Once in a blue moon children gathered together to hear stories, create images in their mind of wonder and beauty, learn ethics about being human and caring for our plants and animals. Today the story continues and in a yoga room you can find more than children gathering to listen and imagine (although sometimes we do that too). In the yoga room kids can act out scenes from an adventure story, become lions, dolphins, horses, snakes, and turtles. They can take a jet to other countries or ride on magic carpets to discover unknown landscapes.
Kids yoga is a great exercise, helping kids channel energy, play, and respect one another. It’s really about fun and happiness, enjoying this body and this life. For kids, yoga can become an imaginative and playful hour to let their dreams run wild.
The Serious Need for Play
In 2008 Scientific American came out with the article, The Serious Need for Play. “Free play,” a term coined by scientists, is a step in growth that helps young children build social and cognitive skills as well as tools for coping with stress. In correlation with their research into animal behavior, scientists found that play, actually plays a large role in animal survival and reproduction rates. All the skills established during play roll over into adulthood and become their means of livelihood.
Likewise, as humans all the skills we learn from play become our means of survival, whether it’s getting a job or maintain loving relationships. Who knew! Learning how to play could actually save our life! But humans are quite different from animals in a particular way. To us, survival alone is not enough.
Creativity: Our Biological Potential
Humans are creative beings. We want to change things, mold things, and conceive of new possibilities. Survival is a biological imperative. Creativity, imagination, art and music is not imperative per say, and still, it is at the heart of humanity. Many of us forget how important it is to infuse our spirit with creativity, whether it’s art, music, movement, or even yoga.
We’re lucky enough to have such a great practice available to us that encourages natural creative movement and exploration of the body. Just as adults require an outlet such as yoga, so do kids. Imaginative kids yoga is in tune with a child’s level of creative needs, giving them a chance to explore inside and out. At the same time it creates a foundation of postures to build on later in life when children are ready for a “serious” yoga class. Of course, to us adults, yoga is still play… right? Tell us how you play…