Never too young to be a yogi(ni)

Never too young to be a yogi(ni)

Think your kid is too young to take yoga? The harried pace of modern life isn’t only stressful on parents; kids feel it too. Yoga not only teaches them tools to deal with stress in a healthy way, but it also encourages self-esteem and body awareness in a noncompetitive environment. Because Happy Baby Pose is named that way for a reason.

Here’s why yoga is beneficial for shorties of all ages:

Toddling tots

Toddlers love to mimic and when taking class with mom or dad they not only get great bonding time, they learn poses that improve their gross and fine motor skills. Frog Pose (a modified version of Malasana in adult yoga) helps them hop their way to stronger bodies.

Krazy kids

School-age children benefit from learning the self-regulating qualities of a breath awareness practice. Ann Robideaux, founder of Asana Alphabet, recommends Cobra Pose because “it uplifts the spirit and with an added hissing breath, you get a simultaneous calming and energizing effect.”

Tense teens

Awkward braces, finding a prom date, college admission essays – many of us wouldn’t go back to being a teen even if you paid us. Jennifer Cohen Harper, founder of Little Flower Yoga, recommends restorative poses like Legs Up the Wall to help relieve stress brought on by these major life changes. It can also be used before bed to help teens get a better night’s sleep, which as anyone one who’s ever been the parent of a teen knows, is vital to everyone’s health and well-being.

Here are a few additional resources to help you get your munchkins on the mat:

Karma Kids Yoga: In the heart of Manhattan on 14th Street and 7th Avenue, this is one of the most predominant kid-based yoga studios in the city and holds all types of classes from Mommy and Baby up through Teen yoga.

YogaKids: Founder Marsha Wenig has been teaching kids yoga for two decades and is one of the pioneers of the modern kids yoga class. She has several DVD’s, games and CD’s including ABC Yoga for 3-6 year olds, Yoga Bedtime Rhymes and Yoga for Physical Education for 7-12 year olds. You can even sign up to get a Pose of the Week email.

Yogi Beans: For the uptown NYC crowd, Yogi Beans is located on Lexington Avenue and 72nd Street. Owners Lauren Chaitoff and Alexa Klein left corporate careers to follow their love of yoga. With their newly opened studio space, the schedule has expanded to include classes 7 days a week for all ages.

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