Yoga is an excellent tool for kids to learn, and winter is a perfect time to get the mat out for our little yogis.
In this winter season, yoga is an all-inclusive good thing, as just about every aspect of it increases immunity- from promoting more restful sleep to boosting the lymphatic system and increasing levels of Vitamin C. The effects of yoga on the practitioner run the gamut from building and sustaining your body’s health, to boosting emotional balance, bolstering disease prevention, and symptom reduction and alleviation.
For kids, there could not be a more complete exercise to engage in. Marsha Wenig, founder of Yoga Kids International, a leading provider of yoga, education and fitness products for children explains, “in doing yoga, children exercise, play, connect more deeply with the inner self, and develop an intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds them. Yoga brings that marvelous inner light that all children have to the surface.”
In addition to the health benefits of yoga, local yoga instructor and Mt. Airy Mom of two, Deirdre Vezirov-Kilkenny finds the greatest benefits for kids in the sense of self that yoga practice provides.
“Yoga engages all the senses, creates a loving learning atmosphere so children can relax, be more receptive, allow confidence, curiosity and be comfortable in relating to other living beings. The practice of yoga gives kids courage – the courage to be less than perfect, to fumble, to sometimes be clumsy, to take the risk of failing, and then to try again. It teaches us emotional stamina, self-forgiveness, compassion for ourselves and others.”
Vezirov-Kilkenny had spent 20 years in childcare and over decade studying yoga when she started NatureYoga in 2004 after gaining certifications from internationally known training programs for teaching children yoga such as Radiant Child Yoga, Storytime Yoga and Yoga4Teens. Her classes create stories and adventures with the children, unfolding and stretching their way into the power of lion, the stretch of a dog and the steadiness of a tree.
Over the winter months, there are plenty of opportunities in the Northwest to get your pups into downward dog. This week, NatureYoga began teaching its Yoga For Kids series at Mt. Airy Yoga on Carpenter Lane. Families with little little ones (36 months and under) can take Mommy & Me Yoga at The Little Treehouse in Chestnut Hill followed by a class for 3-4 year olds. Working our way down the Avenue, kids can also stretch and move in a variation on the yoga theme in the Gymfoolery class at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in Germantown.
Mt. Airy Yoga, 610 Carpenter Lane Mondays, 4:00pm 4-8 year old class; 5:00pm 8-13 year old class
The LittleTreehouse, 10 West Gravers Lane Mondays, 9:30am Mommy and Me Yoga; 3-4 year old class 10:30am.
Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in Germantown. 5900A Greene Street, Wednesdays 10:00am Gymfoolery class
NW Philly Parents is a partnership between NewsWorks.org and GermantownAvenueParents.com, a community blog covering events and issues of interest to parents and children in Northwest Philadelphia.