“Change only happens in the present moment. The past is already done. The future is just energy and intention.” - Kino MacGregor
Doing yoga is a much deeper experience than it appears. With breathing exercises, working on your flexibility, and mindfulness, people of all ages can enjoy yoga. It works on all aspects of life and the stresses of modern lifestyles.
Nearly 3/4 of the population have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope with stress during the previous year but that doesn’t mean that kids can’t benefit from yoga, too.
There’s an increasing number of yoga classes available for kids whether they do the session with their parents or not.
To get the most out of yoga, the yoga instructor must understand their audience.
So how does a kids yoga session differ from an adults yoga session? What will they do during the session?
We’ll have a look at all of that and more in this article!
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The Start of a Yoga Session for Kids
From a certain age, prenatal yoga and family yoga won’t be the best solution for kids. From the age of 3, kids can become yogis on their own, which is why there are yoga sessions for kids.
Of course, before a yoga session, regardless of the participant’s age, you’ll need to ensure that you’re wearing suitable clothing and have the right equipment. Similarly, kids are full of energy and will need to focus on yoga poses that are right for them.
Most yoga instructors will start the session with a few games or a chat to get the kids ready for doing yoga. It’s also important that the teacher gets a read on the participants and what they should be working on.
Next, it’s time to warm up. After all, yoga is exercise. You need to work on your mind, body, and spirit while having fun. To help the children harmonise their mind, body, and spirit, the instructor will have them doing some gentle and easy movements. This is a good way to build up to yoga poses.
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Essential Yoga Poses for Kids
“We are spiritual beings born for human experience; we are not human beings born for spiritual experience.” - Yogi Bhajan
Keep in mind that children are capable of many amazing things so don’t underestimate their physical and mental limits when it comes to doing yoga.
Through regularly doing yoga, they’ll become aware of what they’re capable of. This will also help improve their self-confidence, concentration, and flexibility and help them to relax.
Some of the most common yoga poses include:
- The dog pose. This is a fun pose that’s easy to do.
- The butterfly pose where you sit on the floor with your feet together.
- The mountain pose which works on your inner calm.
- The tree pose where you stand on one foot with your arms in the air while working on your concentration and balance.
- The boat pose. This pose can be done with two participants so you could always do this pose with your children.
- The tortoise pose that can work on your flexibility.
- And many others.
Everything in a kids yoga session has to be geared towards them. Every session is an opportunity for them to discover more about the practice of yoga. However, the main goal is that they enjoy themselves, become mindful of their body, and do it all again the following week.
They need to leave the session with fond memories and a kids yoga session will usually finish in the same way as an adults yoga session but adapted so that it’s more fun for kids.
How a Yoga Session for Kids Finishes
As you’ll have understood, a yoga session for children will end with a moment of calming relaxation. The idea is to leave them with positive energy to offset the negative effects of the physical part of the session.
There are many ways to do this. It depends on how the group’s feeling. You might want to do some calming meditation to recharge their batteries after some difficult asanas.
Generally, they can also do some visualisation or mindfulness exercises but with a fun twist.
This is the part of the session where you can teach them how to meditate. The end of most yoga sessions includes some meditation for the simple reason that it’s a moment where you’re most receptive to learning about self-acceptance, mental strength, and breath control.
Just because there children, it doesn’t mean that they’ll get out of doing stretches. After all, you should be stretching after any physical exercise. This is the moment where they’ll let go and gain a greater understanding of their mind, body, and spirit.
Finally, some yoga tutors will also tidy up afterwards to show that yoga is a collective experience that all participants are a part of. Furthermore, this is a chance for the participants and the yoga instructor to talk about the session.
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What Are the Benefits of Yoga for Kids?
“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.” - Sakyong Mipham
If you talk about yoga like a sport, you ignore all the mental and spiritual benefits of it. After all, while yoga is physically demanding, it’s not just your body that’s involved.
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At the end of a session, we’re invited to connect with our minds and spirits as, along with the body, working on everything at once comes with many benefits. That said, a child won’t benefit from yoga in the same way as an adult as their minds, bodies, and spirits are all different.
When it comes to kids, there are a lot of benefits for kids:
- Improved self-confidence.
- Relaxation, especially during the end of a session.
- A better understanding of their flexibility, strength, and body as a whole.
- Increased knowledge of the self.
- Better relations with the other participants in the session be them peers, family members, or their parents.
- Mindfulness and better breath control.
- Decreased tension at the end of each day or after school.
- Having fun thanks to fun yoga poses.
- And many others.
Yoga is more than just a sun salutation and a few mantras and yoga for kids shows us that. Thanks to a fun warm-up, asanas that are suitable for kids, and a period of relaxation, children can enjoy all the benefits of yoga.
We can’t say it enough, yoga is a complete discipline. That’s why it’s becoming increasingly popular.
So why not let your kids enjoy the benefits?
Discover even more benefits of yoga for children.
Every yoga class is different and a posture (asana) that works for one child mightn't work for another. If you choose to employ a private yoga teacher or tutor, your child can learn yoga postures that are right for them. After all, yoga benefits everyone in different ways and yoga for children will probably be less about the yoga practice as a way to deal with stress and more like yoga for beginners with a focus on how it can help kids to channel their energy.
After all, exercise for kids is very important and a yoga routine designed with them in mind will be far better than having them attend lessons that aren't really for them.
If you'd like to learn more about yoga for kids and the whole family, consider getting in touch with one of the many talented and experienced private yoga tutors on Superprof and getting help from them. The tutors on the platform offer one or several types of private yoga tutorial: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.
Each type of tutorial comes with pros and cons so you should make sure that you opt for the type of teaching that will best suit you and your family's preferred learning styles, your budget, and your personalities.
Before you make your decision on the type of private tutorial you'd like, remember that many of the tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson free which means you can try out a few tutors before making your mind up. Use this time to discuss what you'd like out of your tutorials, how you like to work, and get to know your tutor. After all, you and your family will find it impossible to relax in a yoga session if you don't get along with your yoga instructor.
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