Our children live in a world that is very different from ours. Today, kids spend most of their navigating between school demands and extra-curricular activities. There’s very little time for free play. To add to this mix is always busy parents, peer competition and early exposure to technology. Can you imagine the impact this bustling pace might be having on their malleable minds! Yoga for kids helps them face this pressure-cooker environment while instilling awareness and confidence in them.
Benefits of yoga when you begin early
Teaching yoga to kids has enormous advantages. Physically, it enhances coordination, flexibility, and concentration. The breathing techniques or pranayamas help bring calmness and relaxation to their over-stimulated minds. Overall, yoga works on that which is subtle – it builds self-esteem, re-enforces positive self-image and fosters compassion. It brings to surface the inner wisdom and light that all children are born with.
The one-program doesn’t fit all approach
We all understand that yoga for children is quite different than yoga for adults. Similarly, yoga for a preschooler is quite different from that of a 7-year-old. While the preschoolers are intuitive and thus more receptive; the 7-year-olds are moving toward maturation and it’s important to inculcate discipline in them. Yoga must be age-appropriate and that is when it is the most effective. Hence there is a need for yoga programs that address specific age group related learning and challenges.
Unfortunately, most schools have lumped yoga into physical education sessions. The module that is widely followed is common asanas for all age groups. There is little attention to children’s ability to absorb, learn and express. This greatly limits the profound effect yoga can have on them.
The Yogazoo outlook
At Yogazoo, our programs combine age-appropriate yogic techniques with Dr. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. According to Dr. Gardner, there are eight innate intelligences in all of us. In our sessions, we give opportunities to tap as many as possible. How do we do it? By letting children have fun!
Children are born with natural curiosity and imagination. We harness that and use the yoga asanas as a springboard for exploration of different areas – music, storytelling, games, and even life lessons. Our sessions come alive with laughter and learning as children open up to new ideas while what they think is ‘playing’. The sessions become an interdisciplinary approach where children begin to interconnect concepts of nature and self. They start applying yoga lessons in their lives!
Our programs are inclusive and sensitive to the needs of slow-learners, differently-abled or children with emotional challenges. The goal of our programs is to engage the mind, body, and spirit in a way that children develop into whole and complete human beings.