Label Cloud

Can't find your medicines ? Try Google Search.

Jan 26, 2008

Yoga for the young

Children too, need relief from the stresses of everyday life as well as build up their mental and physical health

When people think of stress, it is often considered a condition that adults have to deal with, but these days, even children find themselves falling prey to its effects.

The expectations of parents and teachers in school, peer pressure from friends or even the fast-paced modern lifestyle of an urban environment can all contribute to making a child feel tired, oppressed, fearful and unsure. Therefore, it is very important that children be taught how to relax at a very young age.

One way is with yoga, which is meant for people of all ages.

At the True Fitness health centre, Rupali Kolte teaches yoga once a week to children aged between six and 12.

"The difference between yoga for adults and children is in the postures," the 27-year-old Rupali says. "Children's muscles are weaker and less developed than adults, so we teach them the more simple postures.

"For children, it's more about controlling their breathing and meditation."

India-born Rupali herself had been taught yoga as a 12-year-old. "I was a marathon runner in school, and my coach sent me for yoga lessons to help me concentrate on my breathing.

"It helped me develop my stamina and mind, and later I went on to study how to become a yoga instructor. I now have a diploma in Yogic Studies from the Kaivalyadhama Institute, one of the oldest and most reputed yoga institutes in India."

She taught children's yoga for five years in India, before being hired by True Fitness last year.

She says: "For children, meditation is the main part of the lesson. For the first class, I tell them to imagine the postures they will be doing.

Then I tell them the benefits of each one and get them mentally prepared. We only do the postures when they are ready.

"The postures are also to get them more interested in the breathing exercises, because children like it if there are some physical activities involved. It also helps to stimulate their imagination and creativity."

She adds: "The syllabus itself involves a total of 20 postures, taught over five months. They are simple enough that even the youngest children can learn them. Usually, the younger children will observe the older ones and copy what they do."

She explains that yoga benefits more than just physical health. "Children feel no pressure from yoga. It is a non-competitive exercise that goes at their own pace, boosting their self-esteem. It also helps increase their concentration in school and tuition class."

Rupali also says that while there are no differences among children of different ages, she does have another set of postures for children with breathing difficulties and back problems.

In India, yoga is incorporated in the school syllabus, and is a part of life for most people there.

"It is not just a physical exercise. It involves the mind and spirit," she says.

"I really believe that children would benefit the most from such an activity, especially at an early age. I want to help them make it a part of their lifestyle."

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Blog Widget by LinkWithin