Kids love to move. They need daily exercise that’s fun and free of judgement or competition. Kids yoga classes support a child’s natural curiosity about yoga shapes, poses and sounds and provide children a safe space to practice yoga by moving joyfully, practicing happiness and demonstrating gratitude.
Here are 5 ways kids benefit from yoga:
- Exploration. Children love to to copy adults – we are their yoga role models. Unroll a mat for a child and let them touch it, run their hands over it, poke it. Let them think of the mat as a “magic carpet” that’s capable of transporting a yogi anywhere their imagination takes them.
- Imagination. Take a pretend trip to the barnyard. Take a few rounds of cat/cow making joyful sounds as you flow, lift the hips high for down dog while barking happily, and squat down like a frog, duck or chicken making animal sounds as you go.
- Freedom of voice. Kids like to make silly sounds. Venture into a pretend zoo! Create the cobra backbend with a hiss, stick out the tongue for a lion’s roar and buzz around the room with bee’s breath.
- Strength. Dancing, swinging and swaying strengthens the core. Kids love tumbling, twisting and turning their bodies! Allowing children to take silly stretches and move in freestyle rhythms helps digestion and supports abdominal tone.
- Rest. Kids need to rest. Hectic schedules with schools, sports and summer can leave children overwhelmed. Allow them to daydream! Kids report their favorite shape at the end of each class was the resting shape also known as “starfish.” Nothing beats a fun yoga practice like a final pose of rest!
Veronica Wolkow teaches at YogaWorks South Bay. She uses song, dance and storytelling to encourage freedom of expression in children (and adults). Join her for Family Yoga each Sunday 1:15pm-2:10pm (open to the public; drop-in rates and package pricing; all ages, all levels). Kids yoga is now available to children ages 5 to 12 Tuesday/Thursday 4:30pm-5:25pm – members may take Hatha Level 1 while their little yogi practices in studio 3! Pre and postnatal yoga is also available at Yogaworks South Bay on Wednesdays 11:30am-12:40pm. Pregnant women practice with new mothers who bring babies 6 weeks to 2 years. Bond with other moms in this beautiful community of yoginis. Veronica will be teaching this class October 2015 – January 2016.