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April 27, 2015
One small point: While yoga is beneficial to children, they shouldn't practice alone. With challenges of flexibility and spinal limitations, there is serious risk involved. Also, it has been pointed out that some hyperventilating pranayams can be harmful to the brain if over done. Children don't understand limits without supervision.
April 27, 2015
Supervising Children in Kids Yoga Classes
Yoga is not an exercise that benefits only adults. Many children can enjoy and benefit from practicing yoga in a supervised situation. Children are under pressures that adults are not, and though they once went through similar trials themselves, adults often have trouble realizing just how stressful life can be for a child. The safe practice of yoga can help children relax and can lower the potential pain associated with growing, which many children suffer from. However, it is important that children have proper supervision during yoga classes, as there is always a potential risk for injury during yoga practice at any age.
Working with children increases the level of tension and stress in the room, which means that yoga instructors who are teaching classes with children must be extremely calm and level-headed individuals. Instructors working with children must be patient, and they must be willing to repeat an action or phrase multiple times until all students are paying attention. A short temper is not a desirable quality in any yoga teacher, but particularly in those that plan to work with children, as the safety and well-being on the children is left to the teacher in charge of the class.
Children sometimes find it difficult to remain quiet and relaxed, which requires a yoga instructor to pay close attention to them while also trying to maintain an air of relaxation in the room. If the children are allowed to act in an uncontrolled manner, there is a higher risk of personal or interpersonal injury. Children may also have difficulty performing the motions of the poses correctly or may do so lazily, which can result in long-term muscle damage. Supervision is particularly important in this situation, as most children will not realize that they are performing a pose wrong, and few will ask for help if they do know.
Smaller class sizes and multiple instructors in each class can make supervision of children in yoga classes easier. Working directly with child students can lead to a better teacher-student relationship, a happier student and parent, and better performance from the child. Children do not have the discipline that many adults have, and supervision may be needed to keep them on task, and to help them avoid distraction. Yoga can be a wonderful tool in helping children with physical problems, mental or emotional conditions, and those with excessive energy and a need to focus it safely.
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