Kids Yoga is meant to be a fun experience where children are given the opportunity to develop different skills in a non-competitive environment. So often in schools kids are asked to run up against each other. The stress of grades on top of the growing pressures of social standards sets young students to race against one another.
Additionally, national standardized tests force teachers and administrators to add additional stress to their students because they must reach par on test results in order to receive funding.
Overall, there’s a lot of stress occurring within many if not most of our schools. As we know, our school systems are facing a lot of challenges. Many parents, teachers, and citizens as a whole, are disappointed at the state of our education, and understandably so. I think one of the biggest challenges we’re facing, is our closing-down. It’s not because we’re apathetic, but because our country has grown so big so fast, that we’re not exactly sure where to go from here. So we shut off. We complain about it, get mad about it, cry about it, but we do nothing about changing it.
So let’s challenge it! Let’s create our own education, or at least add to what’s at hand bit-by-bit, transforming moment by moment. Kids yoga is a great tool for balancing our logic-geared, competition based education system. Kids yoga is about fun, togetherness, equanimity and non-competitive nature.
Kids Yoga and Playing Together
Kids are encouraged to sing, play, chant, dance, and practice together. That’s what makes yoga different from other movement-based activities. There’s no races, no tournaments, no judges, no tryouts. Just kids learning and growing together, discovering how their bodies are changing, and witnessing how their minds work together and as individuals.
It’s not just about togetherness between people. It’s about their expanding connection to the world. Through guided meditation, stories about difference cultures and places, as well as playful animal poses, children witness the beauty and intelligence of our natural world. Respect, appreciation, care, and honor for our planet and universe develop along with these lessons. The non-competitive nature of yoga allows the great beauty of these qualities to shine through each individual, whether adult or child.
The Goal is the Practice
We can practice every day. Practice making subtle changes to our world by encouraging the things that are good and of benefit. Kids yoga, non-competition, appreciation, honor, and respect for one another are just a handful of tools. For parents and teachers, kids yoga has the potential to balance logic-based education and reinforce the positive aspects of non-competition. It’s about fun, play and togetherness. The aim of yoga has never been to do the pose perfectly. Likewise, kids yoga is about nurturance, strength, self-love, equanimity, and self-acceptance, all qualities that add the nature of togetherness.