The prime reason for teaching yoga at a young age is to introduce a child to a healthier lifestyle. Teaching can begin as early as the age of 2–3 weeks and be a part of either mother’s yoga routine; baby massage to help their digestion or more traditional baby yoga exercises. At this age, mother actively assists her baby in doing all the moves.
As the children grow older, they can gradually be taught to do the asanas themselves. However, with older kids, yoga instructors or parents need to use different tricks to hold the children’s attention and motivate them to do the postures.
Yoga classes for children are usually more focused on the introduction of yoga basics, rather than memorizing and perfecting asanas and routines. While such activities as meditation are almost impossible to practice with children, they can still learn the basic techniques for relaxation and self-control.
Proper breathing techniques can also be taught at a very young age. Unlike most traditional physical activities that children partake in, yoga is more peaceful and teaches not competition, but compassion. Classes for pre-school children are usually designed in a form of a game and involve imitating, playing, singing and moving. Because many yoga postures are named after animals and resemble them, it utilises children’s natural interests and affinity for animals when asking them to make a specific pose. Special cards with pictures and videos are often used for demonstration of asanas.
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