Build a YOGA Practice at Home
Yoga – A holistic practice for children
The practices of yoga not only help to keep the young body strong and supple but also include mental activities that help to improve attention and concentration and to stimulate creative abilities latent within the child. Yoga postures bring strength, flexibility and agility in the body. Having a correct posture without tension and strain is very important. Yoga asanas help in maintaining correct posture by working on the spine, skeletal and muscular systems. Many children suffer from respiratory problems. Some simple breathing techniques along with movements are helpful in clearing blockages, improving lung capacity and making the breath smooth. The best way to learn is in the presence of a qualified teacher. You could, however, practice a few, simple postures at home with your child.
How to prepare for yoga practice at home
• To get started, set aside a fixed time on weekends when your child and yourself will spend time together on a yoga mat. Stick to this time, as the child learns discipline in this way.
• The best time slot is in the mornings or in the evenings on an empty stomach.
• Choose a space at home which is clutter free, so that you can move around in asanas without getting hurt. Having a clean and clear space also curbs distractions and helps in better attention to practice.
• You could invite some children from the neighbourhood, children always like company!
• Keep instructions at a minimal level; let your child imitate your actions.
• Try to keep a balance of sincerity, focus and playfulness while practicing – this will keep the children engaged and they will look forward to doing yoga again.
• In yoga practice, always remember to be aware of your capacity and to respect your limitations. Work with yourself without overdoing and gradually increase your capacity. Doing fewer repetitions correctly and within your capacity is better than pushing yourself to discomfort and exhaustion. With regular practice you will find your capacity will improve steadily.
Yoga practice lessons for beginners
One of the first things to learn is correct breathing. Boat breathing demonstrates to children the two aspects of the breathing i.e., (1) What is inhalation and exhalation and becoming aware of the breath going in to nostrils on inhalation and going out on exhalation and (2) correct movement of abdomen with breathing. The abdomen contracts and goes in when breath goes out (on exhalation) and abdomen expands and moves out when breath goes in (with inhalation). Many children breathe incorrectly
and this is beginning of many respiratory problems.