As I got ready to spend some time on the mat, I thought about what use yoga may serve to children and teenagers. It’s been proposed that yoga has been around since 3000 B.C. The practice originally focused on understanding the world and self. But, modern yoga involves 5 points, as taught by Swami Sivananda:
- Proper exercise
- Proper breathing
- Proper relaxation
- Proper diet
- Positive thinking and meditation
The practice of yoga has a three-fold impact; body, mind, spirit. The health benefits of yoga for adults is well known. They include stress reduction, increased fitness, management of chronic health conditions, and weight loss. Applied to children and teens, there are additional potential gains; improved concentration (thus, improved academic functioning), reduced obesity, and reduction in symptoms in those with mental and physical disabilities.
If you are interested in having your child (and/or yourself) begin a yoga practice, you may:
- Search for yoga classes in your local area
- Purchase dvds (I’m partial to the Gaiam selection)
- Try out a youtube video at home, such as the one below.
As with all physical exercise, use precautions and stay safe!
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. – B.K.S. Iyengar