Why Kids Yoga
When I was a little girl, my favorite thing was having my dad brush my hair. For Lina, this was not the case. Lina is 3 and a half. She attends the odd yoga class with her big brother Drew. Lina’s mom was telling me that on the weekend, Lina’s dad was brushing her hair. Lina cried and cried. Drew is a sensitive little guy, so when he saw his sister crying, he ran over. “Lina, Lina, Lina! Do your *OM breath!!” the whole family sat together and breathed as Lina’s hair was brushed, her tears quickly dried up and a smile appeared.
Yoga teaches kids tools on how to live life. They learn how to cope with pain such as brushing Lina’s hair. Other kids have learned to be kind to others and show them love. A two year old little girl named Jill watches me teach yoga to her mom and her two to three times a week. She even joins in the odd time. One day, when she was at home showing her grandpa her yoga book, he laid down for savassana. She came over to him and gave him a neck massage with her pretend lotion. This is something she noticed I do for her mom each class.
Kids are always watching and absorbing. Yoga allows them to build confidence. There is not a wrong way to do yoga, as long as you breathe. For young kids, introducing them to meditation at a young age will improve their focus and attention span. It also sets them up for success in school later on. Many sports teams use meditation and visualization as an important tool before a game.
Yoga teaches kids about their emotions, as well as body awareness. This is important growing up, learning how to take charge of your emotions. So when you’re mad, you can do a couple dragon breaths to help you let it all out. Or how to balance your body, like bending your right knee in warrior one but not your left. Yoga creates a wonderful baseline for body/mind awareness and future sports.
FUN! Who doesn’t want to do something fun? Yoga is a blast. Some of my favorite games for young kids is Yoga, Yoga, Pose! It is just like Duck, Duck, Goose, but instead of simply running to the other persons spot, you run in Downward Dog, Tree, or Frog pose. It’s excellent for learning the names of the postures as well as burning some energy. For the older kids, a great one is Pose Charades. Kids are in groups of two or three. One kid gets to pick a yoga pose to go into and, not only do his partners have to guess which postures he is, but in they get to give him adjustments.
*OM Breath- Big inhale and slow long exhale with the sound O, as the air runs out allow the lips to close for the MMM this will create a gentle vibration. Lengthening the exhale as well as the vibration from the lips are bother incredibly soothing to the central nervous system.