Yoga is not what we have to teach the child as every pose of the child is the toughest asana for adults. Kids apparently show more interest in yoga as they are in constant motion knowingly or unknowingly. I have developed a series of creative exercises for kids keeping in mind their overall development. Toddlers' development can be broken down to various inter-related areas like cognitive, emotional and social development. There can't be a better instrument than YOGA to activate not only their physical and motor skills but also for sensory and cognitive development
How to reach KIDS through YOGA?
Children have a very complex behavioral pattern which should be molded very carefully to make them a very creative, healthy and active personalities. For any given kids yoga class I take that basic list and add books, puppets, feathers, scarves, pompoms, parachutes, stuffed animals, musical instruments, hula hoops, card decks, Doberman spheres, rocks, balls, bean bags, craft supplies, coloring sheets, and more.
Kids of this age are familiar with the names and sounds made by animals. Yoga has asanas derived from plants, animals and almost everything that we see in the nature. I make poses of various animals like the cow, dog, giraffe, tortoise, rabbit, cobra, eagle, lion, cat, penguin, dinosaur, butterfly and many more. I also make the mountain pose, tree pose and derive asanas from objects they are familiar like the airplane, train and the like.
Disciplining kids of this age is not easy nor can they be blamed for being noisy. To manage the class and also to discipline their mind, I have discovered various methods which can keep them occupied creatively. Musical instruments like the bells, drums are used as signals for them to stand in a position making the art of disciplining them a game. Kids seem to enjoy this act and thoroughly involve in this activity
Sun salutation is introduced for this age group. Considering the amount of stress on their eyes due to lifestyle changes, I encourage a series of TRAKATA (Eye-exercises) for kids. Pranayama and meditation is also introduced in a subtle way. Concentration camps are conducted by introducing a series of group activities and yoga is also taught in group
When the body is just beginning to have a series of hormonal changes , Yoga helps to fine tune their body. Develops a sound mind and body balance. Anger, irritation is mellowed. Yoga for this segment comes like a packaged Personality Development Program. It includes
Individual Yoga :
Wherein the Yoga enthusiast performs yoga on his/her own (Sun Salutation) and body ease exercises, Flexibility enhancing asanas.
Paired Yoga :
Kids are encouraged by assigning partners. This helps them to develop interest not only in their performance but also get considerate about their neighbors. This has proven to be of great help as students carry an understanding of 'asking for help', volunteering to help' and thereby develop a win-win approach in life.
Group Yoga :
This is done in groups OF 5-10. Asanas they are already familiar is done in groups so as to improve further. Each student has his/her own strong area and weak area. This gives them an opportunity to tap their potential. Though this involves a series of group activities, individual attention is always maintained.
Activities : The various activities that are designed are internationally accepted. I have tried to bring in the conceptual understanding behind every activity. For example if we perform a
Washing machine Activity :
We are involving a lot of twisting, bending and stamina enhancing asanas. Then after a quick wash in the machine the concept of drying clothes is linked to relaxing and toning of muscles and activating the ball and socket joints.
Animals and the sound produced:
Related to various forms of pranayama and shavasana (corpse pose) for complete relaxation. For example, Dog panting , Cobra hissing, Lion's roar and many more
When expressing a complex idea, a child will often omit the more familiar concepts and use only the most recently-learned word. For instance, when requesting a ball, a child is far more likely to specify "ball" than "want", instead of saying pick me up, kids only say ?up?. One interesting feature of holophrasis is its economy, and its emphasis on certainty rather than conceptual completeness. Although holophrasis is non-grammatical, it forms the foundation of a child's vocabulary
Keeping this in mind a lot of objects are used to train the mind and body like the use of balloon, straw, geometrical figures, newspaper. thereby CREATIVITY IS USED AT ITS BEST