Yoga for Children
Bring Yoga to your school
Our children live in a very fast moving world of school and peer pressures, daily after school activities, busy parents, and competitive sports. Down-time for many is spent in front of the TV with fast changing images or playing computer games. This lifestyle often leaves them over-stimulated and simply exhausted at the same time.
Yoga can help counter these pressures. I teach children techniques for self-health, proper breathing, relaxation, and inner fulfilment, so that they can navigate life’s challenges with a little more ease. This is especially helpful for children with special needs, such as Autism, ADD/ADHD, LD, PDD/anxiety disorder, motor planning issues and general developmental delays.
Yoga enhances children’s coordination, flexibility, strength, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improves. In a yoga class children exercise, play, connect more deeply with the inner self, and develop an intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds them. The magic of yoga lies in the breath. By the time a child is three years old, s(he) has copied the posture and breathing of adults in their closest environment. Most adults have develop bad postural and breathing habits due to the hurry-up world we live in, and training children not to make shallow breath a habit has amazing effects on their emotional well-being.
Yoga for children uses the physical side of yoga (asana) as a springboard for exploration of many other areas – singing and chanting, play-acting and group activities, storytelling and drawing.
Yoga philosophy for kids
Many children’s yoga classes are essentially creative play and exercise classes. While there is nothing wrong with that, I feel that the philosophy of yoga is something that children from a very young age are able to understand. The essence of yoga is to teach the children to stay present and be caring, happy, and confident, rather than offer stimulation through props and toys around them. We use positive affirmations and touch on basic philosophy – social and personal conduct, peace, love, light and mindfulness. There may be fun stories, drawing and games to bring this closer to the children’s heart. Schools connected to a religion may be wary of bringing yoga and yogic chanting into the class room. But the wish to spread love and peace is universal to all human beings, and we chant sanskrit words for Love, Peace and Light, or even the kids names.
Different Age Groups
Just like in any other teaching environment, the approach to yoga varies greatly in different developmental stages. Below is an appropriate division of age groups according to their physical and mental ability:
2-4 30 minute sessions
5-7 30 – 45 minutes depending on class size
8-11 45 – 60 minutes
12-16 60 – 90 minutes
In an ideal world sessions are no bigger than groups of 12, but in a class environment this is not always possible, and teaching to a class of about 30 children will simply involve more group activities and a classroom assistant.
If you are interested to bring yoga to children in your school, please contact me at 07971 562 831