yoga certificationBy Faye Martins

Yoga might be described as a form of meditation, exercise, or even as a type of therapy. Whichever definition you subscribe to, the benefits of yoga are consistent. These benefits include increased strength and flexibility, improved concentration, better posture, better lung capacity, and lower levels of stress. One of the most exciting things about yoga is that it can be practiced by people of all ages, from toddlers to senior citizens. The gentle nature of a yoga routine means poses and routines can easily be adapted to suit individual needs and abilities, and the format of the class can be adapted to accommodate all ages.

Many parents inquire about the best possible time for them to send their children to yoga instruction. Yoga provides the same benefits for people of all ages, including children. Although children’s yoga classes must be adapted to be more kid-friendly, they are an excellent way to introduce kids to a healthy, lifelong activity. Children can start yoga at a variety of different ages, and the optimum age might ultimately depend on the child. There are even yoga classes for infants and their caregivers. As babies grow into toddlers, they might be ready to imitate simple poses and perform short, 5-minute routines. Preschool-aged children are probably ready to begin a more formal yoga class with an instructor, but the class will probably be short, fast-paced, and interactive. Older children, ages five to seven, can most likely begin a more formal yoga class developed specifically for children

There are some readiness cues to look for to determine if a child is ready to begin a yoga routine. If the child takes an interest in yoga, or has older siblings and parents who practice yoga, let her or him join in for the last few minutes. If a child can follow verbal directions and imitate the body movements of others, he or she might be ready to start yoga. If a child can sit quietly for a few moments or has developed a sense of body awareness; that is a sign that he or she is ready to start a yoga regime.

If you are a parent, keep in mind that children’s yoga looks like “yoga games” and the class sounds quite a bit different than yoga for adults, but it will give them the exposure to yoga and the philosophy behind it, which will hopefully grow with the child.

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