Our hectic lives provide little opportunity for either parent or child to stop and smell the roses. Unlike when I was a child where you came home and played outside with the local kids, our children are inundated with a litany of activities the minute they wake up until they go to bed. This fast pace world we created can be a stressor on both the parent and the child. Incorporating the magical healing power of yoga into both you and your child’s routine can bring a sense of calm and relaxation. Physically it can also enhance flexibility, strength, coordination and body awareness. By simply practicing yoga one can see and feel the positive effects on both the mind and body. Yoga techniques, however, can be quite different for children than adults. I witnessed this first hand when we enrolled our youngest in one on one sessions with Afi Kobari, “Yogamamma.” Afi is a certified yoga teacher and therapist receiving her training at the International Samata Yoga Center in LA and Karishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation in India. She is also certified in Reiki (an energy healing therapy) and Yoga Rx Therapy at Loyola Marymount University. She conducts workshops for teachers and parents, and teaches yoga to preschoolers as part of the Child Development Center at Moorpark College. She also is the author of a children’s yoga book “Going to Yummy Land with Yogamama.” Her passion for yoga stems from the life changing healing she experienced within her own life. Combining her love for children and passion for yoga she has dedicated her life to sharing her knowledge to help others. I was a little skeptical at first thinking it would be quite a challenge capturing the attention of a 3 year old enough to really benefit, but Afi had a way of engaging him by using yogic techniques designed especially for children. My son loved it and looked forward to every session.
Yoga benefits all age groups. Even though it is perceived to be a passive activity it can be quite physical which helps create a balanced and healthy life. Starting yoga at an early age lays the foundation of a lifelong practice that will only continue to deepen as your child gets older. Today, there is an abundance of resources to help integrate yoga into your child’s life from studios that specialize in children’s yoga, to books, articles and DVDs.
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