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Yoga for Kids: Building Self-Image (Part 1)

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Aug 17, 2007
Parents are struggling to find methods for instilling self-confidence within their children. As adults, we know that the repercussions of poor self image can result in anxiety, depression, and a huge list of bad scenarios.

With this in mind, there are a number of positive actions that parents, teachers, physicians, and Yoga teachers can take to build solid foundations, within a given child's character. By seeking solutions, we can give our children a positive view of life. In turn, children will develop into successful adults by building strong relationships and by exceptional performance, within his or her career.

Let's look at the positive aspects for children within a typical Kids Yoga class. Although, Yoga is a vast subject, and there are a number of topics to discuss; children are better off being taught to focus on four components within a Hatha Yoga class.

These four components are posture, breathing, relaxing, and meditation. A child will find all four of these subjects easy to grasp, but all of them are a challenge. For many kids, the relaxation and meditation are easy to understand, but mastering them is another matter.

Now, let's look at how a Yoga class for a child can have a profound and positive impact on his or her self-image. One of the first lessons a child walks away with is self-acceptance. Every child learns to appreciate being the best he or she can possibly be. This is achieved by understanding that other children may excel in one area of Yoga, while other children may be exceptional in a completely different area.

For example: One child may be able to relax or meditate; another child may demonstrate balancing skills in Eagle Pose; while another child is exceptionally strong in the Warrior Series. In this case, it is up to the Yoga teacher to give out praise equally to all the children present in a class.

How can you accomplish this? As teachers, we always praise the exceptional, but since this is a Yoga class you can afford to praise every child who tries his or her best. It is natural for children and adults to seek praise. This is why the world has so much competition for every little event.

However, competition should be "brushed aside" in a Kids Yoga class. The Yoga studio, or ashram, should be a nurturing place for children and adults to master life skills. Yoga literally means "unity," and competition bolsters the ego. Therefore, this is not the way Yoga was designed for children or adults.

© Copyright 2006 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard is director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He's a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches that along with fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students who want to be a teacher.
http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org
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