Yoga for grownups — women especially –has become so widespread as to almost be a cliche. Say the name Rodney Yee to just about any middle class woman and watch the response. And I’d be willing to bet many of us have taught our kids a few poses or had them hang out with us while we do our routine (which in my house always devolves into giggles, as I see a little face peer quizzically up at me during a downward dog or feel a cat attack my feet during what is supposed to be relaxation pose).
More and more studios and schools are offering yoga classes to kids. While some are pretty simple, others boast teachers certified by commercial programs and whole curricula built around yoga. Teachers will use it to reinforce concepts from other subjects, such as why a polar bear hibernates or how a flamingo balances.
And parents of kids who’ve been classified as ADHD because of their overabundance of energy have raved about how the ancient discipline helps their children channel that energy and cope with their emotions.
I have one of those high energy kids (although she’s not been labeled yet) and was thrilled to hear that one of the staffers at her school will occasionally lead the kids through some yoga poses. She loves it, although I am not sure how much her enthusiasm is driven by the fact her father and I have recently taken some yoga classes at the Y together and she likes doing whatever the grownups do. It’s a great way to encourage that joy of movement that little kids have. I’d also think in communities concerned with childhood obesity, some yoga would be a good thing because even heavier kids can do it without the humiliation involved in typical gym class activities, especially since it encourages participants to leave behind competition and judgement.