Our kids live in a busy world — between daycare, school, activities, meals, and all the ins and outs of each day, they barely have time to breathe. Kids deal with distraction, overstimulation and pressure to succeed, to fit in, to look, act or be a certain way. In the face of all this, some kids internalize their feelings while others act out; some strive to be perfect, while others fight to swim against the current. Kids need breathing room. They need a practice and a space to find their center amidst the whirlwind of each day.
Yoga in Sanskrit means to yoke, to unite. Yoga is an integrative practice that promotes harmony between body and mind through breath and movement. Yoga teaches us to be present in each moment. Yoga promotes mindfulness and compassion, strength and flexibility in mind and body, while reducing stress and anxiety. Yoga is for everyone.
Several schools in the area, from preschool on up through university, have included yoga into the curriculum for the overwhelming benefits. Yoga studios in Fredericksburg offer kids yoga classes as well. Some classes even provide the opportunity to practice with your child as a family. Taking the time to engage in this practice with them, to develop awareness and mindfulness together, communicates the value of these qualities. While each kids yoga class is unique, no matter which class you choose your child will experience some of the following benefits.
Through yoga kids come to know their bodies and what they can do. Yoga for kids is playful and creative; it allows kids an opportunity to connect with their bodies as they shift from shape to shape. Kids gain a greater understanding of their own bodies as they practice, cultivating endurance, coordination, balance and focus. Kids yoga celebrates the body for being strong and flexible, encouraging a positive self-image.
When we are mindful we are present, resting with awareness in each moment without becoming overwhelmed by past experiences or concerns for the future. When kids practice yoga they learn to live in the moment. Mindfulness increases focus and concentration, helping kids thrive in school. When kids feel in control of their bodies they are better able to self-regulate, navigating frustrations in a healthy way.
Yoga provides opportunities for kids to cultivate a sense of stillness and calm. Kids learn how to breathe in yoga. Every yoga class ends with a quiet time of relaxation during which kids lie down in silence allowing their body to soften after all of the challenging postures throughout class. These moments promote reflection and insight while reducing impulsivity and reactivity. Kids can call upon this inner calm when things feel crazy; they can take a deep breath and notice their emotions rather than get swept away by them.
There is no right or wrong in kids yoga; your frog pose is perfect just as it is. Yoga provides the space for kids to move creatively without judgment. Kids yoga classes are encouraging and supportive; everyone in class is appreciated for participating. Yoga also teaches patience and perseverance as kids expand the limits of what they believe is possible. When kids master a new pose their self-esteem soars.
Yoga encourages community and connection. Yoga classes offer an environment of support and creativity without competitiveness. When kids practice yoga together they engage in enthusiastic focused play that connects them to each other. Yoga helps kids create harmony.
When kids practice yoga they take ownership of their bodies and minds, developing strength, flexibility, calm and compassion — yoga gives kids the chance to simply be and be themselves.
Kids Yoga Book Recommendations
Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga by Rebecca Whitford and Martina Selway
I Am Yoga by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds
Goodnight Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story by Mariam Gates and Sarah Jane Hinder
Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children by Lisa Flynn
Yoga for Kids: On and Beyond the Mat by Kristi L. Kremers.
You are a Lion! and Other Fun Yoga Poses by Tae-Eun Yoo
Kids Yoga Classes in Fredericksburg
Parent-Child Yoga (ages 2+) at Yoga Foundation of Fredericksburg Tuesdays 3:00-3:30 p.m.
Homeschool Kids Pitaiyo (ages 4+) at Pitaiyo Thursdays 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m..
Kidz Pitaiyo (ages 5+) at Pitaiyo Saturdays 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Doll & Me Yoga workshops at Pitaiyo (check website for dates/times)
Family Yoga (ages 2+) at Dragonfly Yoga (check website for updates)