Children are overstimulated as they strive to keep up with the fast-paced demands of our society. As the tempo of modern life continues to accelerate due to breakthroughs in technology, kids are losing touch with their natural environment. It is important for them to learn tools to calm down, relax, and to simply stop and breathe in order to help abate the stress and anxiety caused by the dramatic speed of the world in which they live.

Practicing simple yoga poses is the ideal way for kids to naturally unwind and get physical activity at the same time, and it is a wholesome outlet to balance their lives. Indeed yoga nourishes the mind, body, and spirit and paves the way for a lifelong tradition of health and fitness. The diverse benefits of yoga include the following:

* Developing discipline, strength, and confidence

* Increasing focus and concentration

* Promoting calmness and easing stress

* Heightening body awareness and self-control

* Reducing impulsivity

* Teaching exercise and breathing

* Building flexibility

* Creating healthy habits

There is a growing global interest in the health of our youth, with an increased focus on their personal, spiritual, social, mental, and physical development. International Kids’ Yoga Day, celebrated on the first Friday in April every year, celebrates the health and fitness of our youth all around the world through yoga. At 11 AM local time at schools, homes, yoga studios, and child care organizations throughout the world, official Kids’ Yoga Day ambassadors and countless others who follow along at home, lead students through a specially designed five-minute yoga routine. Practicing just five minutes of yoga a day can change a child’s life forever.

Yoga is a working solution to the stress facing our youth, and participation in Kids’ Yoga Day is one way to support this worldwide movement of health and fitness for all children. We need to breathe and relax as a nation and country; yoga is a toolbox to make that happen. It teaches kids skills that emphasize the whole child, and is a form of physical activity that will also help them focus, concentrate, and regulate their emotions and stress response.

Life is moving too fast, and practicing just five minutes of yoga is one way for kids to slow down, appreciate their natural surroundings, and say “hello” to their greatest gifts of all: their minds and bodies.

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