By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Let’s think about it: Being a kid these days is not what it used to be. If you grew up watching “Leave it to Beaver,” you cannot really relate to the current peer pressure, multi-tasking, sub-par education programs, and daily distractions that our children and grandchildren accept as part of daily life.

Family structure is not what it used to be either. Many children live in single parent households. This has become a painful fact of life for children to accept growing up without both of their parents. The family unit has changed and parents need practical solutions a lot more than criticism or a lecture.

Peer pressure in school is much more than just drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. Children are harassed by their peers, over every issue, including the clothes they wear. These days, children are pressured into pretending they are rich or joining a gang. This causes children more stress, at an early age, than they need.

So, what is a caring parent to do? Kids Yoga is one answer. Classes for children offer a positive refuge from life outside the Yoga studio. Just by stretching muscles, deep breathing, laughing, getting proper exercise, learning how to relax, meditating, and playing “Yoga games,” a child can be a kid again.

Kids Yoga allows a child to deal with daily stress. Each time a child enters a class for kids, he or she can close the door on negative feelings that stress overload brings. Children who attend these classes have one common thread: Their parents care about their well being.

It is not easy for children to socialize with other “good kids,” at a time when physical education, recess, children’s programs, manners, and social skills are being placed “on the back burner.” Yet the structure of a Yoga class allows children to bond, socialize, learn, and improve their lives, with new life skills.

Yoga classes are usually non-competitive, but a parent can easily observe just to make sure. Competition is everywhere, but there is no need for it in Yoga or any form of Mind and Body health maintenance.

Lastly, Yoga has many benefits for both genders. Yoga is good for both boys and girls to learn. The physical skills and knowledge will carry over into other hobbies and sports. Most of today’s elite athletes learn Yogic techniques for cross training purposes. An athlete, who is flexible, strong, and calm under fire, is a formidable opponent. This is the reason why so many of the world’s professional sports teams cross train their players and teach them Yoga.

© Copyright 2006 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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