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By Sarah Swindlehurst – Owner of Yogakidz & Senior Yoga Alliance Teacher – Yogakidz Worldwide.

The idea of Yogakidz is to begin health and fitness education at grass roots – to show parents, toddlers and children not only how they can use the natural tool they were born with; their body and breath, in order to maintain their health and aid their development into young adults, but also to provide them with the tools to deal with the issues they may face growing up. With the change in consciousness developing, it is vital that all children have the option of being as healthy and as fit (holistically) as possible. Yoga can help a child understand their individual development needs; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually (and so they will help and support others in their development).

Yoga practices and disciplines may help a child to develop better body awareness, self-control, flexibility and coordination. These children can then carry their new found skills beyond class and into their daily routines. Yoga can also help a child to feel secure when the world around them seems scary and difficult to understand.

Please view this short film on Meditaton in School – Amazing…

 

Having taught children in and out of schools since 2005, I have been delightfully amazed at the success it has brought them in their community. Parents and children of all ages (0 – 18) are really benefiting from the classes and it is such a joy to bring the Yogakidz passion into the school environment where I know and believe that the children are really reaping the rewards. I have seen very hyperactive children become so much calmer and more in control of their actions. All children just love challenging themselves physically and mentally. It is so beneficial for children as it helps to keep them supple (even sporty children can struggle to touch their toes) while the breathing techniques I teach can improve their concentration and energy levels. I do believe that it helps a child to cope with the pressures and stresses of family and school life, such as exams or performances.

A recent study by the American College of Sports Medicine reported that physical inactivity has been associated with emotional and behavioural issues in adolescents. Over 7,000 youths aged 15-16 took part in the study and reported upon their physical, emotional and mental states. Boys who did less than one hour of exercise a week had more symptoms of anxiety, depression and attention difficulties and the girls reported very similar but with an increase in rule-breaking and aggression than other physically active peers.

For those children that are less inclined towards the more competitive sports, yoga is a perfect choice to make. Children today are under a lot of stress; homework, pressure to compete with other children (sport and academically), endless after-school activities, over-scheduling — it all adds up. And just like their parents, children today are starting to turn to other modalities like Yoga to help them relax. It is less demanding on the physical body than many other sports and is very calming for the mind and emotions.

Truly caring about the health and fitness of our children is important and through yoga techniques as well as nutritional advice I believe children will become empowered with essential knowledge, which will become wisdom when applied in their daily lives. I have submerged myself in the incredible practice of Ashtanga and Hatha yoga for many years and through it I have become stronger physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This knowledge is now being passed on to hundreds of children worldwide.

We at Yogakidz are constantly gathering a portfolio of yoga teachers who are interested in teaching yoga to children, so if anyone is interested please contact me or also visit our training organisation – www.yogakidzworldwide.com for information on becoming trained to teach yoga to children. Children look up to their teachers for tips on how to live and love, so I believe that just as Gandhi once said “We must be the change that we wish to see in the world”

Sarah Swindlehurst is the founder of The Yogic Prescription and Yogakidz. She has been a student of yoga since 1995 and is a qualified Yoga Instructor, Trainer & Therapist based in Lancashire, England. She educates and trains other teachers in teaching Yoga to the young people – worldwide (www.yogakidzworldwide.com).

Sarah has also produced an Ashtanga Yoga DVD, Mediation CD’s, Posture Books, and Handbooks, for all to enjoy.