Child Yoga ? What is All the Fun About?

Many adults have taken up yoga, but yoga has not gained as the same popularity with children. Child yoga can offer many of the same benefits to kids as it does to adults.

What can yoga offer your child?

A healthier body ? Childhood obesity is on the rise and one of the main reasons for it is that kids today do not move enough. Yoga is a powerful technique for children to begin moving their bodies in ways that feel good and help them look good. Even if your child is of normal weight, yoga can help her become stronger, gain endurance and flexibility. If your child is involved in another sport, a regular yoga practice is a great cross training activity and it may help him reduce the risk of injuries.

The ability to control stress ? Today's children are under enormous stress. They are often over scheduled, they face tough competition in school, they have to deal with peer pressure, and they are trying to find their way in the world. This combination can cause children to become stressed out. Yoga can help your child learn how to relax. When your child learns how to control her breathing and relax during her practice, she can then apply this to her world when she encounters challenging situations.

Increased self-esteem ? Yoga is a non-competitive activity. Yet it does offer your child the ability to master challenging poses (especially as he gets older). Your child can feel good about his increasing ability without having to worry about how he compares to everyone else. This experience of success can help your child feel more confident in his ability to be successful in other things too.

Greater concentration ?
The breathing and inward focus that is a main component of any yoga practice can help your child learn to focus his mind more effectively. A number of studies have shown that many children who practice yoga, especially those with problems such as ADHD, are able to concentrate for longer periods of time.

What is a child yoga program like?
The main focus of a child yoga program is on fun. Often the children will pretend to be the animal for which the pose is named. For instance, when they are doing Cat Pose, they become the cat and may even meow. If they are doing Downward Facing Dog with their butts high in the air, they will often bark, as they become the dog. The children are encouraged to fully participate in and enjoy the 'game of yoga.' Sometimes the instructor will create an entire story about the poses that the children are in so as to make the class interesting and to fully engage them. The children don't realize how much they are benefiting from the practice; the only thing they know is that they are having a good time.

Practicing yoga at home with your child.
While child yoga classes are wonderful, they are often hard to find. Depending on where you live, you might not be able to find a place to take your child. Don't fret. There are a number of excellent videos and books that you can get which will help you become your child's yoga teacher.

*Find a spot in your home where you have room to move freely.

*Establish an atmosphere of fun.

*Put on the video and do the poses together, hopefully with lots of giggles sprinkled in.

*Pick out some poses from a book that you can do ? have your child choose some of the them.

*When doing the relaxation exercise, talk your child through it by describing a warm, inviting place such as a quiet field near a bubbling brook with butterflies and singing birds. Use your imagination to create a safe and friendly space and help your child experience it in his imagination.

Child yoga is an enjoyable activity that can provide major benefits to your child. It will help her grow stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally ? and she'll have a lot of fun too!

Della Menechella is a yoga and fitness enthusiast who has been involved in fitness for over thirty years. Her website is filled with practical information about how you can make yoga and fitness a positive part of your life. Visit the site and get your free meditation e-book.

In The News:


Officials in Central Russia Have Banned Yoga Because They Think It's an Evil Cult
According to the Moscow Times, which cited a report in the Russian Kommersant daily, the owners of two of the city's main hatha-yoga studios received letters from government officials telling them to immediately cease their classes because the practice ...
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LeBron James led a beach yoga session at Nike's Basketball Academy
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Danica Patrick Keeps Posting Pictures Of Herself In Yoga Pants And That's Not ...
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Russia targets yoga sessions as 'cult'
Russian officials have banned yoga in the central city of Nizhnevartovsk in an effort to counteract 'occult practices'. At least two studios - the Aura and Ingara, where Hatha yoga is practiced - have reportedly received letters from Nizhnevartovsk ...
Russian Tyrants Attempt Crackdown on Yoga PantsWashington Free Beacon
Russia stretches its long list of banned activities to yogaThe Times (subscription)

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New hot yoga studio heats up Spokane's South Hill (subscription)
BeYOUtiful hot yoga has been open for a few weeks. It was originally supposed to open in January, but delays in construction pushed their opening all the way to June. Manager Andrea Easlick said that is not typical for a hot yoga studio because this is ...

Mountain Xpress

Quirky studio The Little Volcano brings cat yoga to Asheville
Mountain Xpress
POSES WITH PERSONALITY: The Little Volcano's star projector yoga classes cultivate cameraderie deeper than the burn of pigeon pose. “This class gets ridiculous, hilarious, loud, silly and sometimes deep,” co-owner Rosie Volcano says. “When we play ...

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Kutsher's Will Be Reincarnated as Catskills Yoga Retreat
After closing in 2013, the former Borscht Belt hotel — famed as the inspiration for the fictional “Dirty Dancing” resort — is to be reincarnated as a $250-million yoga center. Indian billionaire Subhash Chandra plans to turn the defunct resort into a ...
Jewish resort Kutsher's to become yoga retreatThe Times of Israel

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International Yoga Day And What It Means For India
International Yoga Day, June 21, was celebrated across the world in cities that included New York, Paris, Beijing, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Seoul. In Delhi, India fashioned a spectacular that might be about more than spiritual growth. It happened on ...
Yoga: boost for the economy, 'cure for homosexuality', says Indian guruBizNews
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AOL News

'Fuller House' star Lori Loughlin shows off stunning yoga bod -
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The "Fuller House" star took to Instagram Monday to show off her fit yoga bod, and of course, make the Internet supremely jealous of her stunning figure. Loughlin was all smiles in the snap as she held a side plank position, which showed off her ...
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Miami Herald

Yoga on the water: SUP helps build balance and muscles
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Paddleboard yoga, or SUP yoga (“stand-up paddleboard yoga'') is an alternative way of practicing yoga. It is done on boards that resemble surfboards but are a little bigger. The workout builds balance, as you straddle the board while it moves, and it's ...

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