Children of this era seem to have a different experience growing up than youngsters have had in previous years. There is more violence in schools with bullying taken to extreme measures, and sex has come up in children’s lives before a parent has time to rehearse their version of “the birds and the bees” speech to themselves, with no intention of immediate delivery. Kids have become more attached to their friends, considering their adolescent advice before turning to a more knowing, mature figure with their problems.
With adult situations occurring at an early stage in one’s life, children are bound to become overwhelmed with the circumstances they’ve been dealt. Never before has it been thought that children need to relieve stress just as much as adults, but in fact they do. Their energy level may show us that kids need to be physically exercised, but it’s what parents can’t see that they need to act on. We cannot see their frustrations, their anger, or their anxieties.
Most children have low self-esteem by nature due to an awkward appearance as their different body parts grow at different rates and wishing to own the nice things that others possess, such as designer clothing. There is an activity that many would never imagine to sign a child up for, but the teachings of this class combined with the physical activity and positive reinforcement awarded at every turn can help a child through this tumultuous period of time. The activity is yoga.
Yoga is a positive experience for people of all ages to enjoy, however there are special classes designed for children so they can feel more comfortable working around people their own age. The yoga instructor will praise them and make each student feel welcome around the other kids, which enables their self-esteem to increase. There are no discriminations in a yoga class, only positive thoughts should enter and exit the room, which allows yoga to become an escape for the child.
The asanas, or yoga poses, will promote flexibility while building the child’s muscles. Many children enjoy friendly competitive sports throughout their adolescence and even throughout their adulthood, and yoga can help prevent the body from being injured during other activities. Children tend to be clumsy, but yoga teaches balance and coordination.
The yoga studio is a great place for children to meet other like-minded children and develop their sense of creativity. Meditation tames the ever-running mind of a young person and allows for a time and place for peace they may not find elsewhere. Yoga is a truly ideal activity for a child to engage in, and I encourage all parents to talk the idea over with their children.