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The days seem shorter for children of this generation. There’s so much to do and so little time. Very few children manage to squeeze in free, unstructured play every day. While I prefer not jumping onto the activity class bandwagon, if there is one class I wish there could be more of it is yoga for kids. Children constantly deal with a frantic pace of life along with pressures of studies, regular school assessments, high levels of stimulation from all forms of mixed media, and competition in school and at play that leave little or no ‘me time’ to unwind.
Yoga for children is designed to be fun and provides them a breather in their fast paced lives. Breathing techniques, postures and meditation are woven into the session without being labelled through games, stories, animal postures, sounds and music. Nature plays a big role in kid’s yoga as they reach our like trees, stand tall like mountains and represent animals like dogs, cats, camels and lions.
The benefits of yoga for children according to the instructors at Yoga Zoo include:
What is the right age to start a yoga class for your child?
Some classes offer fun sessions with baby / toddler and mum while others state 6+ years. To join a regular yoga class the child should have the maturity to understand concepts like meditation so for those the ideal age would be 12+ years. Almost all the centres offer a free trial class. Ideally attend that with your child and decide if it’s suitable.
Yoga for children lays the foundation for a deeper connection with yogic practices that can continue into adulthood.
Here’s a list of options you can turn to for yoga classes for your child:
Yoga Zoo, varied centres across the city
Yoga Zoo offers a multi dimensional route towards happiness for children. The classes go beyond the pranayams and aasans to help children exercise, play and connect more deeply with the inner self. I have experienced the class when my son was a toddler and really appreciated the teaching techniques that made the session fun for both my baby and me. There’s a special Yoga Zoo prayer followed by rhymes and songs during which the parent-child duo is guided into fun poses with names like Lazy Rabbit and Peanut-Butter-Jelly. You can expect stretching and breathing techniques interspersed with hugs, physical interaction and giggles. For the older children who do not need to be accompanied by a parent, the class encourages them in spending happy time with themselves and also teaches them how to improve concentration and how to bust stress. The programs ideal, for children 2 years to 14 years are designed to inculcate in children the art and science of living with a focus on the overall development of the mind, soul and body. The sessions are non competitive and through the course you will see your child improving in areas like strength, balance, flexibility and stamina. For more details check out http://www.yogazoo.in/course-details.html.Call 9820224235 or 9819919267 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Lil Yogi, Napeansea Road, Mahim and soon in Juhu
Snehal conducts the Lil Yogi classes for children between 3 years to 12 years. Her classes incorporate games and activities that promote health, wellbeing and the imbibing of good values. Participants learn to connect with their bodies, gain a sense of inner strength and become more sensitive to the natural environment around them. For more information call 9819090306.
The Yoga Institute, Santacruz
This institute is the oldest organised yoga centre in the world. Set in a green oasis, The Yoga Institute offers yoga techniques that aim to remove the cause of physical illness if any and then improve mental attributes towards realising the spiritual self and purpose in life. Vacation camps for children are offered during the summer and Diwali breaks. The program encourages children to learn good qualities and morals and directs them towards sitting in peace. The camps conducted in English and Hindi are suitable for children 5 years to 12 years and uses arts, crafts and games to teach them Yoga Asanas and simple Kriyas. Parents are welcome to be involved with the classes and these camps have no exams or homework. For details call 022 26122185 or 26110506 or e-mail: email@example.com
Yogi Kids by Yogvan, Malad and Gamdevi
Yogvan for Health and Happiness is Vandana Trivedi’s platform through which she reaches out to yoga enthusiasts by offering yogic solutions and training programs. In addition to a range of yoga courses for adults, the Yogi Kids sessions are for children 7 years to 12 years. At the class children are initiated to yoga in a playful manner. Games, stories and discussions bring to the fore concepts like duty, awareness, self expression and self confidence. For details call 022 61451300 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Swayum Yoga, Andheri
Run by Mrs. Mona Chheda, Swayum Yoga has a popular yoga class option for children. The classes comprise Asanas, concentration techniques, memory games, and Suryanamaskars. The sessions that promote stamina building, concentration, memory and over health are suitable for children of all ages. For details call 9322086230 / 9821051071 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Hridayam Yoga, CBD Belapur
At Hridayam, children are taught that yoga is a craft of awareness. Towards that end, the classes integrate yogic principles of interdependence, oneness and fun. The programs engage the child’s mind, body and spirit in a manner suitable for him or her to understand and appreciate. Call 917738361607 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Light on Yoga Research Trust (LOYRT), Gamdevi
LOYRT is a B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Institution formed by the students of Yogacharya B.K.S Iyengar. They offer yoga classes for adults as well as children. Together with the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, (the Iyengar institute located in Pune), LOYRT conducts a certificate course in yoga for children that helps them to get physically stronger and mentally more alert. The eight year certification course takes the child through the science and philosophy of yoga. This course includes theory and practical exams and once the child completes the Praman Patra course at the age of 17 years + he or she can go on to teach children yoga. Children from the age of 9 years can start this course with the first level being Arambhic followed by Prathmic, Dvityik, Trtyik and finally the Praman Patra. To know more call 022 24948416 or e-mail: email@example.com