Kids Yoga – Now on Mondays!
I love my 3 boys dearly. Really, I do. But, sometimes their energy and wildness can drive me crazy! Channeled into yoga poses, though, that energy is fun and contagious. They jump around, hang upside down on my wall ropes, and love moving back and forth between adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog pose) and urdhva mukha svanasana (upward facing dog). Aside from burning off some of their energy, I find that yoga simply makes them happy. And that is reason enough to keep them practicing!
In his book Light on Life, BKS Iyengar writes, “A great boon of yoga, even for relative beginners, is the happiness it brings, a state of self-reliant contentment.” I think that can apply to anyone that practices yoga. While children and adults aren’t often striving for the exact same “results” of a yoga practice, many of the same reasons that adults practice yoga hold true for kids as well.
Yoga can help kids become stronger and more flexible. I have watched videos of kids bending into impossible positions. But not all kids are flexible. Even reaching down to touch their toes can be a challenge. This can teach kids to be patient and accepting of themselves and their bodies, and to realize that other people have difficulty with some poses as well. Empathy and acceptance of others are essential lifelong qualities. Repeating simple poses and seeing improvement is rewarding. I feel like in today’s society, everyone wants results immediately, and realizing that they can improve with practice also teaches kids patience.
Yoga helps kids calm their bodies and minds. Maybe at first they aren’t able to sit still for very long, or relax in savasana at the end of class. That comes with time for people of all ages. Even when kids are doing poses that require enthusiasm, effort and determination, the results can be quietness and clarity. Watching my kids flop around as I taught them some jumping poses the other day, I felt like they’d never settle down. But, at the end of our “class”, we all sat quietly, and I could feel a change in their bodies. And, if nothing else, we were all happier!