Thursday, January 20, 2011

lion, dog, cat, mouse...

Children: innocent, fragile, so full of life. Add in yoga, and you get an abundance of laughter. Yoga offers many benefits, both mentally and physically, and by offering it to young children ages 3 and up will dramatically increase their way of life. It calms the mind, improves flexibility and strength and helps build confidence. 

I love walking into a room before I start a kids yoga class. Not knowing what to expect, the children are curious of what yoga really is. I start explaining what the word yoga means (the joining of mind, body and spirit), the importance of the breath, do some simple warm up stretches, and the rest is in their hands…children have such little attention span that you have to keep them excited and engaged at ALL TIMES or else you’ll lose them. It’s really not about getting the alignment right; it’s about having fun and playing games. I change all the names of the traditional yoga poses to open their imaginations and let their creative side take fold! After all, yoga should be fun, and I am truly a kid at heart. After they have mastered a few poses, they start opening up to me and then you hear: “Jessie, Jessie…look what I can do!” All of a sudden their shyness goes away, and their little bodies go up, down, backwards and forward with no fear at all! I wish adults were more like this: no worry in the world, unafraid and are willing to take a moment in the clouds (as I say for savasana). 

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