yoga certificationBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

How many reasons can you think of for enhancing the education of our children and grandchildren? Children are growing up in a world where they will soon be expected to be problem solvers. Yoga prepares children to think rationally during times of severe stress. Yoga training for children is a break from chronic stress, and it helps them build life skills at the same time.

With budget cuts, state-mandated tests, and a one-size-fits-all public education system, there is little wonder that kids today are as stressed as their parents. Imagine what a difference it would make if all children were taught the art of Yoga at an early age. Not only would it come in handy before the big math test, or when dealing with the school bully, but Yogic methodology is a gift that can be carried throughout life. As B.K.S. Iyengar once said, “Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim.”

Approximately 1 out of 5 youths, who participate in sports, is hurt each year; and 25% of these are serious injuries. While few people would argue with the value of athletic programs, not every child blossoms in competitive sports. Like academics, the sports arena often becomes an area where under achievement can leave lasting scars. Too often, much emphasis is placed on winning and not enough on awareness and community.

As classes for children become increasingly more popular, a variety of Yoga programs are being offered in studios, schools, and community centers around the world. These classes provide the same benefits as  a traditional class, but their impact can be far-reaching. Healthy bodies and healthy minds create well-balanced kids, and Yoga helps to do both.

Benefits of Classes for Children

• Builds social skills and encourages team-building

• Increases awareness and emotional stability

• Improves coordination and flexibility

• Helps to develop self-control

• Teaches breathing techniques that enhance performance and lessen stress

• Decreases likelihood of injuries during other activities

• Builds strong bones and strengthens the immune system

• Makes it easier to accomplish in other areas – both academic and physical

• Sets groundwork for a healthy lifestyle

• Improves posture and balance

• Improves focus and attention

Yoga classes for children, have also shown effectiveness in the management of ADHD, autism, and other conditions that require special accommodations. However, practicing Yoga poses can give any child a greater feeling of control when facing everyday challenges. Favorite Yoga postures for children are: Child’s Pose, Tree Pose, Downward Facing Dog, and Warrior Pose; but the options are as limitless as the benefits.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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