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Teach Your Child Yoga

Teaching your child yoga can have benefits for both of you. Yoga provides relief from our busy, stressful lives and provides a timeout for mind and body. A regular yogic practice can help the whole family become more fit and flexible, with greater stamina and poise.

Children seem to pick up on the natural rhythm of yogic postures and movements with great ease. Marsha Wenig, a yoga instructor and author believes that…”doing yoga, children exercise, play, connect more deeply with the inner self, and develop an intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds them. Yoga brings that marvelous inner light that all children have to the surface.”

Studies have shown that yoga and the deep relaxation that comes with regular practice can improve concentration and school performance. But yoga is also just plain fun! Perfect position is not as important as slow, relaxed, regular practice. Why not try it?

Preschool

Doing yoga is a wonderful way to bond with your baby. Joining a mother and baby yoga group can help Mom get back in shape, too. Some parents attend prenatal yoga classes, making the transition from pregnancy and birth to parenthood an easier one.

Babies and preschoolers love the relaxed rhythmic movements of yoga. Combining yoga with music and dance doubles the fun. There are many videos, books and classes that can help you learn the basics well enough to share with your child.

Young children especially like the animal yoga poses. Doing “down dog Eor the “lion Epose can cause great laughter as your youngster gets fully into character. Yoga can help your child celebrate life each day in a fun and healthy way.

Main points to address:

  • Yoga is fun, promotes health and a great way to bond with your baby or young child.
  • Children pick yoga up quickly. Books and videos can help you teach them basic poses. You don’t have to be an expert!
  • Follow your child’s lead. Try combining yoga with music and dance.

Grades K-3rd

Young school age children are able to approximate yoga postures by watching others. They are aware of the connection with nature and the Earth that yoga seems to invoke.

Children of this age love to practice yoga in a group. They tune into the sense of community that practicing together creates. No one needs to explain the benefits of doing yoga to a child this age- they already know.

Kids with attention problems or hyperactivity love the calm and quiet of yoga, deep breathing and meditation. This natural prescription for impulse control costs nothing, has no ill side effects and is enjoyable.

Providing your child with a small mat and loose clothing is all that is necessary. You will enjoy the quiet time you spend together as you do your postures.

Main points to address:

  • Children learn from watching and imitating others.
  • Join a kid’s yoga group if you can find one. Create one if you can’t find one!
  • Provide a simple mat and loose clothing for your child’s practice.

Grades 4-6th

Older children are better able to correctly perform and hold the basic poses. With practice, they can even develop or copy a sequence that they enjoy.

At this age, children are also able to deliberately work with their breath. Practicing the three-part breathe will help them develop greater body awareness and control.

It is a good idea to find a certified yoga instructor to continue your child’s learning. If yoga has been a regular activity for them, chances are they will want to deepen their knowledge and involvement with yoga as time goes on. Many schools are adopting yoga as part of their physical education program for the obvious health benefits it provides.

Main points to address:

  • Older children are able to correctly form and hold postures.
  • Breath work can be practiced at this age.
  • Finding a certified teacher can help your child expand on what they’ve learned.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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