protect bones and joints, and a sticky surface with a great grip (no “wearing in” required). It also works well as a travel yoga mat if you’re on the go since it’s so lightweight.