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Over the past few years, there has been a growing awareness of yoga; indeed, David Beckham and Sting are two avid practitioners of the discipline.
Throughout the UK, yoga studios of all types have been popping up, offering every type of yoga from Bikram and Kundalini to Vinyasa and Hatha. For those recovering from serious injury or a bad health scare, there is restorative yoga: only a handful of poses interspersed among long periods of relaxation.
Clearly, with so many people getting on the yoga bandwagon, the benefits must be great!
If you are absolutely new to the concept of yoga, you should know that it is less a fitness regimen than an entire lifestyle. While regular yoga practice does much for toning and conditioning the body, a healthy diet and avoiding negativity also play a part. Avoiding negativity?
We all experience tough situations: at work and with our family, with neighbours and in our community. Even the news can bring anxiety!
Yoga works well as a form of stress relief and relaxation. It can also help boost self-confidence and self-awareness, and make you feel more invigorated to face your daily challenges.
Children do not scramble for a paycheck or social acceptance, nor do news reports impact them unduly… right? Mostly wrong!
Thankfully, children are not permitted into the workforce anymore but they are constantly subjected to peer pressure and may be the target of bullies, and even if current events are beyond their level of comprehension, they can feel your tension and anxiety – meaning that they too will suffer from stress.
One major source of stress for children is school; not just the social aspects but their academic performance. Some kids fear failure to such an extent that they cannot focus on their lessons while others cannot sit still long enough to absorb anything the teacher says.
Especially if you have or know a SEN student, you should know that their practising yoga will help them attain greater academic success by helping them remain calm even during their most dreaded classes and by developing their ability to focus on the task at hand. And, just as it does for adult yoga practitioners, yoga can help kids build self-esteem and confidence.
Who wouldn’t want to give the young ones in their life the skills and confidence to achieve academic (and future) success?
Yoga is a mind-body-spirit discipline so, as your children embrace yoga they are setting themselves firmly on the path of healthy living for life.
Currently in the UK and, indeed, all around the world, families and even healthcare systems are buckling under an obesity crisis: too much sitting and eating of ‘bad’ foods, and too little work done to burn off all that is being consumed.
Many parents baulk at the idea of their children participating in organised sports because it is so competitive – read potentially psychologically damaging, and may cause actual physical harm.
If you are such a one, you might consider that yoga is a non-competitive form of physical activity that involves a great deal of energy expenditure. Your child does not need to run around a soccer pitch or compete in martial arts demonstrations to gain the discipline and fitness either of those sports promote as their main selling points.
By itself, yoga can provide your child with a foundation for a fit future and start them on a healthy lifestyle, all while teaching social skills and community building.
If you are a practitioner of yoga, you already have an idea of what to expect from a kids’ yoga class: there will be yoga mats and possibly blocks, blankets and pillows. You may hear meditation music gently piping through the studio or there might be something more lively playing – these are children, after all, and the lighting may be a bit brighter than you’re accustomed to.
You shouldn’t expect any hot yoga, Bikram yoga or Vinyasa yoga – although some asanas from those styles will be used, and kids’ yoga lessons won’t last as long as adult sessions do. A typical session for toddlers would last only twenty minutes while yoga classes for eight-year-olds could go on for a half-hour or more.
Generally, kids’ yoga classes welcome new disciples as young as 3, with their oldest members just entering their pre-teen years. If your child is younger than 3, you might look into ‘Mom and Baby’ yoga classes – it’s never too early to get your child started on the road to fitness and lifelong health!
In all cases, you should check with your local yoga studio to see what they have on offer for kids.
Not every yoga studio is equipped or has a teacher who is qualified to lead children through asanas. Instructors for kids’ yoga are, for the most part, practising yogis themselves, with years of experience in the discipline.
They go through specialised training to learn how to keep kids focused on the lessons and maintain discipline in class. Yes, even though yoga is meant to teach discipline, kids first have to have a measure of it before they can cultivate it.
As you search for yoga lessons for your child(ren), insist on a trained and certified kids’ yoga teacher.
It could be that your yoga studio – and, for that matter, none of your local studios has a kids’ yoga instructor: then it’s time to turn to Superprof!
With a Superprof yoga instructor, you can choose between having sessions in your home or at theirs. You can even opt for your kids to do yoga via webcam should you live so far out that there is no Superprof or yoga studio nearby.
Why not pick one of our nearly 2000 Superprof kids’ yoga instructors and try a free taster session today?