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:

Woman writes yoga book for children
Springfield News-Leader
Anne Cox, local yogi, artist and grandmother of 12, has written and illustrated a yoga book for children titled “I Am a Yogi — My First Book of Yoga.” The book is on shelves at Barnes and Noble, 3055 S. Glenstone Ave.; at Renaissance Books & Gifts ...

1000 Expected For West Hartford Yoga Event Saturday
Hartford Courant
Led by yoga teacher Barbara Ruzansky, the free event is scheduled for Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. Free parking will be available in town-owned area lots until 11 a.m., and participants are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes early to secure a spot ...

BBC News

SUP yoga: The practice of yoga on a paddleboard
BBC News
But if that still sounds a bit too easy you could try a new form of yoga being taught in Cornwall. SUP yoga - or stand up paddleboard yoga - involves most of the usual yoga positions, but with the added complication of it being done at sea on a ...

and more »

The Virginian-Pilot

Rock and yoga mix on Michael Franti's Soulshine
The Virginian-Pilot
For his current tour, which stops at nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Portsmouth on Saturday, the Oakland, Calif., native combines music and yoga as another way to extend the peaceful vibes warming his music these days. “The word 'yoga' itself means 'to ...
Michael Franti brings yoga to the concert stage with the inaugural Soulshine TourCharlotte Observer
The Scene: Yoga, live music to come together during Soulshine FestPort City Daily
Strike a pose and

all 8 news articles »

Patch Q&A with Blue Nectar Yoga in Falls Church
Blue Nectar Yoga is a new yoga studio and boutique in Falls Church. From concept to reality, the dreams of two longtime friends were realized when co-founders Jane Bahneman and Amy Trietiak opened the doors of Blue Nectar Yoga Studio in January of ...

The Journal News /

Yoga, meet weight training
The Journal News /
The Warrior II with Upright Row is a simple move that combines a classic standing yoga pose with a basic weight-training exercise, and the only equipment you'll need is a pair of hand weights. Personal trainer Sadari Neville of the JCC of Mid ...

NOLA Brewing and lululemon athletica host 'Hot Yoga, Cold Beer' in the brewery
The Times-Picayune
I sometimes like to follow my yoga workouts with a cold one, and apparently I'm not the only one. Hundreds of men and women unrolled their yoga mats onto the concrete floors of the NOLA Brewing warehouse this week, eager to sweat through a series of ... (blog)

Five things to do today - free yoga, midsummer party, live Pixar scores (blog)
A crowd takes advantage of the nice weather during a free yoga class on the Race Street Pier in Philadelphia on May 26, 2014. Classes are offered in the morning six days a week on the pier by Dhyana Yoga and Kaya Aerial Yoga instructors. ( DAVID ...

Johnson City Press (subscription)

Yoga offers you a better you, some assembly required
Johnson City Press (subscription)
Just like a well-prepared student the first day of school, minutes after Googling “what to bring to yoga class?,” I nervously headed into Mountain Yoga with my dri-fit shirt tucked into the longest running and most supportive shorts I had, carrying ...

Michael Franti Talks Yoga at Soulshine Yoga & Music Festival
The afternoon festival at The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion featured a yoga class (with the occasional dance party between poses) on the water taught by renown yoga instructors Claudine and Honza Lafond. The class was set to live acoustic music by top-40 ...

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