By Steve Evan
Yoga for Children is a wonderful antidote to the hectic lives that our children lead. Yoga can be relaxing, stimulating, and promotes well being. It provides closely controlled exercise and is enormous fun for children at the same time.
A number of Yoga for Children programmes have been created by Yoga teachers to introduce the benefits of yoga and relaxation at an early age in a playful, simple and fun way. The combination of special yoga moves, breathing exercises and relaxations will energize, strengthen, loosen and balance little bodies, while helping to calm and control and relax little minds.
Kids yoga is a wonderful opportunity for the child to learn life skills that can be implemented into their daily routine. Whether it\’s breathing and relaxation techniques that will help them, focus, concentrate or be calm; or postures that will help their endurance, flexibility, balance and coordination these are all very naturally a strong part of yoga.
Yoga for children is most successful if the children are encouraged to use their imagination. A dynamic, creative and stimulating approach grabs the children\’s attention.
Yoga for children is practiced in the United Kingdom. It is not new to Britain, with after-school clubs and classes gaining popularity in recent years as parents realize its wide-ranging benefits. What is new to the UK, however, is the method of Research on Yoga in Education (RYE), an international non-profit making organization which blends the standard school curriculum with exercises on concentration, attention and relaxation, drawn mainly from traditional yoga.
What is also claimed is that Yoga for children gives the benefit that the children may be protected from injuries and at the same time they get all the benefits of exercising the system. This is not to suggest that the other exercise including outdoor forms of exercises and sports and games are not beneficial.
Parents have expressed appreciation for the presentation of yoga in a playful manner with its presentation of actively moving exercises balanced with those that require stillness and inner concentration, all in a child-friendly way. Parents may be practicing yoga themselves, and kids are always interested in what their parents are up to.
When assessing yoga trainers for children, parents should also inquire as to the spiritual nature of the classes; some instructors take a strong religious stance, while others offer no particular religious slant, instead focusing simply on the movements and breathing.
In the best classes the kids learn balance with dozens of yoga poses, develop strength, improve coordination and enhance their flexibility all with these children\’s yoga exercises. Furthermore, kids develop an overall sense of strength, flexibility and well-being, while they get hold of their active lives and sometimes overactive minds. Kids get to prowl, growl and wiggle through yoga animal poses from Alligator to Zebra! Certified children\’s yoga instructors will introduce stretching, breathing, standing poses and simple meditation.
Kids yoga provides an answer to children who we might described as being are little bit harder to reach, although we stand firm with our belief that every child has an angel deep down inside them.
We have said that children’s Yoga allows a child to deal with daily stress. What do we mean by that?
The answer is that each time a child enters a Yoga class for kids, he or she can “close the door” on negative feelings that stress overload brings. They can simply put that behind them throughout the lesson and afterward doing that tend to take a more mature perspective. Kids need a way to manage all of their stress and anxiety. It is not healthy for a child to feel so much anxiety over any given situation.
There you have it! Kids and yoga seem like a natural match. It can be immensely therapeutic for those who need it.
However, yoga can be presented well and insensitively. The best trainers recognize that kids need a practice that suits their physical and emotional needs. Luckily, many yoga schools across the nation are responding to the growing interest in yoga for the younger set in a very well managed and sensitive way.
It is a fact that to provide kids yoga a specialized training might be needed, and is in some places being made available, but patience is a key quality needed for Yoga instructors who want to embark on this path. I teach children myself, and a Kids Yoga class has to be well devised, be fun, and include games.
So, we hope that we have shown you how yoga is such a great way to relax and de-stress equally for the child and the adult.
However, did you know that there are even now some yoga practitioners who are providing training to parents in yoga from soon after birth?
By using yoga with babies, parents confidence grows in handling, playing and having fun with their babies. The classes are fun class in a system which also offers gentle post-natal yoga and tummy toning exercises for mummy!