Health and Wellness

Yoga asanas to combat five common problems in children

Neha Saroha
3 to 7 years

Created by Neha Saroha
Updated on Jun 21, 2017

Yoga asanas to combat five common problems in children

As my 5-year-old gears up for school, I can’t help but wonder how the changing times have modified the lives of our little ones as well. They are subjected to a rush-rush lifestyle on a day-to-day basis, where their daily schedules are packed with school, extra classes, extracurricular activities, day cares, video games, competitive sports training etc. I wouldn’t be exaggerating, when I say that the children today are actually “little adults” (mere images of our multitasking selves) and are perhaps as much stressed, if not more, than adults. As parents, we need to not only take care of their development, but also focus on how to reduce the rising levels of stress in these little people.

I have found that yoga can help address, these “not-so-little” issues in children. Yoga at an early age boosts self-esteem and body awareness with a physical activity that’s non-competitive and is an essential tool to compliment their trainings, so as to help them extract the most out of the same and not feel bogged down, at the same time.

Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Today I would be discussing the 5 most crucial benefits of yoga for children, for the most common five problems children face. I would be enlisting each problem and try to discuss its solution through yoga. Before we start, I want to emphasise that these techniques should be practiced in the presence of a trained yoga instructor. Also, please note that, while yoga may help with these issues, it is not a miracle worker or a replacement for medication. It requires time and discipline.

1. Asthma

Given the high levels of air-pollution, it is not uncommon for children to develop breathing ailments, early one. One of the most common diseases to afflict our children is asthma.

Asthma is a condition that affects a person's breathing. Inside the lungs are airways called breathing tubes or bronchial tubes. With asthma, some of the smallest tubes can get inflamed and narrow, making it harder for air to get through and causing breathing difficulties. A child with asthma may wheeze (make a whistling sound), cough, and feel tightness in the chest.

Yoga suggests that deep-breathing exercises use our lungs to their maximum capacity and also help us to learn breathing correctly. Yoga poses that helps relieve symptoms of Asthma:

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril breathing) - This breathing technique has a healing effect on many respiratory and circulatory problems.

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting half spinal twist) - Opens the chest and improves the supply of oxygen to the lungs, thereby reducing the probability of asthma restricting them.

Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose) - Opens up the chest, lungs and encourages deep breathing

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing dog pose) - This pose helps in calming the mind, relieves stress and is good for people suffering from asthma and sinusitis.

Kapalbhati: Quite a powerful asana for strengthening your lungs, as you inhale more oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. It is recommended for children with wheezing problems.

2. Weak Immune System

Autumn brings with it bouts of allergies, colds and flu. Relaxing the nervous system has been shown to boost immunity. To build the immune system and improve sinus-related conditions, it is suggested that we focus on the thymus gland. Located in the chest, the thymus gland is the locus of the immune system.

Yoga can help by strengthening and balancing your basic weapon against sinus conditions — the immune system. Any posture in which we open the chest and breathe deeply stimulates the thymus gland and hence strengthens the immune system. The most beneficial Yoga postures for this purpose are:

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) – stimulates the thymus. It provides a boost of energy after a long day of sitting in the same position (highly beneficial for children who sit and study for long hours during exams)

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) – Stretches and strengthens back and circulatory system; boosts overall health and immunity.

Setu Bhandasana (Bridge Pose) – Opens up lungs, heart, and upper body; stimulates thymus, thereby improving body’s infection combating potential.

3. Indigestion

Several gastric troubles can lead to such great discomfort that it can disturb your child’s mind and spirit. Of course this concept may seem a little out of scope for our children to understand, but they surely relate to low energy level and high irritability. Here Yoga should be treated as the first go to treatment for it not only strengths and tones but also increases the metabolism of our children preventing recurrence of the issue.

Paranayam - The breathing exercises involved in Paranayam control and increase the oxygen intake which not only augments creation of new cells but also relieves the body of chronic pain. Increasing oxygen absorption in the blood will make the body feel more energetic.

 Halasana (Plow Pose) : This not only relieves constipation, stomach disorders but controls obesity, diabetes and blood pressure.

 Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose) - Helps the body get rid of the accumulated gas in the digestive tract relieving the pain. It is also said to control hyperacidity and regulate bowel movements.

