With summer in full force, many kids are enjoying all the waterways the Earth and humankind has to offer us for cooling and fun! Between the pools, lakes, and oceans, kids will be splashing around to beat the heat. Yoga, surprisingly, can help kids with their swimming skills. It might seem weird, but yoga philosophy and a yoga practice can help keep kids safe in the water this summer!
1. First things first: Safety. Yoga can help keep kids safe because in yoga, we learn to always honor our bodies and to be respectful of our surroundings. The water is a fun, but dangerous place. By becoming more mindful, kids learn to become aware of the power water has, and thus, they learn to behave accordingly. They may start making decisions of what being safe means by attending to the happenings around them, how they feel, and what the rules are.
2. Along the same lines, part of yoga philosophy is developing a good character. Part of good character is remaining respectful of rules and recognizing that they often exist for everyone to have a good time. It then is a little easier to explain to a child that they cannot go in the water alone, or cannot run around the pool, etc. They become more conscientious of the hazards and the needs of the people around them because of what they learned in their yoga class!
3. Another way yoga can help kids in the water is through increased lung capacity by practicing their pranayama! Breathing exercises in yoga build our lungs and help us inhale and exhale more efficiently-an important skill when it comes to swimming. Not only that, kids might feel more confident in their breathing and coordination. Building one’s lungs is a requirement of swimming and a regular yoga practice can prepare your little one.
4. Lastly, yoga strengthens the muscles in the body and increases coordination. All the poses and games that we do help build muscle, and consequently, strength. Strength is important for swimming as the resistance of the water is exponential compared to land. All the yoga your child has practiced has helped get their muscles ready for other sports and activity, such as swimming. You may have even noticed their muscles and strength developing throughout the time they have been doing yoga!
Yoga is beneficial even in the times we may not see a connection, such as water safety and swimming! By teaching kids that yoga helps us to discern appropriate rules, such as those regarding water safety, you have helped reinforce important knowledge about taking care of our bodies, respecting the earth, and being mindful. By teaching kids how to breathe “big” and move their bodies in a coordinated fashion, you have helped them master swimming before they even step foot in a pool! Their parents and swim instructors will thank you for your role in their becoming proficient swimmers outside of the water. So, make friends with your little mermaid’s yoga teacher and swim teacher this summer!
Want more water fun? Read this blog for inspiration and instruction.