Is Yoga Right for Your Kids?
Yes, if you want to make them calmer than you thought possible!
-Carrie Vining Spanier
As an expectant mother, two times over, I practiced prenatal yoga. Religiously, I waddled my way to the yoga studio and bent myself into a pretzel in hopes that my efforts would prepare my body for what was ahead. In my case, yoga did help pave the way to a smooth labor and a relatively easy delivery both times. After my kids were born, my intention was to continue my practice and include my children. However, as a frazzled new mom, it just didn’t work to drag me, my baby and a two-year-old to yoga. But these days I’m more determined: Thanks to my constant search for Zen moments I’ve discovered that doing yoga with my kids is not only a great mental break for me, but helps calm my kids’ inner crazies as well.
Jen Oppenheimer, yoga instructor and teacher training facilitator at Karma Kids Yoga in New York City says the benefits of doing yoga with your kids are endless. “Yoga helps with concentration, focus, and it makes your child feel good about themselves,” says Jen. She’s also careful to point out that unlike many, um, overachieving adults, your little ones will not be doing power yoga in super-heated studios: “Yoga classes that involve kids are not like adult classes. The kids dictate what we do. We use a lot of visualization and imagination. It’s very creative.”
In today’s world, even the youngest of kids are over-scheduled and over-stimulated. Yoga is a great way to slow down, get physical, get creative and more importantly bond with your child. In most cases, parents actively participate in their child’s yoga practice from birth to age three. After that, when the child is more mature and can easily follow direction, there are many age-appropriate yoga classes.