This atmosphere of caring, encourages children to relax and have fun, and develop not only their strength, their coordination, their flexibility and balance, but also the awareness of their body and better focus, concentration, and confidence. In fact, a study from the University of California in 2003, showed that the children of a school in Los Angeles who had regular classes Yoga, had a significant increase in their self-esteem as well as health and wellness in their learning performance, while discipline problems were decreased. Also, the students felt more relaxed and enjoyed more respect from their peers.
In Yoga for children there is a balance between spontaneity and structured behavior so that children can learn to listen to each other and express themselves creatively. It is believed that children learn best when having fun. So Yoga classes for children includes stories, songs, games, and positions, allowing children to learn in a very sensory environment in which they investigate through motion, vision, and listening, the interpersonal and intrapersonal learning. This makes Yoga classes for children much more active than Yoga classes for adults and much more fun.
In Yoga courses, children are encouraged to respect and pay attention to the care of their body in each posture, trying to feel good, and also to come and leave from the postures when they truly feel ready (something most adults find really difficult to do!). As children grow older and their bodies change rapidly, this becomes an important skill.
Apart from the enormous physical and mental benefits, another ideal in practicing Yoga for children is respect and honor: for ourselves, for others and for our environment. In a Yoga class, children are often led to a fantastic travel around the world learning about many cultures and geography through it. Also, because many of the positions are named after animals, children learn about them, their different habits, endangered species, and often share their knowledge of a favorite animal.
Children have an innate affinity with the natural world, especially animals. They understand and learn how to care about the earth and its inhabitants, both human and animal.
Yoga is a fun way for children to develop important skills in a supportive, non-competitive environment. Even at a young age, children often feel pressure at school, socially and educationally, as well as in the highly competitive sports. So it is easy for girls and boys to develop excessive self-criticism, and lose their self- confidence as they grow and change. Yoga is a wonderful cure for it! There is no criticism during the lesson on how a child makes a position or how he/ she plays a game. The purpose of Yoga is not to perform perfectly a position, which fosters a child's inner strength and acceptance of self.
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