In today's world, the idea of competition is inculcated in children at a young age and this results in stress and anxiety. Many yoga instructors in the city
suggest that practising yoga at a young age will help kids cope up with everyday stress and build a stronger foundation for themselves.
When we talk about yoga, we commonly understand it as poses and 'asanas' but Namita Sinha, founder of 'Yogi Kids' says, "Yoga in totality is about all kinds of inputs that go into the minds, whether it is through sensory inputs and cognitive senses. Children from 0-3 years are absorbing this the most. By starting early and giving the best inputs before the age of eight through subtle sense therapy can be very helpful," says Namita.
Children are flexible and Namita says that this is the time when one can use this agility in a creative way.
"We see that young children have various health issues and many of them are also getting stressed early. Yoga can be helpful at various levels, be it physical, mental or emotional," she says.
She sees at least five to 10 children at the private classes and says that the number increases during summer camps. Most kids are below 10 years of age.
New and young parents seem to take a lot more interest in the concept of yoga for children.
Teaching yoga for kids can be a challenging process and unlike adults, one can't expect them to follow instructions in plain words. To make kids like yoga, instructors are using creative ways like games, stories, music and sounds.
Though the popularity of yoga among kids is increasing, Teena Rani, a yoga instructor at Zorba Yoga Studio feels that yoga should be included in the school curriculum and there must have both theory and practical exams. This way, children will take it seriously.
"The popularity of yoga for kids is increasing. Parents and schools are making sure to expose their kids to the concept of yoga which is good. It can help a child's IQ to increase and keep their emotions in control."
She suggests that sitting in 'Vajrasana' while studying, practising 'bhramar pranayama' on a regular basis and doing 'suryanamaskar' are some of the easy ways to include yoga in a kid's life. "Most kids don't study for two to three hours continuously on a regular basis and during exams, they can suffer from fatigue or nervousness. 'Anulom vilom' and 'bhramari pranayama', and tree pose ('vriksasana') are some of the most beneficial practices for kids, especially while preparing for exams."
A few techniques of yoga can correct breathing, making it much more efficient.
Yoga can help one have better body and mind coordination.
Maintaining a balanced hormonal growth in children.
Cures for constipation as it improves appetite and digestion.
Increase confidence and motivation.
What is the perfect age to start the practising yoga?
A child as old as three years can do yoga, says Namita.
Humming and chanting mantras are also considered yoga. A child as young as two or three can also practise this.
If yoga is looked as 'asanas', then eight years is a good time to start.
Children in the age group of four to five can start with movements (without the asanas). This can be more of body awareness, coordination and integrating sound and movement.