Physical and mental activities are essential in a child's growth and development.
Yoga offers a positive way to help children gain great focus and control skills through breathing, balancing, and posing in different positions. Below are some questions and answers that may help guide you in adding yoga into your daily or weekly routine.
Question: How do I gather my 2-3 year olds for a yoga session and get them to pay attention?
Answer: You have many options for gathering 2 and 3 year olds for yoga. No matter what you choose it is important to choose something developmentally appropriate for your group. 2 and 3 year olds are not built to stand in a perfectly straight regimented line so consider some alternatives. You can play a slow song and have children dance their way to your meeting space. Alternatively, you can use a chime and ring it softly asking children to take one step toward the meeting space with each chime.
There are multiple options and it is important to consider safety, appropriateness, purpose, and movement when planning your transition options.
Question: Is there an age limit on when children should start doing yoga?
Answer: Children can join in yoga as early as you can support them in that endeavor. Toddlers especially love to imitate yoga poses and movement and will likely enjoy the opportunity to participate. Younger children can also join in yoga by doing simple stretches and movement. Obviously, like all things in education and child care, you will want to adapt the activities for different children with different ability levels.
Question: How do I help parents accept the idea of integrating yoga into our classroom?
Answer: I have seen many programs use different language and intertwine their yoga programming with PE and exercise programs. It is important to communicate your programming with parents honestly and accurately. Often when benefits are explained and yoga isn’t the only exercise option that is used you will find much more support. Try implementing “yoga and movement” or “yoga and stretching” to create a holistic approach to the program needs and design.
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