 Naukasana (Boat Pose) - Is also a recommended posture which aids digestion, as it strengthens pancreas.

 These postures of yoga not only help the body in better digestion, it also makes the muscles of the intestine strong and rigid

4. Lack of focus in children

Lack of focus is one of the most common problems in children. Children these days have to go through a lot and hence they lack  focus and sometimes are unable to either complete the task at hand or the result from the effort is not as much as it should be. This is where yoga comes to aid. Besides, meditation and deep-breathing poses to increase concentration and focus, some more yoga asanas that help build focus are:

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose): This pose replicates the graceful stance of a tree and helps in improving concentration and focus.  

Natrajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose) This pose is highly recommended as it not only improves concentration but also releases stress and calms the mind.

5. Weight management

Yoga has been synonymous with healthy mind and healthy weight. Yoga addresses problems like poor metabolism, stress, lack of appetite, and digestive issues. While it helps overcome these problems, it also stabilises weight and ensures your child hits the right weight goals.

Asanas for weight loss

Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) - With the 12 poses you possibly work out all the areas of your body. It helps in strengthening your skeletal system including ligament strength and relieving anxiety.

Veerabhadrasana (the warrior poses): Works on your legs, thighs, back and arms. It helps in improving blood circulation.

Trikonasana: This asana tones the sides of your body, arms and thighs. 

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| May 07, 2018

healthy recipe for 3 years baby girl

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| Jun 28, 2017

could u please provide us pictures or video of essential yoga postures for kids... as I have less idea...

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| Jun 27, 2017

thank u for sharing... very useful

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| Jun 24, 2017

thank you for posting this. it will really help me

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| Jun 22, 2017

Very informative. Thanks

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| Jun 22, 2017

I wished the pictures were there which would have been more helpful as I have less idea about yoga postures

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| Jun 21, 2017

thanks for information

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| Jun 21, 2017

Good information. Very useful... Thanks

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| Jun 21, 2017

thanks Neha

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| Jun 21, 2017

Thanks neha...

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| Mar 22, 2017

a good description of asanas

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| Feb 23, 2017

we are working parents and I cannot give sufficient time to him. my son is 6 yrs old he cannot express his feelings, he is very emotional, can't easily open, his thoughts whenever we will out of house or at relatives home he strat crying (crying without noise, he can't show his will) if he not get expected toys or things or sometime. As we r not giving time to him I thought he feels very insecure. He not mix with children's of his age. what can I do plz suggest me

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| Jan 09, 2017

great information. thank you so much.

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| Jan 06, 2017

my son is 7 years old he is not concentrate on his studies what can i do

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| Dec 31, 2016

good one. Grouping the asanas and pranayamas

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| Nov 30, 2016

I went to school at the age of three. I do exercise daily in the school. My son is 3year old. In his school, they didnt teach him exercise. From the last few days they have started yoga.

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| Nov 30, 2016

my son is 3 yrs old. can he start the yoga. any way good information

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| Sep 04, 2016

My daughter 3 years old..... can she start these asanas... what is the correct age to practice yoga

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| Jul 30, 2016

i will try get my child follow these .. very useful thank you

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| May 05, 2016

When shall the kids do yogas morning they have school n all other activities is evening a good time or night

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| May 05, 2016

Very good information. really of gr8 help 2 mom's like me

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| May 05, 2016

My son is 5yr old. And he has extreme short temper. What can I do to control his temper. He never listen to anyone. As he was the first kid in both my parents and in law's house,he got extreme pampering. Which asanas are can be helpful for controlling his temper. Also he has indigestion problem.

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| Apr 13, 2016

My son is 4 and has knocking knees.. Please help with some asanas.

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| Mar 10, 2016

Nicely explained abt yoga, postures, n their benefits. Definitely going to try with my limited l ones. Thank u

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| Mar 04, 2016

My child s facing d problem of knock knees will u pls suggest me which type of exercises help him to cure..

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| Mar 03, 2016

Very useful information Pics of d asanas would have helped us more to Show them to the child and practice them

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| Mar 02, 2016

Very helpful information

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| Mar 02, 2016

Good information

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| Mar 01, 2016

Thanks a lot for guiding

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| Mar 01, 2016

Quite an insightful on the benefits of yoga for children, especially helpful during exams.

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