Yoga is a form of physical and mental exercise that is good for people of all ages. Think about it, there are no weights, no fast movements and no dangerous physical contact with others, so why do we as adults usually think of it as an adult workout and keep this amazing moving meditation to ourselves?
I have been in the fitness industry for over twenty years and about seven years ago I taught a Tiny Toes yoga class for kids, ages 4-7. I was taking power yoga classes on a regular basis at the time and my kids wanted in on the action. I taught the class for those ages for somewhat selfish reasons…my two children that could participate were ages 4 & 5. It was a forty-five minute class of sun salutations, Yogi-says (think Simon says), freeze dance where you chose a favorite yoga pose when the music stopped and last but not least, savasana. Savasana is the final resting pose in yoga where you allow your body to stay completely still and quiet at the end of your practice while lying on your back, generally 3-5 minutes. I think all of the parents, including me, were skeptical about their children staying still for the entire savasana, but as I asked the parents to join us to cover their child’s eyes with a towel and sit with them for comfort, something truly amazing happened. Each child in the room stayed completely calm and still for the entire time! There was not a dry eye on one parent in the room, including me. It was such a special time for all involved. A moment of peace and stillness at a time in most of our lives that seemed like screaming and chaos was all we knew.
As time passed, my kids got older and suddenly sports and playdates overtook our special weekly class and just like anyone else, I couldn’t “find” time to keep this practice in their lives; we were just too “busy”. How often do you find yourself saying that?
Now present day, I have started teaching yoga again, this time to adults and noticed my kids’ interest in it has perked back up a bit. I love when we sit around as a family trying different balances and flows. I love how when people ask me a question about yoga, my kids quickly speak up as subject matter experts and help answer their questions. Along with teaching my weekly classes, I have taught some adult/child workshops and once again see the magic of bringing yoga into a child’s life. I love yoga, and I love that my kids love yoga.
Yoga helps children, adults and senior citizens become more bodily aware and reduce injuries. Yoga helps people get out of their heads and be in the present moment. It is one of the few activities that really is for people of any age, shape and size. I could honestly not come up with a reason why someone should not practice yoga in some form (physical, mental or breath). I also could not think of a reason to ever stop. It’s true, certain styles and types of yoga aren’t for everyone, but the overall theme of yoga is for all. Be present, be mindful, be true.