A day for little Yogis!
The popularity of yoga continues to rise. With so many reaping the benefits, it’s no surprise that kids are getting in on the action too. According to last year’s poll by Yoga Journal 1.7 million tiny people (17 & under) are yogis…that’s a lot of little Bendi’s! April 8th has officially been named as #KidsYogaDay. On this day, at 11am, 18 countries around the globe will participate in a 5 minute session to promote the practice for children.
A friend of mine noticed her young niece suffered from anxiety so introduced her to yoga and this is what she had to say, “Watching my niece tumble around the house, have bursts of uncontrollable energy and seeing her anxiety, I couldn’t help but think yoga would be perfect for her. She is a gymnast so we blended in her passion and tried acroyoga. It couldn’t have been a bigger hit. She improved her listening skills and focus; and her enthusiasm for it was off the charts.” Next we will try the BendiGirl DVD at home and if that goes well we may even try an express length class (attention spans tend to be limited at 8 years old) at a local studio.
If you are ready to give it a shot with your kids, there is a variety of tools to cater to them.
Parents and mentors can check out this book releasing on #kidsyogaday The ABCs of Yoga for Kids: A Guide for Parents and Teachers by Teresa Anne Power is your roadmap to success in leading children to yoga. Her 30 years experience and award winning first book ABC’s of Yoga for Kids.
Kids can read up on the topic themselves with these fun yoga books.
Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story
Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)
A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles
Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga
I Am Yoga
Your kid will feel extra special on a mat of their own. This Manduka yoga mat for kids is a cute option. Timothy loves to set his up alongside mine and mimic me. Manduka kid’s mat is lightweight, soft and recyclable, plus it comes in playful color combos.
Introducing young people to yoga is near and dear to my heart and wish I had discovered yoga as a tween. Especially as things began to change and I wrestled with my body image. I felt the need to create a DVD for tweens and any age really but this is perfect for tweens and younger. Solidifying movement as part of a daily routine helps young people stay active and healthy throughout their lives. Something young girls in particular tend to give up after junior high if they are not on a sports team or after sports seasons end. The non-judgment philosophy of yoga is so wonderful for girls at this age and it facilitates love and respect over competitiveness. The Bendigirl dvd is a great way for tweens to have their own practice as they begin to form their independence.
If your kid is more of a mover and shaker than a reader there is a variety of fun games and activities to get them interested in yoga. Like the ones below from ThinkFun
Finding what works for your kid is the key to a successful practice. It should be fun and engaging for them so they continue to come back to their mat time and time again. Starting small can lead to big progress and keep them grounded throughout their lives.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!