It is definitely not easy for children in the 21st century. Along with shunting between homework and school related extracurricular activities there’s peer pressure, distractions, insecurities, fear and academic performance. The list goes on… in fact too much is being expected from children nowadays as parents are striving hard to make them learn coding, launch a company, learn chess and what not. There are millions of distractions including gaming, TV, social media and the mobile phone for children. Things can get a bit too overwhelming for children and parents in the current atmosphere.
But hello can the naughty ninjas just breath and go easy. Parents and teachers….this is where Yoga can come in – to help them distress, let go and just be happy in the moment. Afterall, being mentally happy and relaxed is also very important in the process of self development.
Yoga poses are natural poses which can be performed by children. In fact, there are so many animal and nature poses which kids love to perform in a group. If you observe a toddler, you will a lot of yoga postures. A baby is frequently found on its back in Bhujangassana (Cobra pose). While Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog pose), Cat and Cow pose and a Happy Baby poses are the favourites.
A Mountain pose tumbling into a Cobra pose and then a Chair pose to a headstand. Headstands morphing into speeding cycles. Bridges collapsing into roaring lions. Since kids are naturally flexible so they can learn the asanas easily. In fact, simple yoga asanas seem to be embedded in the human body.
Tips for a Yoga teacher for children
A kid’s yoga class cannot be same as an adult Yoga class. One has to remember to make the class extremely fun and decorative for children. Interesting names like the Turtle pose, the Crocodile pose, a Superman pose and a Monkey pose along with some good music should do the trick. This way they learn about the jungle animals, nature and also act it out. I know of a teacher who actually dresses up like an animal for her Yoga classes.
The poses have to be logical and the movement should flow from one pose to another. Also remember you will have to design the class depending on the age group and temperament of children in your class.
Early morning Suryanamaskars can help children soak in the sun
- Yoga develops awareness of body, mind and breath.
- Helps arrest a child’s wandering mind. Builds attention span and concentration power.
- Augments imagination and creativity.
- Relieves mental and physical fatigue. Boosts energy levels and provides deep relaxation too.
- Increases breathing and lung capacity.
- Exercises, strengthens and lengthens different muscles in the body.
- Encourages good food habits and helps stay away from junk food addiction
- Reduces obsession with TV and other electronic devices
- (Pic Courtsey–https://unsplash.com/@annaelizaearl?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText