Traditional hatha yoga classes and practices are typically for grown-ups or adults. However, more recent and modern development of this ancient practice has been designed to cater to kids, as parents start to think if their children can benefit from the same benefits of yoga that adults experience. That is when the concepts of Yoga for Children were born.
Since communicating with younger children (3 – 6 years old) about the different yoga postures is normally more difficult, children are less likely to do the poses “correctly”. So unlike typical yoga for adults, the essence of yoga for kids is not about learning the different postures and poses, but more fun, and to encourage them to explore the less familiar, and be more comfortable with their bodies.
As the kids go into their primary school study years (age 7 – 12), yoga can also help them maintain their flexibility, strength, and coordination, while also promoting self discipline and concentration. Children who feel stressed with their studies or social situations will also find that yoga can be a good way to combat stress. Some of the kids yoga classes also incorporate cooperative games and activities as a way for them to learn more about themselves and their changing bodies.
Getting Your Child Started with Yoga
Exposing your child to the practice of yoga can start as early as when your kid can manage him or herself (6 months – 2 years). This is ideal especially if you are taking up a postnatal yoga class during and after your postpartum period. At this stage, you should be already be slowly gaining back your pre-pregnancy fitness and flexibility.
To get started, you can look for mom and baby yoga classes. Typically, a class like this will not make a very much of an impression on the child, but it is a good way for you to take time out to play with your child.
As your child goes into the ages 3 to 6 (preschool years), they should be ready to do some simple poses. At this stage, some yoga centers in Singapore offer drop-off classes (where parents don’t participate in the session), while others allow both the parent and child to work through a fun session together. If you prefer a drop-off class, be sure to ask to sit in for the first few sessions to see how your child is coping.
Many yoga studios also provide age-grouped yoga classes for children, so be sure to enquire with the centre you are registering with to make sure your child participates in the appropriate session for his or her age group. Yoga for kids is also a somewhat more specialized form of yoga, so make sure that the yoga instructor is certified to teach yoga for kids.