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Yoga with Children

Order the Yoga CD suitable for those with learning disabilities

Yoga with children has the same basis as with any group. We are working with their needs mentally, physically, emotionally and thus holistically. It also has to be fun, accessible and interesting. The group sessions are adapted to the needs of the individual.

Yoga with children encompasses the following:

Relaxation

Children can experience fears, anxieties , have difficulty sleeping and can be as stressed and uptight as any adult. For some children it can also be hard to express or even recognise their feelings. Being able to relax is a skill whether you are an adult or a child.

two children, one in corpse position, one in crooked knee position

Conor & Holly: 'Yoga is fun, it is harmony I like the dog.'

Posture

At two, most children can usually go comfortably into a squatting position with their feet flat and their backs long and play with their toys. By the time they are four they have often lost some of their flexibility. Part of the reason for this is teachers asking them to sit cross-legged with their arms folded. Folding the arms rounds the shoulders brings the back down and not only is a poor posture physically, but also emotionally and psychologically. It is a very inward posture which undermines both self-esteem and self-confidence.

NB. The best part of Victorian schooling was that children had to have straight backs. If children were encouraged to sit tall and just place their hands in their laps, a whole new generation without poor posture and various back problems would evolve.

holly in the easy posture doing a mudra

Holly

Working with the breath

When a child is first born they breathe using the whole of their lungs, as they grow older they often lose this capacity and no longer breath using their nose but their mouth instead. Yoga not only helps with better breathing it is also beneficial for children with various breathing difficulties e.g. asthma.

Many of the breathing exercises I do with children is through the use of sound e.g. humming, chanting, oo, aah sounds. Working with sound is a good way of encouraging children to work with their breath, particularly younger children.

Concentration

Yoga helps to improve concentration and attention span, children can have short concentration and attention span, with the help of meditation and breathing techniques this can be improved.

Self-esteem

Many children have low self-esteem and a poor self-image. Yoga is something they can actually do, it makes them feel good physically and mentally, helps them to balance their emotions -and is also enjoyable!


Holly

Motor Co-ordination

Yoga helps to improve motor co-ordination, both gross and fine motor skills, for some children their co-ordination is fine, for others they do need extra support particularly if they have conditions such as dyspraxia.

Rory in the process of doing Surya Namaskar

Rory

Being fit and healthy

Many children do little exercise these days, they are driven to and fro, they sit and watch television, they play with the computer etc. They can lose their basic fitness. Yoga helps to stretch, strengthen and tone the whole of the body.

Holly

Yoga is Fun

Yoga has to be fun or it is not working. When something is fun and interesting then it will be easily learnt and better understood. So we play specific yoga games, some are noisy, some are quiet, some in pairs, some working as a group.

Asanas

Many yoga movements are named after animals:

Cat
Dog
Crocodile
Pigeon
Stork

What else can we do in Yoga for children? Be still, laugh, be serious, encourage children to be themselves and be tall and powerful.

For the seven way stretch for children click Child's 7 Way.

To see some quotes from children who have attended Nerissa's classes please see our Children's Quotes page.

For more information on classes in your area please see our Yoga Contacts & Links page.