Motivating our kids to stay active and exercise can be quite a job! With child obesity a global concern, coupled with the excessive use of the internet, computer games and mobile phones, our children are in danger of effecting their long term health and wellbeing.
For a number of years now, I’ve been working with children of all ages and abilities using yoga, dance and a variety of fitness modules to encourage regular exercise. All are effective but it’s the yoga that has their attention the most and inspires the majority to participate.
Why yoga for children?
- Yoga is non-competitive and helps build great self-esteem
- Good for posture, flexibility, compliments other activities and sports
- Helps to relieve stress and aid focus during study and exam time
- It is inclusive and therefore ideal for all participants regardless of their fitness ability
- Yoga inspires participation
How to introduce yoga to your children
There are lots of fabulous and inspirational yoga teachers out there who teach children. However, I’ve found the best way to motivate my two boys, Tyler and Corben, is to practice at home. Be sure to keep it very simple and fun. Exploring a little yoga sequence or posture every day seems to ensure a regular practice.
1. Pick a selection of postures
2. Ask the children to draw their favourite yoga postures on a postcard and then each day pick a posture to practice
3. Pin it somewhere they can see it everyday
Here are Tyler and Corben’s favourite sequences:
1. Sitting in a circle hold hands and take a few breaths
2. Make eye contact, smile and praise one another
3. Inhale, reach to the sky, exhale and touch your toes
4. Place your hands behind you, bend your knees with feet flat on the floor – inhale and lift your hips high to the sky, look up. You’ll want to make some sounds on that exhale…arrrrgghhhh is usually a good one!
5. My kids love to be upside down. Shoulderstands are fun but keep a good eye on necks and ask kids to look at their toes
Fancy giving it a go?
- We offer open classes and training modules for teachers, parents and carers
- All ages are catered for and classes can be held at schools and nurseries, during or after school hours
- We can accommodate large or small groups including specific yoga therapy sessions for children with Autism and ADHD
- We love to offer tasters for charitable events
- Children are welcome to all of our open classes and events provided they are accompanied by an adult
- Do you practice yoga with your kids? Have you any further tips and ideas to offer here? Please take a moment to comment or ask questions.Thank you for reading and please feel free to share.