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Could yoga be the activity your kid needs right now?

Yoga can help your child not only build balance, concentration and co-ordination but also destress and better deal with difficult situations.

There’s good reason why yoga is so popular among children. According to Cami Barausse, owner of Yogi Bears, a local a yoga studio for kids aged between three and 16 years, the discipline has much to offer children, and can be enjoyed by little ones as young as age four.

We take a look at how and why yoga may be the right activity for your child…

A great way to channel emotions

“Children mimic us adults; they even copy our reactions in this fast-paced world where we constantly rush from place to place and race to meet deadlines with hardly a minute to breathe,” Cami explains. She adds that it’s her mission to help children become mindful by connecting movement to their breath. “It’s about giving them the ability to control their emotions, instead of allowing their emotions to control them.”

A good form of stress release

We might imagine that childhood is a time of long days and laughter, but the reality is that for today’s kids, it’s more about school, extramural activities, family and social dynamics. In short, it can be pretty stressful. Breathing can help with that. “By helping kids connect with their breath, they become more rooted, get a little perspective and can take a break from all the competition in their little lives. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is for older kids only. By becoming aware and mindful at a young age, we are able to calm the mind and approach the situations life throws at us with a deeper sense of clarity and rationality,” Cami notes.

Building strong little bodies

No surprises here: yoga promotes coordination, strength, flexibility and balance while breathwork helps to improve body awareness. Plus, says Cami, “because yoga is a non-competitive activity, it helps to boost self-esteem and self-confidence. It allows children to be themselves in a non-judgmental space.”

Learning about self-respect

Did you know that, directly translated, ‘namaste’ means “the divine in me bows to the divine in you”? The concept may be a bit too complex for your preschooler but, nonetheless, yoga can help kids to develop respect for themselves, others and the world. “By allowing children to experience yoga, we are creating mindful beings for tomorrow – children who are aware of the mind-body connection and have the tools in their ‘tool box for life’ to deal with situations they may find themselves in,” says Cami. If your little one doesn’t show that much interest in yoga, don’t force it, she advises. Instead, let her explore it on her own terms. If you’re prone to doing a surya namaskar yourself, chances are she’ll copy you. But even if you’re not, now’s a great time to let her watch an online class, copy the moves (if she wants to) or simply play around on a mat.  

 
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