The benefits of yoga are well known, but the majority of practitioners are adults. However, one yoga teacher has chosen to specifically cater for children and teenagers.
Caroline Collins’ two daughters, now aged 7 and 9, have been doing yoga since they were only a few months old.
Older daughter Ashling has a neuromuscular genetic condition, which results in very tight, low-toned muscles.
“When I noticed how much stretching the physiotherapist and occupational therapist were doing with my daughter, I became interested in kids’ yoga,” Caroline says.
The former PE and English teacher did yoga training, initially so that she could help Ashling, learning how to modify yoga poses for children. Six years ago she began teaching Ashling and her friends out of her garage and says Ashling has made massive gains and is much stronger as result of yoga.
Caroline is now a full time yoga teacher, with weekly classes at several Hibiscus Coast locations under the Yummy Yoga banner – including ones designed for children and teens.
She says the advantages of doing yoga as a young person include that there is no judgment about how a child does a pose or plays a game. “Doing a pose ‘perfectly’ is not the aim of yoga,” she says. “The aim is to nourish inner and outer strength and his or her self-acceptance.”
Yoga for Kids classes include stories, songs and games along with the poses – Caroline says they are “much more active” than adult yoga sessions.
Children are encouraged to listen to their bodies and learn to work in a group, developing trust and empathy, as well has having fun.
Info: www.yummyyoga.co.nz or phone Caroline, 021 451 424.