Kids Yoga seems to be that “new’ thing that everyone who is anyone wants their children to be doing. But what is all the fuss about ?
Its seems in our society as soon as a celeb and their offspring are taking a class then it hits the masses of social media that we now have at our fingertips, and somehow it’s the latest thing that all children ‘must’ do in order to be ahead of the pack.
It seems funny to me that we have this amazing ability to make everything competitive even if the very nature of the subject we are taking part in, is not competitive.
Sadly grown up yoga has become that way in many cases and we see many women, in particular comparing themselves to others in the class, how flexible they are, how firm their body parts are or even down to the clothes that are worn in the studio., but I can assure you this is not what kids yoga is about, Phew !
Kids yoga has been my passion for many years now and both, directly and indirectly, have shared kids yoga to thousands of children and families around the world, so hopefully I can share with you what all the fuss is really about.
First of all, Kids Yoga is not something that is new, in fact, it’s been around for thousands of years, yes it’s been around since we humans existed. OK, we may not have been in a classroom with multi coloured yoga mats and cool music playing but the things that we practice in a kids yoga class kids are things that kids have been doing since they were born.
Now this doesn’t mean that there is no need to take your children to kids yoga or do yoga with your children .. on the contrary, we need kids yoga more than ever.
That’s a pretty big statement, but one that I stand by and here is a quick overview of why.
Children are perfect, they breathe perfectly, they do not judge, they are non-competitive, they are non-violent, they see no race, culture or disability, these are all learned from us grownups.
They are always growing, learning even when the ‘fail’ they are still perfect because they are moving forward, they do not get stuck, stagnant and love to be outside of the comfort zone. Yes again the ability to stay in a steady, comfortable way of life that limits our growth is once again learned from us big people !
Kids also know how to do one thing that we as adults somehow have lost the ability to do in every moment of the day……..which is to have FUN or be in Joy. Happiness or Joy is the number one buster of depression, mental illness, physical illness/disease, having more money, having longer marriages and living longer as stated by Shawn Achor a leading expert in the science of Happiness . So this isn’t child’s play !
You see contrary to popular belief Kids yoga is not about sitting still and Ohming and finding that place of stillness, or what we call the zone. Kids are in the zone or in the moment already, yes you guessed it, it’s us grownups that teach them how to come out of that moment and out go the zone.
When we as grownups are in the zone, even the largest obstacles can be moved out of the way, no fear, just the ability to navigate and achieve the goal or task in hand. And kids are like this, learning how to walk for example, no matter how many times kids fall, hurt themselves, get tired but they keep going, they are in the zone. Our focus in kids yoga is to help children stay in that zone or in that moment so as they grow up they can use this to navigate this through the most stressful of situations.
Let’s look at some of the other comparisons of kids to adults…Kids are flexible, agile and strong, adults are stiff, full of stress and get weak or injuries due to not exercising all parts of their bodies.
Kids breathe perfectly into the belly, adults often breathe into their chest or reverse breathing which causes anxiety, stress, panic attacks and in some cases heart disease and strokes in later life.
Kids love everyone, adults, well most adults only love those that they ‘like’ causing conflict with people that don’t fit into what they feel are acceptable which in turn brings unhappiness, stress, sadness, isolation from others.
Kids don’t have issues with the colour of skin, belief systems, ability or social standing. Adults segregate themselves with either their religion, their colour, their belief system, what they eat, where they were educated, where they grew up. This limits the opportunities we have in life, as well as what we will experience, these experiences and opportunities enrich us, help us progress and grow without them we become stuck and stagnant.
The point I’m making about kid’s yoga is that we are simply helping children to be who they naturally are. We are helping the leaders of tomorrow to move beyond our programming, to be confident in who they are and what they are here to do.
Yes, they will stay flexible, physically and mentally healthy, they will get better academic grades, be less likely to get behaviour referrals and doing this whilst having fun, all of the above proven in the many scientific studies we have of kids yoga that is now available.
However as I started out by saying this isn’t anything ‘new’ to children but it sure is a new way for the world of grownups to be.
So maybe, just maybe if we can keep the child alive inside as those children grow into adulthood we will have a generation of leaders who’s prime goal is to be happy, at peace whilst being kind to themselves and each other.
That is what all the fuss is about
BONUS – Free Game
Yoga Tig – Pick a card from your Magick Yoga cards pack. The person that is the ‘tigger’ runs after those that are not tigging. Each get to have a turn. Once you tig a person they freeze in that pose. When you have everyone in a frozen pose the next person takes their turn. If you have a large group – two or three could tig at a time.
Why not make it more tricky for the older children and those that are free can set you free by simply tigging you.
Here are two poses you can cut out and use to get you started