Historically, yoga is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy, but has become a generic term for physical, mental and spiritual practices with origins in ancient India. In the last 50 years or so, yoga has been adapted in the West as form of exercise and stress reduction with spiritual emphasis depending on the class.
Yoga, as a form of exercising, involves assuming various positions that benefit the body in different areas. The complexity of these positions varies greatly from the ‘Cobra’ (lying on the floor with palms flat on the floor and chest raised) to the ‘Crane’ (palms flat on the floor supporting the body, with legs off the floor and tucked under the chest!)
Children’s yoga classes often involve the parents as well so it’s a great way for you and your child to exercise, or just have fun, together! Yoga can be done at all ages and can be easily practised at home in between classes. If your child needs some light, non-competitive exercise, a way to relax or just somewhere to meet and have fun with others their age then yoga could be the answer.
The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ meaning ‘to yoke’ or ‘join together’.
‘Doga’ is a kind of yoga in which people aim to achieve harmony with their pets!!
The Swastika is originally a yoga symbol meaning ‘That associated with well-being’.
The first person to establish Yoga as a spiritual and philosophical view was Patanjali in the 2nd century BC although it is thought that it might date as far back as the 3rd century BC!
While Yoga was practised in the East for many years, the West only became widely aware of it in the mid-19th century when wandering monk, Swami Vivikenanda, introduced it to the USA and Europe.
The longest yoga marathon ever was by Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow from Canada. It lasted 32 hours and took place on 2nd to 3rd August 2010 .During this time 1008 different yoga positions were completed.
There are many, many types of yoga from Hatha, Lyengar and Bikram to Ashtanga, Anusara and Kundalini. Each type has its own characteristics. Something for everyone!
Some points to consider:
Do you need to buy anything prior to your child joining the yoga class? For example, will you need to purchase a mat?
Are there any specific clothes they need to wear?
In many children’s yoga classes parents are encouraged or even required to take part. Would you like to take part, watch or leave your child at the lessons and can this be catered for?
The British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) is the largest yoga membership organisation in the country. It is committed to promoting a greater understanding of yoga and it's safe practise through experience, education, discussion, study and training.
The British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) is recognised by the Government’s Sports Councils (Sport England, Sport Wales) and is the governing body for yoga in the UK. It acts as an umbrella organisation for yoga and also trains yoga teachers. Anyone holding the BWY Diploma has undergone a thorough, assessed training programme lasting approximately three years. Qualified Wheel teachers also have insurance and ongoing professional development through in-service training.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, otherwise known as Lady Gaga (born March 28, 1986) is a practitioner of Bikram Yoga. Bikram Yoga sessions run for exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.6°C) with a humidity of 40%, and is the most popular form of hot yoga. Other celebrities who practise this type of yoga include David Beckham, Ashton Kutcher, Robbie Williams, Andy Murray, Madonna and George Clooney.
Front man of American band Maroon 5 Adam Levine (born March 18, 1979) claims that doing yoga has revolutionized his life. He first tried it 5 years ago and now practices regularly. He uses 5 styles of yoga; Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Jivamukti, Iyengar and Anusara.
Robert Downey Jr (born April 4, 1965) used a combination of therapy, meditation and yoga to help beat his drug addictions in 2003 and now has become a celebrity yoga teacher.
Take a look at this fun children’s yoga video ‘An Ocean Adventure. Meet Squish The Fish and friends.’ Yoga with a story, ending with a few moments of relaxation.
Classroom yoga helps improve behaviour of kids with autism - Researchers in New York found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who did yoga at school behaved better than those who weren't doing yoga.
The children followed a specific yoga routine each school morning which lasted 17 minutes. The program continued for 16 weeks and then the researchers compared the children who were doing yoga to a control group who had done none. The results demonstrated that use of daily classroom yoga had a significant impact on key classroom behaviours among children with ASD.