Kids Yoga came into the spotlight a few years ago in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Anyone who has done yoga before, not just the first class but for an extended period of time and actually pushed through the negative mind jabber of “not able to”, “not flexible enough” and “look what everyone else can do” mindset, will know that it’s a powerful exercise for your mind, body and soul.
In fact Yoga practice is the union of mind, body and soul.
There is no question why it’s been altered to suit kids as well. It’s a highly effective tool that helps and assists kids to deal with the following: stress relief, pain relief, better breathing, flexibility, increased strength, weight management, improved circulation and focusing on the present and inner peace.
These are just a few of the benefits of Kids Yoga. Not to mention enhancing creativity, imagination and social skills. Kids Yoga classes are mostly divided into two age groups. The 2-6 year olds and the 7-13 year olds. Younger kids have class for 30min and the older kids for 45min. These classes are focussed on the practices of Breathing and Relaxation, Movement and Stretches, Meditation and Positive Affirmations.
In my experience, running the Beaming Kids School of Yoga in Cape Town, the kids love and enjoy the mixture of storytelling, dancing, teamwork, art and colour therapy which permeates my classes.
I’ve found that many of the extra mural activities that kids do are all outwardly concentrated and very few give your child the opportunity to process and really look inward to realise what’s really going on. It’s great for them to have an active lifestyle, but like adults they need balance.
Yoga opens the heart, strengthens the body and relaxes the mind in terms of the millions of thoughts that passes through it every day. We have busy days and our kids have busy days too. We really ‘deserve’ a few minutes of silence, comfort and serenity.
There are quite a few companies out there who teach Kids Yoga. I feel like all these companies have one goal and that is to share the love of yoga and the tools to enhance and create a better life for you. A lot of the parents I speak to say that they wished they could have been exposed to these tools when they were young. Some even say that when they are worked up their child teaches them to calm down and breath.
What a beautiful gift you are giving your child.
Here’s a bit more detail regarding the class structure and poses we do with the kids. Most of the poses in Kids Yoga have been changed to suit a certain theme. The themes range from Animals, Transport, Seasons, Nature, Adventures, Stories and many more. A typical class will start off with concentrating on our breathing, sitting in easy seat, just inhaling, exhaling and relaxing with an opening song. We’ll then move onto some stretches, and into Good Morning Father Sun which is the Sun Salutation with a rhyme. Then we’ll go on our chosen theme adventure and end off by lying on our backs, closing our eyes and listening to the music, while the teacher realigns the spine, stretches the body, rubs the tips of their ears and give each child personal attention in a space of safety and comfort.
After our relaxation we’ll either pull our Positive Affirmation Cards or just say any Positive Affirmations that feels right for that day, holding our tummies, hearts and minds and finishing off with Namaste, which means:
“The Bright Light In Me Sees The Beautiful Light In You. “
*Kids Yoga classes are typically run during school hours or at dedicated studios. Classes range from R55 a lesson and there are tailored packages available too.