Yoga for kids? It seems a stretch in our western view of exercise,
but, according to yoga teachers Danielle Bersma and Marjoke Visscher,
children are natural yogis who spontaneously strike traditional
poses and invent new ones as they play.
In their book, Yoga
Games for Children, available for checkout at any of the
branches of the Springfield-Greene County Library District, the
duo write that the practice of yogaa centuries-old system
of mind and body fitnesscan be used to help youngsters develop
strength, flexibility, coordination and awareness.
The benefits of yoga for children are numerous, but one of the
most important, especially as we get our kids ready for the new
school year, is that taking a moment to breathe, relax or
stretch will leave students calm and alert, ready to learn.
Yoga fits right into the Librarys Minds in Motion
initiative, says Youth Services Coordinator Vera Florea. Our
librarians know the importance of the balance of exercising your
body as well as your brain.
Library storytimes always include movementdancing, hopping
and jumpingfollowed by quiet reading by a librarian.
Bersma and Visscher explain that some yoga poses are not suitable
for childrens growing bodies; the yoga games described in
their book are labeled to support childrens different levels
of maturity and motor skills.
The general practice of yoga does not have to be watered
down for kids. The practice of yoga is a growth process in which
each phase is as important as the next. Presenting yoga as
a game appeals to a childs sense of fun and pleasure.
Here are two other books that can be used to introduce your kids
(and yourself) to yoga and another couple of volumes that address
exercise for children: