Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Parent to Parent: Yoga for Kids
You've heard of adults practicing yoga to relieve stress. Well, now the art of bending and breathing is being used as a calming effect on kids.
WSVN -- From deep breaths and determined stretches, from the cat stretch to the downward dog, this yoga class isn't just about mastering the moves.
Kids as young as three are learning the art of relaxing.
Jan Bouthillier, mother: "They just end up being so crazy and so busy that I think the kids can get stressed out in that way because they are always going, going, going."
Seven's parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says getting kids into yoga is a great way to teach kids to be calm and relaxed.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "It helps center you, it creates balance in your body from head to toe."
Some good reasons to start: better body awareness and better balance.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "It's not just that they're adept at being little yogies and doing the postures. They actually have a better balance internally, so that they can handle emotional stress better."
For example, through yoga kids who are fidgety can learn to stay focused.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Well, all you're really teaching someone with yoga is how to shift their brains, so if somebody's having a problem with attention, it helps them shift back into the place they're supposed to be."
And if you have a little hot head on your hands, the excercises can teach them to control their anger.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "You know, if you're doing a yoga posture, there's no way that you can be screaming at your friend or screaming at your parents or having a fight with your sibling. You can just focus on what you're doing."
Dr. Valerie says you can start kids at almost any age.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "They do this stuff easily. They do the postures very easily, but what you really want to do is teach them to connect the external to the internal."
And the up-side for parents? A house actually filled with peace and quiet.
Jan Bouthillier: "Their parents always come in towards the end of class and see their children lying down completely quiet during the relaxation, and they say, 'How did you do that?'"
Dr. Valerie also recommends yoga for kids with phobias, like flying. Doing some exercises before they get on the plane could put their nerves at ease.
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