Most physical activities that children are involved in are competitive. Yoga is wonderful for kids because it allows the child to learn to care for and condition her/his body without the stress of competition. It also is a great complement to other sports, which may overuse certain muscle groups or not provide adequate stretching prior to doing the sport.
In children’s yoga classes we focus on asanas (yoga poses), eye exercises, conscious breath, relaxation and concentration. The asanas help condition the muscles and bring balance to the physical body with flexibility and strength. Breathing exercises help a child learn to regulate his emotions and stress level - some breathing exercises calm you down; others wake you up. Yoga promotes good concentration because the child is encouraged to focus only on the pose she/he is doing, putting other thoughts aside. When we are practicing balancing poses, which are great for building concentration, children have to stay focused despite other kids falling, moving or talking. The emphasis is on the basic yogic beliefs: if you let your mind wander you will lose your balance!
The idea of slowing down and focusing one’s mind on a single task is very difficult for children, who live in a world that that demands multitasking and constantly hurrying. Children really enjoy the ‘relaxation time’ at the end of each class, where restful music is played, and the children are encouraged to focus on their breathing and muscles to actively calm their mind and body. Relaxation part of the class focuses on handling real life stresses kids face, such as feeling anxiety before a test, dealing with a bully or other unfriendly peers, and calming one’s own mind in overwhelming situations.
Click for relaxing music and close you eyes for a moment.....