By Nizha Periaswamy

I'm sure you have heard the term 'kuttikaranam' before. Some of us would have even probably done this forward rolling movement when were children. After all, that was part of childhood, wasn't it?

As much as this movement look like all fun, do you know that kuttikaranam is also a healthy exercise that aligns the mind and the body?

When done properly, it delivers and incredible body and brain workout and is appropriate for all age groups.

Kuttikaranam is also part of yoga asana movement, though it is not a posture in itself, rather a movement incorporated into the flow of yoga. It is best to get children started on this movement when they take up yoga.

Let's see what are the benefits of kuttikaranam.

1) Improves and develops the vestibular sense

- Kuttikaranam or forward rolls promote and develop the vestibular sense through physical control. Children learn to balance their bodies and align the movement. However, they must have enough body control to keep their heads tucked in and roll over a full round in a single motion.

When both sides of the body work together during this exercise, body and mind coordination is increased. As the practitioners roll forward, both sides of their body apply equal amounts of energe to keep the body centred.

2) Develops muscle tone

- It is important for children to develop their muscle. Forward rolls help to develop and maintain appropriate muscle tone, especially around the shoulders, arm and core.

3) Strengthens eye control

- According to, forward rolls develop better eye tracking and improves eye strength. This allows children to improve their reading skills. They will be able to follow the lines on the page of a book. Children who struggle to focus on comprehending a story will benefit from this exercise.

4) It's fun!

- Most importantly, children tend to have fun during this activity. Forward rolling is among the best activity for them to have fun and regain their confidence. Children always want to try something new and do everything by themselves so this exercise is ideal for their self-development.

All said and done, it is best for children to perform this exercise under adult supervision. Be sure they plant both their palms firmly on the ground before they begin to roll. Observe their rolling, and if needed, help to centre their body by holding their hips.

Place a mat, thin mattress or a choose a smooth, safe surface before letting your children perform their kuttikaranam. If they are rolling outdoors (grass or soil), make sure the surface is free from stones or any sharp objects to avoid bodily injuries.

Photo source: FB Yoginizha Yatra