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In this lesson
-Explore some basics of the practice of yoga
-Get started with tips from an expert
-Learn four yoga poses
-Understand the benefits of yoga practice for children - kids and teens.
Video Resources

Extension activities
-Can you add YOGA to your sports conditioning routine?
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Yoga - 8 Steps to Get You Started

By Amitabha Deb

Keywords: yoga, yoga for kids and teens, self confidence, self esteem, yoga poses, yoga mind, ancient practice, sports conditioning, body awareness, Patanjali, books about yoga for kids and teens


Swami Vivekananda added to the spread of yoga by bringing it to America. In 1893, he addressed the parliament of World religions and discussed the path of yoga. As a result of his speech, it began to blossom as a practice in many areas of the country. Yoga has since gained major popularity in United States.


Parents often wonder about how to get started.  Here are answers to some of the questions you might have about getting started on the exciting path to yoga with your child:

1. Where can I practice Yoga?

Asanas (or yoga postures), an important physical part of yoga should be practiced in a clean, airy and well-lit room. The floor should be level.

2. What is the best time of day to practice?

The best time to practice asanas is in the morning before breakfast and in the evening before dinner.

3. How often should my child and I practice?

A short practice of 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times a week can provide significant benefits.  For young children you can build yoga into everyday play.  For slightly older ones, set an example and they will follow.

4. Do we need any special equipment?

All you need for yoga is a yoga mat. It is a better option compared to a folded blanket.

5. What if my child or I am not feeling well?

When you are sick you must rest to heal the body. For minor headaches and other symptoms there are yoga postures that can even help to reduce the symptoms.

6. How fast should I do the postures?  Should my child go slower?

A count is one second/one heart beat. The general rule is to practice each asana 2-3 times. For kids, we should start with 5 counts each time depending on their ability.

7. What is the correct way to breathe while doing yoga postures?

Do not force yourself to breathe deeply or to hold your breath. Breathe normally through the nose.

8. Is there anything else I should know as I begin?

Be aware of the ‘Yoga Mind’ - Always be alert, attentive and watchful when you practice. Concentrate on your pose. Watch your teachers carefully and pay attention to their instruction.

Back to Yoga for Kids and Teens

 

Dr. Amitabha Deb, Expert on Yoga for Children: Dr. Deb is a 200 Hours Yoga Alliance teacher trainee and a certified Children’s Yoga Trainer. His email is amitabhadeb@yahoo.com He is a Biomedical Scientist by profession.

 

Updated March 2011