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Yoga for Anxious Kids

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Anxiety disorders are fairly common among children. However, if not treated, it could affect the child’s overall confidence and happiness. Yoga has been known to help alleviate anxiety and stress in people. The ancient practice of yoga helps to unite one’s mind, body and spirit. Kids are known to grasp concepts faster than adults, and have extremely flexible bodies. Doing yoga is an effective way for children to reduce anxiety. It is also helps improve their confidence, and discipline them. Help your little ones try out these ten yoga postures in order to alleviate anxiety and boost their confidence!

1. Snake posture

Benefits: Helps improve blood circulation, improves flexibility, reduces stress and useful for people with respiratory problems.
Directions:
• Lie face down with your feet together, and your forehead touching the ground.
• Place your palms in line with your chest
• As you inhale, raise your head and chest off the floor; looking upwards.
• Exhale, and slowly release the posture to come back face down on the ground.

2. Warrior posture

Benefits: Strengthens the legs and pelvis, relieves back pain, and alleviates anxiety.
Directions:
• Place your legs four feet apart; with your right leg in front and your left leg at the back.
• Turn your torso to a side.
• Now, turn your right foot 90˚, and your left foot 60˚.
• As you inhale, stretch your hands upwards.
• When you exhale, bend your right knee as you stretch your left leg.
• Repeat with your left leg in front and your right leg at the back.

3. Tree posture

Benefits: Helps strengthen the bones and muscles, improves concentration and stability, and helps calm the mind.
Directions:
• Stand straight with your feet close to each other.
• Keep your hands to the sides, with fingers pointing downwards
• Lift your right leg, and place your foot on the inner thigh of your left leg.
• Fold your hands in prayer position and focus on your breathing
• Slowly place your right foot down, and repeat the steps with your other leg.

4. Camel posture

Benefits: Corrects hunched-back, relieves chest congestion and helps improves confidence.
Directions:
• Kneel down, with your legs slightly apart and your palms on your hips.
• As you inhale, extend your chest and abdomen forward and bend backwards while looking upwards.
• Focus on your breathing, and slowly return to the start position.

5. Fog posture

Benefits: Helps tone legs, improves blood circulation and reduce stress.
Directions:
• Stand with your feet slightly apart.
• Bend your knees and sit down, placing your hands between your feet.
• While you concentrate on your breathing, lean forward and shift your body weight to your hands.
• Slowly raise the soles of your feet upwards.
• Gently place the soles of your feet to the ground and stand up.

6. Downward facing dog posture

Benefits: Helps tone muscles, strengthens the body and leaves you feeling energized and calm.
Directions:
• Get on all fours so that your back remains straight and parallel with the floor. This is the table pose.
• Now, push up your hips by straightening the knees and elbows so that your body forms an inverted V shape.
• Hands must be shoulder-width apart, feet must be hip-width apart and parallel to each other, and toes should point straight ahead.
• Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and take long deep breaths.
• Exhale and slowly return to the table pose. Relax.

7. Cat posture

Benefits: Improves blood circulations, relaxes the mind, strengthens the wrists and shoulders and improves spinal flexibility
Directions:
• Get on all fours so that your back remains straight and parallel with the floor. This is the table pose.
• Your arms must be perpendicular to the floor; with your hands directly under the shoulders and your knees must be hip-width apart.
• Look straight ahead.
• As you inhale, raise your chin and tilt your head back and push your navel downwards. Raise your tailbone upwards and compress your buttocks.
• Hold the pose and take long, deep breaths.
• As you exhale, drop your chin to your chest, arch your back upwards and relax the buttocks.
• Hold the pose for a few seconds before returning to the table pose.

8. Star posture

Benefits: Improves flexibility, helps maintain balance and builds confidence.
Directions:
• Stand straight with your feet close to each other and your hands by your side.
• Slide your legs widely apart.
• Stretch your arms upwards on either side in such a way that you take the shape of a star.
• While you hold this position, concentrate on your breathing.
• Lower your hands and slowly stand upright again.

9. Child posture

Benefits: Helps alleviate anxiety and strengthens the back.
Directions:
• Sit on your heels. Bend forward and lower your forehead to the floor.
• Keep your arms alongside your body with the hands on the floor and your palms facing upwards.
• Gently press your chest on the thighs and hold the pose.
• After holding the pose for one or two minutes, slowly lift yourself up to sit back on your heels.

10. Corpse Pose

Benefits: Helps alleviate insomnia, useful in reducing stress and calm the mind.
Directions:
• Lie flat on your back and close your eyes.
• Keep your legs apart, with your toes facing to the sides. Place your arms a little spread apart from your body, with your palms open and facing upward. Relax your arms and legs completely.
• Slowly relax your entire body by taking your attention to different parts of your body.
• Begin by bringing your attention to your right foot, move on to the right knee and so on. Slowly move upwards to your head after relaxing both your legs.
• Focus on your breathing; keep breathing slowly, gently and deeply.
• After 10-20 minutes, while keeping your eyes closed, slowly roll onto your right side. Lie in that position for a minute or so.
• By taking the support of your right hand, gently sit up.
• Keep your eyes closed and focus on your breathing as you gradually become more aware of your relaxed body and mind. Slowly open your eyes.

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