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Yoga for Kids

Yoga For Kids

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is a series of exercises, both posture and breathing, practiced to attain control of the body, mind and soul.  There are dozens of types of yoga or schools but fundamentally they all lead to the same outcome. Hatha yoga is considered the most popular type of yoga taught in the United States and it is excellent for beginners.  The focus of this type of yoga is holding poses and integrating breathing into the movement.  It is gentle with slow movements. 

Yoga for Kids...

Recently, yoga classes for children have become very popular.  Children today have a great deal of pressure to compete in academics as well as athletics.  After-school activities have taken over the lives of many families.  So just like adults, our kids need yoga to help them to relieve stress and relax.  It is a fun way to develop important skills in a non-competitive environment.

In fact yoga is now being researched as a way to reduce stress and anxiety in children with disabilities.  For instance yoga therapy has been found to be helpful amongst children with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, attention deficit, hyperactivity, learning disabilities and other special needs.  These classes are available from toddlers to young adults.  This type of program usually requires private lessons.

Yoga Classes

Children can start yoga classes as infants in "mommy/daddy and me" classes.  This is a popular way for parents to bond with their child and relax at the same time.  However, pre-school age or older is the recommended time to put your child into an organized yoga class.  At this age they learn yoga through songs and games. It is important to make sure the yoga teacher is trained to work with children. 

The emphasis on yoga classes for young children is fun and creativity.  You will find that instructors use the children's imagination to teach.  For instance many times yoga poses will be named after animals like the butterfly, camel or fish pose.  You will find that young children learn poses, breathing and relaxation techniques and then they are encouraged to use them through games, and stories.

Yoga classes for children are generally classified by age.  Depending on the size of the studio you may find classes like 4-6 years, 6-8 years, 8-10 years, 10-12 years and 13 -17 years or it could just be broken into kid yoga (6-12) and teen yoga (13 -17). In addition, there are family classes that are offered in many locations.

Yoga classes for kids can be found in yoga centers, dance studios, after school enrichment programs, school clubs, pre-schools, and day cares. There are even birthday parties available if you want a fun, non-committal introduction to yoga

These classes usually last 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the age group.  You will find that you can get private, semi-private or group lessons for your child. Some studios will even come to your home to do the lessons.  Many times yoga classes will be offered outdoors.

Cost of Yoga Classes

Yoga lessons vary in price based on location of the club and the type of lesson.  Group lessons normally run in a 6 - 8 week session and you pay in a lump sum for instance $150 for 8 weeks.  Generally, you can figure group lessons will range from $8 to $20 per class.  You may find clubs offering a 1 month unlimited program for a flat fee

Private lessons are billed by the hour and this will vary based on the experience of the instructor.  Private lessons are often enlisted for  personalized coaching to help improve skills or for special needs children. You can expect to pay approximately $80 - $125 per hour.  Often rates will be reduced if you set up ongoing lessons.  In addition, many studios will offer semi-private classes with 2-3 people to reduce your rates.

Enrichment programs or after-school extended day programs will usually cost $10 - $15 per child per class.

Reasons To Have Your Child Do Yoga

  • Increases flexibility which will help prevent sports injuries

  • It promotes young kids to use their imagination

  • Participation in yoga gives a child a higher level of self-esteem

  • Yoga enhances coordination and strengthens muscles

  • It teaches relaxation and concentration skills

  • Yoga increases motor skills

  • Improves posture and comfort level with the body

  • It helps to develop good listening skills

  • They make new friends

  • It encourages cooperation

  • Children who participate in yoga are performing routine physical activity that keeps them healthy

  • Most importantly they will have fun

  • Challenging poses teaching children to strive for success and never give up

Required Gear

Yoga requires very little equipment to get started which again makes it a very nice, reasonably priced activity for children.  For classes your child will most likely need a yoga mat , this provides a cushion on the hard floor and  it offers traction for hands and feet.  Most yoga classes have mats that you can rent or borrow but it is always better to have your own.  Mats can be purchased for approximately $20.

The next thing is clothing.  It is important to wear cloths that will allow you to easily bend and stretch without hindering your movement.  It is advisable to wear exercise pants, tights, sweatpants or shorts.  Clothing should not be baggy it is important for the instructor to see how you are moving your body.  Pants should expose feet and ankles so the instructor can determine if poses are being done correctly. The shirt should fit tight or needs to be tucked in so that it does not slip down when bending over.  Long hair should be tied back.  Lastly, yoga is usually practiced in bare feet so wear easy slip on shoes or flip flops to class.  You should however contact the studio prior to class to find out their guidelines for attire.  A water bottle is always a good idea to have with you when participating in any sport.  Yoga bags are available to hold your gear, water bottle and a strap to secure your mat if desired.


Pose: Feathered Peacock Pose


Pose: Hand To Big Toe Pose