Yes, yoga is for kids too!
We live in a crazy, busy, over-stimulating world and so do our kids. Just like adults, kids can gain enormous benefits from practicing yoga. They can learn to focus, balance, and connect their outer bodies and inner selves - through movement, breath, creative visualization and play. Yoga is calming and yoga is also fun!
Yoga is Non-competitive
Yoga is a noncompetitive alternative to team sports. Kids learn to move their bodies without the pressure of having to win, or to be the best. There is no pressure to have to perform perfectly. They can delight in experimenting with their postures and laugh when they fall down.
Yoga is Play
Most yoga Asanas (poses) and Pranayama (breathing exercises) are based on animals and nature. Kids love to imitate animals and are great at pretending that they are, for example, a tree swaying in the wind (Tree Pose/Vriksasana) or a lion roaring (Lions Breath/Simhasana). Acting out a story through poses is a great way for kids to learn traditional yoga poses and to make up their own – which they delightfully do.
Teaching kids yoga is an interactive creative work in progress. Kids don’t have the ability to stay on a mat for an entire class, quietly following directions like adults. Off the mat games such as musical mats or freeze tag yoga, and small group partner yoga performances are a standard feature in all of the classes that I teach. Kids want to learn poses, so that they can teach them to each other as a part of a game.
Meditation and Sivasana
Children love to experiment with meditation or making space between their thoughts. Surprisingly, most of the kids say this is easy and that they feel relaxed and happy after a short meditation experience. Most kids hate to go to bed or take naps, but they will all lie mostly still at the end of the class in Corpse Pose/Savasana and go on a little adventure in their minds eye. During Savasana they are taught to bodyscan and relax every part of their physical selves and then to imagine various blissful places where they can have everything they need and want, not only for themselves but also for the world.
At Amara, our mission is to provide fun, innovative and creative programs in a comfortable and nurturing environment to help kids to grow healthy, happy and balanced. Kids yoga classes are play based and promote balance, relaxation, and positive self-realization.