Yogamint

in depth

30-Aug-2009

Child's Play

Yoga for the Jungle Gym Set

Children are naturals when it comes to yoga! They are built to move, love a challenge, and are born playful. Just so, a children’s yoga class should offer plenty of opportunity to jump, hop, roll, slide, dance and enjoy every which way the body can move.

Here are some ways you can bring play and the benefits of yoga into a class for children, whether in a yoga studio or in your living room at home:

For Physical Balance… Have the children stand by a wall and ask them to place one hand on the wall for support. Then instruct them to focus their eyes on one point on the floor while you lead them through different postures that require balance. They can move away from the wall, little by little, until they no longer need it.

To Develop Concentration… Try this short and simple meditation technique. First, ask the children to sit down and close their eyes. Mention that we open our eyes to get to know the world outside and shut them to get to know our inner world. Tell them that you will be ringing a bell and challenge them to listen until the sound has completely gone away. Repeat as many times as you like, as long as they are attentive and interested. (Remember that less is more with children and it is far better to offer less than to invite boredom.)

To Inspire… A sure way to keep children engaged and to teach them higher values is the use of storytelling. You can incorporate postures into the story (as in a story about a camel, crow or frog) or just read from a well-written and sensitive book as a relaxation, turning down the lights and using a flashlight to read.

Remember everyone is someone’s child, including you. Keep this in mind as you keep up with your own yoga practice and you’ll see it’s never too late to have a happy childhood!

Gurudass Kaur Khalsa
Children's Yoga Training Coordinator
Child Play Yoga

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Anonymous commented on 10-Sep-2009 04:41 PM5 out of 5 stars

Great Article!

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