Yoga for Kids, Fad or FAB?

Written by Victoria Randles.

Lately I've been hearing a lot of buzz about children Zenning out and staking claim to their oh-so-famous Child's Pose. So, is this just some fad for the hip Mothers of New York? OR is it a worthwhile endeavor?

kids yoga

I'll admit I had seen a lot of satirical comments made about it, and I didn't have enough knowledge on the subject to form my own opinion, so I asked elsewhere. I came across a woman by the name of Susie Lopez, who is the children's yoga go-to girl. Susie has created an awesome DVD offering a modern spin to yoga making it educational, fun and totally beneficial.

With Susie's wealth of information I found there is no better activity for a child than to be a part of yoga! After all, it's called 'Laughing Baby' for a reason isn't it? It is indeed! Susie says:

Children are natural yogis; their hips, hearts and minds are open, unlike we [us adults], they live in the present. Far from a fad, yoga for kids only underscores their very natures; instilling health and respect to expand into a guide for a happy life.

I had often wondered if yoga could be harmful to a child's body which obviously isn't developed yet, so I asked Susie about that too. I would unequivocally say that I have absolutely no concerns for kids (or perhaps I am concerned that so many kids are missing out on the myriad benefits of yoga) doing yoga. Yoga helps them focus, keep a healthy body and positive emotions. It enables them to respect themselves, others and their environment. Ultimately they are enabled to make good choices about themselves because they have built a firm foundation of health, both mental and physical, from the practice of yoga. So needless to say, Susie is firmly on the side of fab!

Having looked into her work it occurred to me, perhaps children could be an area for us to focus on and enhance our own 'grown-up' yoga practice. If you have a little Buddha running around your household, or perhaps in your place of work, why not be a silent witness to their effortless behaviors? Physically they are like a piece of rubber, bouncing around and stretching in ways we could only imagine! Or only make possible with a ton of effort and preparation on our parts. Exercise and fun go hand in hand with children as practically every game involves either a 'chase' or acrobatics.

Mentally they do not suppress but rather address everything at hand the moment it arises. If they feel something is unfair, they speak up immediately, if they've been hurt or offended, they cry, and if something doesn't feel like it's going right, they make it clear they aren't 'having their way.' I'm not suggesting as adults we run around wreaking havoc at our places of work with tantrums and fits, I am however honoring the simplicity of the world through a child's eyes. And that, although we too were once a little Buddha, we seem to have forgotten that and complicated things with technology, egos and greed.

Now, just going back a bit to children practicing yoga; why not take their simplistic view on the world and interject the awakening of their spirit? Think back to how much you've grown and changed as you've embarked upon your own yogi journey? Imagine if someone had offered you the understanding of your inner world as well as your outer surroundings years and years ago? I see this fabulous new industry as something to be treasured and explored by parents all over the world.

So, let's go back to the simple life. Learn from children, and allow children the benefit of learning from qualified instructors, such as Susie Lopez.

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