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Building Family Flexibility: Yoga for Parents and Their Children
Yoga is a family of ancient spiritual practices originating in India. It is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy. In India and across the World, Yoga is seen as a means to both physical health and spiritual mastery. Outside India, Yoga has become primarily associated with the practice of asanas or postures of Hatha Yoga.
In the United States the American Fitness Professionals & Associates offers Yoga Certification for intructors.
Yoga is an energizing exercise that many people find easy to fit into their schedule. There are many benefits to doing yoga-you will feel less stressful, you will sleep better and longer, you will lose weight, and you will become stronger and more flexible. Many parents, however, are looking for activities to do with their children in their free time, rather than spending this time exercising. Good news: Yoga can be fun and beneficial for children as well. Although your child will probably not be able to do all of the same moves you can, this is a great way to get your children away from the television or computer and moving!
Your child may not have the attention span for a full class or routine, but allow him or her to join in when they want to have some fun. Children love the different skills they learn, such as balancing, and being upside down is always fun. Be prepared for them to add their own spin on things-at a young age, form is not the concern; it is simply important to get them interested at this age level.
Did you know?
Buddha, who is estimated to have lived 563 to 483 BC, is believed to have studied what was known of yoga at that time as part of an extensive education in Hindu philosophy. It is also very likely, given the rapid growth of Buddhism after his death and before the Bhagavad Gita was composed, that Buddhism had some influence on that work. There is a considerable overlap between the Hindu yoga tradition and Buddhism.
Your local yoga center or gym may offer classes for your children, as they grow older. In these classes, they will learn much of the same things you learn in a beginner's class. If your child is mature enough, consider bringing him or her to your adult class. However, remember that it may not be appropriate if the class has members of both sexes. It's a judgement call here, but if your child is yearning to start learning yoga, try your best to include him or her in a class.
Children can also benefit from yoga at home. There are books and videos specially made for children and young adults to learn yoga as well as meditation. Always monitor your child to be sure he or she is being safe, and talk to your child's doctor to be sure the yoga routine is appropriate for your child's physical well-being. Speak with other parents in your own yoga circle of friends-if there is much interest among the children in this group, perhaps a new class could be started for them.
Doing yoga together is a great way to get to know one another and to become a teacher and friend to your child. Yoga is a healthy activity and as your child grows, even if he or she does not stick with yoga, the healthy kind of lifestyle will hopefully remain with them.
About the Author: Michael Saunders edits a site on Yoga and Health and maintains a Website on all elements of prosperity and abundance.