Got a fidgit? A wiggler? A busy bee who cannot sit still? I am sure you have tried every which way to tire them out…But have you tried to unwind them? While many parents try to empty their children’s energy stocks, they don’t realise that it may be equally beneficial for a child is to help them relax and settle. How about Yoga as play for children?
As a parent you may have sought yoga and meditation to calm and escape the franticness of balancing parenthood with work – but today many parents are also using yoga for children as a way of settling, focusing and centering them in what is becoming a very busy and bustling world for children too!
So what are the benefits of Yoga in children?
- Helps children unwind and learn relaxation
- Reduces stress levels
- Helps teach balance and coordination
- Children often sleep better after Yoga
- Helps improves digestion
- Helps with strength and flexibility to reduce injuries
- Helps to develop self-expression and confidence
Blogger Emma Mildon caught up with Erin O’Hara, of Takapuna based Golden Yogi, to hear about the benefits of yoga and meditation for children. O’Hara holds classes for pregnant mums, mums looking to have a quiet escape, dads looking for a quiet escape and children of all ages…
What is a child’s Yoga class like?
“Yoga for kids is all about play. We match stories and games to the poses, and incorporate music and song to help keep it playful and fun for the kids. Internationally yoga is becoming as common for children as attending weekly swimming or dance lessons; and is a great transition from the bustling school environment to calm home life”.
My child won’t sit still, will Yoga work for them?
“We have helped children with ADHD, autism and learning difficulties learn how to focus their attention by helping them settle and concentrate,” shares O’Hara.
What will my child learn?
O’Hara explains, “The children use their imaginations and animal yoga postures to learn: new vocabulary, develop motor and movement skills, and to understand balance and relaxation through meditation and breath. Partner poses and group meditations provide opportunities for the children experience teamwork and trust with others.”
“Children can really focus on song or a mantra; it teaches them to concentrate. One little boy even comes to class with the goal to ‘levitate’ off the floor!” O’Hara smiles; it is clear her young students really enjoy her classes.
What other classes are there?
Golden Yogi classes include ‘Pregnancy Yoga’, ‘Mums and Bubs Yoga’, ‘Kids Yoga, and general yoga. All provide a chance to exercise, relax and gather yourself while juggling a family. There are range of yoga styles including Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Kundalini and Meditation – a class for every level from beginner to yogi.