Yoga for Children
Expert session Question & Answers

At what age can we start Yoga for a child?

As early as 5 years. It has to be more fun than yoga asanas.

My daughter is 15 years old. Will yoga help her to lose weight?

There are different forms of yoga. Yes at the age of 15 she can practice more dynamic form to lose weight.

Is it advisable to mix yoga with other forms of workouts like Zumba and functional training?

Yes.

I intend to join my 15 year old daughter in yoga too. What is the dynamic form of yoga? Does it have a name? Can you suggest the frequency per week and who teaches this?

It is called Astanga vinyasa or power yoga. 

Twice to thrice a week is good.

My son is going to have board exams from next month. Can you suggest simple yoga asanas to just keep mind relaxed.

Breathing exercises will help. Practices like Anulom Vilom, belly breathing etc are good.

For children of 11-12 years age, is it too early to start pranayama and meditation?

It is a perfect age to start both breathing practices and Pranayam. These are very good tools.

Does power yoga help with anxiety?

All forms of yoga help with anxiety. One has to breathe in the right way while practicing.

Kids this age get bored very quickly so was contemplating mixing the workouts. Can you give some suggestions?

For really younger kids it has to be with music , games, nursery rhymes they know, fun props and a very interactive teacher.

Including stretching exercises, yoga asanas focus on increasing the flexibility of the body. These help in attaining a good, taller posture. Performing yoga releases mental and emotional stress and relaxes the body. This also leads to a release of the growth hormone, which helps in increasing height.

What age can kids start doing surya namaskar and how many can be done in a day?

Once the kid is ready to follow instructions you can teach them surya namaskars. But not forcibly. Yoga should be fun for kids at any age.

Is there any specific course for being a kids yoga teacher?

Yes you need to be trained to work with kids.

Where can we do the course to become a kids yoga teacher and general yoga training?

I started initial training at Param yoga in Aundh.

How to encourage children to fit yoga into their daily routine?

For really young kids it could be during play time. For eg Animal walks etc. You can also participate. For slightly older kids take them to a yoga class.

What are ways to teach or to increase concentration of a child through yoga? My child is 12 years old.

Blowing a feather first fast and then slow, blowing on palms and cover eyes and count 10, Counting breath backwards from 10 to 1, Lying down belly breath with toy on stomach, Mantra chanting. Play mantras every morning. These are a few ways to help kids do breathing exercises that are fun. Also, your twelve year old might be able to do Anulom Vilom.

What can be done to improve posture while sitting?

Some basic poses like Sukhasana(cross leg), vajrasana, padmasana will help bring length in your spine. Do some twists too. This is applicable for both adults and children.

Can you please suggest some poses that can help my 10.5 year old son with focus issues, health issues and sleep issues.

Some of the things you can do with kids with proper trained teacher:

Eye exercises, Candle meditation, Animal poses and animal sounds. Blow on closed palms and cover eyes and count 10. 5-2 4-2 3-5 sequence coordination with breath and fingers. Breathing exercises will definitely help with focus and sleep related issues. For asana practice, get him to join a proper yoga class.

I am the mother of twins. What is the best and possible exercises for 3 year old kids as they are restless and hyperactive.

The best advice I can give you is something I have tried, which is chanting. Simple OM chanting helps. You chant holding their hands too.

My 6 year old seems to have balancing issues while going up or down on the stairs. I was advised to increase balancing activities by physiotherapy. Will yoga help him?

First you need to check strength in his/her legs. Then come up with a plan.

What is the right way to do Anulom Vilom. Breathing should be like the balloon blowing techniques or reverse?

For kids don’t worry about too many instructions. Just breathe in from one nostril and breathe out from the other.

What is advised for strengthening legs?

All standing poses in yoga. Especially Utkasana.

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Deepa Nair – Yoga for Children

Deepa Nair

Deepa Nair is an Internationally Certified Yoga Alliance Instructor(RYT 200 USA) and Fitness Trainer. She is also a certified Yoga therapist, Pranayama and Pilates teacher.

 She started Yoga By Deepa to be able to spread awareness among adults and children. A lifelongChildren enthusiasm for fitness led Deepa Nair to Yoga and she has been a passionate practitioner of Iyengar Yoga after being introduced to it in 2008. She was amazed at the physical and mental advantages it offered and found a passion for this discipline. After learning and practicing for over 2 years, she began teaching in 2010 with a qualification in Hatha Yoga. Her classes draw on many styles of Yoga and her approach is gentle yet focused.

There is an emphasis on getting to know your own body and mind. The classes focus on stretching, breathing, relaxing and gradually developing flexibility and strength for age group 12 to 18 years. She specialises in working on improving focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, and classroom behavior and also helps reduce anxiety and stress in these kids. She also works on mindfulness that offers psychological benefits. Early in her career, she managed the Weightloss business line for Airlife Fitness Studio. Armed with that experience, Deepa has been working with kids facing issues like child obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety. Deepa believes Yoga should be part of the school curriculum. She has been working and volunteering with many schools to make it happen.

According to Deepa, she has been very fortunate to have worked with and learnt from very senior and experienced teachers like Dr Renu Mehtani from Param Yoga and Senior Iyengar Teacher Vibha Kale.