By Jenny Park
Do we really need safety precautions for kids yoga? Exposing children to yoga helps lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. The earlier a child is exposed to the philosophy behind yogic techniques, the breathing and stretching associated with the poses (asanas), and its lifelong health benefits, the more apt they will be to integrate it into their daily lives as adults. Kids yoga classes do not follow the same format as typical adult classes. Kids classes are geared to be more interactive, faster-paced, and generally kid-friendly. Children are not expected to hold poses for a long time, incorporate the proper breathing methods, or remain totally quiet. Trained and certified yoga instructors strive to provide a positive, welcoming environment for children to learn and have fun.
There are some safety precautions for kids yoga classes that we should follow. Parents should make sure their children are enrolled in the appropriate class. They need to consider the child’s age, ability, and prior experience with yogic exercise. Children’s classes are offered for all ages, from infants to elementary school-aged children. Classes focus on basic asanas, breathing (pranayama), meditation and foundational yogic philosophy. Each class is geared toward the age group it is offered to, with each group having a slightly different format. For example, a preschool yoga class might not be appropriate for a five or six-year-old, and the parents of a toddler might choose a “Mommy and Me” type class where the child is accompanied by an adult.
Kids yoga instructors and parents should also make sure to be aware of potential muscle and joint strains or injuries. Children are naturally more flexible than adults, and might not even realize it when overextending. Yoga instructors should teach children to listen to their bodies and stop if a pose is uncomfortable, to stretch slowly and breathe deeply, and never to force a pose. Yogic exercises should always be practiced on a safe, level surface using clean mats and bare feet to avoid slips. Children should always wear comfortable clothing that will move with their bodies. The room temperature should be kept at a lower, comfortable temperature to accommodate the natural heating of moving bodies, and to avoid over-heating.
Safety Precautions For Kids Yoga Summary
Parents need to consider the overall health of their child before sending them to a yoga class. Children with migraines need to avoid any poses that bring extra pressure to the head. A child with asthma, bronchitis, a hernia, or other breathing difficulties may need to avoid certain breathing techniques. Most importantly, parents and instructors should work together to provide a positive yoga experience for children.
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