As with any physical activity that requires practice, starting young has its benefits. Yoga is no exception. At House of Jai we believe that the benefits of yoga can be enjoyed at any age. Our yoga program for children modifies the traditional practice of yoga in order to make it more accessible to kids. The same ideas, postures, and breathing practices are conveyed in a manner that makes them easier for children to understand. The key to getting children excited about yoga is to make it fun, and our instructors know exactly how to do that.
There are numerous physical and emotional benefits for children that practice yoga. Yoga helps improve concentration, strength, and coordination. Balancing poses, like tree pose, require focus. With repeated practice children learn techniques that lengthen their attention span while also promoting self-discipline. Children in the program gain confidence with each new challenge and experience. This helps them build a healthy self-esteem. The sense of pride and accomplishment a child achieves after mastering a particularly tricky pose is amazing to see! Our program also promotes teamwork by incorporating partner poses which require that the children work together and develop their problem solving abilities in a non-competitive environment. As we often say in class, "It doesn't matter if it's perfect; it only matters if you try!" Yoga also provides children many opportunities to display their creativity by imagining stories (which we accompany with poses) and making up their own postures.
As in adult practice, the concepts children learn on their mats begin to translate into daily life, making them more aware of their actions and their treatment of others. Through yoga children also develop a better sense of values as they are taught the principles of compassion, respect and sharing. Our instructors even have the ability to teach breathing techniques so that children can utilize those techniques any time they need to feel relaxed. Frequent practice provides children with the tools necessary to achieve a sense of calmness and self-control within the overly stimulating environment that surrounds them in New York City.
Yoga helps to increase awareness of the senses as well as overall body awareness (kids love to learn about what's going on inside their bodies). Children are going through a crucial period of physical and mental development during which the benefits of practicing yoga - building a healthy and flexible spine while strengthening the nervous, circulatory, digestive, endocrine, respiratory, skeletal and muscular systems – will help them develop healthy bodies as well as healthy minds. Plus…yoga is really fun!
Here at House of Jai we have created an extensive children's program to give your child the opportunity to begin learning and incorporating the benefits of this practice from an early age. With so many classes to choose from, your child can practice consistently, which is a proven component to achieving good results with kids. They will also have a sense of community from seeing their classmates on a weekly basis. Introducing your child to yoga will help lay the foundation for a happy and healthy life.