Yoga for children: from what age? What types of classes and what postures? We tell you everything!

The expert: Martine Giammarinaro, yoga teacher for adults and children

Can yoga be practiced by children? What are the advantages ? how to find a class or a teacher ? The answers of Martine Giammarinaro, yoga teacher in Paris.

What kind of yoga is practiced with the little ones?

“Yoga is a practice perfectly adaptable to children”, Martine Giammarinaro begins.

Any baby, in kindergarten… What is the ideal age to start yoga?

“You just have to adapt to the anatomy and physiology of the child, which are not the same as adults”. In addition to the physical aspects, yoga for children must also take theirs into account maturity. Therefore, a real yoga class is only possible from the age of 5. “There is Yoga for the little oneswhat won’t be real says the teacher. On the other hand, from the age of 5, Yoga can really be put into practice, the children are then old enough to share with other children and understand the instructions.”

Yoga sessions for children of this age will also be more playful and more happy than the traditional yoga we know in adults. “With older children, in adolescence, we approach adult yoga with the implementation of principles philosophical during sessions, such as self-confidence, self-esteem … In children we use albums or face cards to show them the positions and get their attention”.

In order to choose the right course, the teacher recommends that parents go to the RYE association’s website Research on yoga in education. The association is recognized by the Ministry of National Education and, among other things, trains children’s yoga teachers. “The association, which has existed for many years, is a quality guarantee for parents who want to register their child with a teacher who they want to become recommended in this way “, recommends Martine Giammarinaro. Is specific equipment required? ” No, replies the teacher the mats for the yoga postures must be provided by the teacher for the class”. And how much does a yoga class cost? According to Martine Giammarinaro, « the rates vary by region, but in general they remain more affordable for children than adult courses”.

If you do not wish to register your child or would prefer to conduct the sessions at home, this is entirely possible a detailed book and illustrated as well‘a carpet. All you need is a zen session in your child’s living room or bedroom to do all the postures!

What poses can you do with a child at home?

With the help of a yoga book, you can practice the pose of the dog on the head, the cat or the cobra together.

Positions of the cat, the cobra, the dog… the books and their comments will explain everything to you!

First, make yourself comfortable in a subdued atmosphere a musical background such as nature sounds or other soothing sounds. Sit with your child on a rug, side by side or face to face. First, start performing exercises breathingto focus on yourself again. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. You can add to this exercise a feather for example, so that the child can see the effect of his breath.

You can start the session with car massagesor place hands on head, eyes, neck, then shoulders, back, knees to ankles.

Once this moment of relaxation is achieved, it is time to move on to the poses, which are detailed with drawings and full description in children’s yoga books.

The fan pose

With your child, you can first decide how to hold the fan. just get up feet apart the pelvic width. You raise your arms in front of you and shake your hands, then you release your arms along your body.

Yoga for children: the fan pose

© iStock

The Cat’s Pose

The cat is another popular pose for children. you have to get dressed on all foursand breathe out gradually round back, from the pelvis to the top of the skull. And in a second step, inhale while digging your back, from the skull to the pelvis. Repeat the exercise at least three times.

Yoga for kids: the cat pose

© iStock

Downward Dog Pose

Another popular yoga pose for kids that they sometimes do quite naturally is downward facing dog. Then the body forms an inverted v To do this, you need to get on all fours, plant your palms firmly on the floor, and lift your buttocks while keeping your head relaxed between your arms. Take a deep breath in that posture and then relax. This exercise can also be repeated 3 times.

Yoga for Kids: Downward Facing Dog Pose

© iStock

The attitude you cobra

Finally, the cobra is held on its stomach. We stretch out our arms and raise ours chest. This movement is similar to what babies do spontaneously when placed on their stomach. Also start over three times.

Yoga for Kids: The Pose of the Cobra

© iStock

The session, which can last between 15 and 45 minutes depending on the age of the child, ends with a moment of relaxation Relaxation and breathe. Lie on your back and spread your arms slightly, palms facing out. We breathe calmly and we listen the feelings feltthen grab your knees and roll your pelvis from right to left before standing up.

Why Let Your Child Practice Yoga? What are the advantages?

According to Martine Giammarinaro, parents have different reasons for pushing their child to practice yoga. “Sometimes they do it themselves and put them into practice Parent-Child Course », says the teacher. “But sometimes also to try to calm her child down too restless, or “solve” a shy child, or even help a reluctant child to gain self-confidence… In all cases, the child must hold on to the idea of ​​practice, he cannot be forced to do yoga exercises. And then there must be a moment complicity with parents”. In any case, the child benefits from living together and learns to concentrate on himself and his breathing again through these yoga classes and exercises. It is also a moment of relaxation, well-being, learning improve your concentration and relieve stress.

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