Children’s yoga – an antidote for emotional disorders

The popularization of yoga as a remedy for many of the ills caused by lifestyle changes has led to the fact that “gymnastics in Indian” has practically turned into a mass sport with its own Federation, competitions and the adamant belief of supporters of the ancient tradition of healing that yoga exercises are the only possible way improve physical and mental health.  

Fans of “twisting” especially insist that yoga classes affect the state of mind and are useful for children and adolescents with emotional disorders. Is this really so and how real is the help of yoga classes for children in solving psychological problems – we will figure it out together with MedAboutMe on International Yoga Day.

Indian “gymnastics”: numbers and facts

Yoga in modern Russia is more popular than basketball, hockey, tennis and downhill skiing. 

According to a survey by the specialized edition Yoga Journal, the number of people practicing yoga in Russia is approaching one and a half million. It seems that there are few people who are indifferent to Indian gymnastics. The number of people interested in yoga is almost three and a half million people. Many curious people have tried yoga exercises at least once . 

During the development of training for the body and spirit, thousands of yoga centers have appeared in Russia, bringing together people who want to find harmony. Workshops, seminars, conferences and courses on various yoga practices are held.

The numbers are impressive:

  • most of those who are keen on yoga are women – 84% (the lack of male participation in yoga practices is still clearly present);
  • 88% want to increase the intensity of yoga classes;
  • 50% of Russian yogis are engaged in meditation (except for physical exercises);
  • among those who have been practicing Indian “gymnastics” for more than ten years, 44% are yoga teachers;
  • vegetarians among yoga practitioners – 20%.

Yoga and business are inextricably linked:

  • turnover is more than forty billion rubles (the survey took into account only the cost of classes, excluding the cost of clothing, rugs, accessories, etc.);
  • practitioners’ expenses for seminars and yoga tours for “experienced yogis” – up to 30 thousand rubles a year.

Expert commentary

Sharon Gannon, founder of the Jivamukti yoga direction, choreographer, artist

We have created a kind of yoga adapted for Europeans. It is based on the practice of mastering ancient records, yoga sounds, devotion to teaching, singing and meditation. Among the fans of this trend are actors (Gwyneth Paltrow), musicians (Sting), models (Christy Turlington).

There are Russians among my friends. They are hardworking, cultured, practical. They are not stopped by obstacles in the path of mastering yoga practices. I sincerely wish them to continue mastering the teachings in order to learn, without blaming others and without complaining about temporary failures, to overcome all difficulties and become the “change that everyone wants to see in the world.”

Yoga has long been present in Russia, so I believe that the world will still learn about the outstanding Russian yogis who achieved enlightenment in a world where kindness, joy, compassion and spiritual awakening are so necessary.

Nobody disputes the fact of the massive presence of yoga practices in the life of a modern person. The healthy lifestyle craze has led to the desire to become a “yogi” as quickly as possible and to practice difficult asanas (yoga postures). According to experts who are serious about Indian practices, careless adherence to the modern version of “fitness yoga” can bring harm to health instead of a positive effect.

Yoga for big and small

The growing interest in yoga has led to the emergence of centers offering yoga for women of all ages (including pregnant women), children’s yoga, steam room, “sunny” and “hot”, laughing yoga. There is even “doga yoga”, that is, yoga for dogs. In general, almost like Mayakovsky: “… different yogis are needed … choose the taste.”

A huge number of those wishing to attend centers and classes that promote yoga classes confirm that people made their choice in favor of yoga quite deliberately. Adults and children stubbornly master the asanas in the hope of gaining physical and mental health. With the help of yoga, adults lose weight, reduce the negative impact of the stresses of city life, strive for rejuvenation, master breathing practices and generally change their way of life and thoughts.

Yoga for children, according to the Yoga Federation in Russia, is designed to fulfill two main tasks:

  • harmonious general physical development of the whole organism;
  • psychotherapeutic influence, giving children the opportunity to learn how to relax and understand their body, the ability to “work” with emotions.

Toddler Yoga Classes are fun, interactive classes based on yoga forms, play, sounds and movement to develop children’s spatial awareness, coordination, creative expression and motor skills.

Yoga practice for the soul

Why is yoga so popular? Probably the secret lies in the harmonious combination of “gymnastics” – physical and mental. Such exercises are necessary for children, because due to insufficient life experience or developmental peculiarities, they still do not know how to concentrate attention, control emotions and switch consciousness in order to free themselves from emotional stress. Very often the child is capricious not because he has a bad character, but because he simply does not have the skills to correctly express his emotions.

Many adolescents also suffer from the lack of skills to manage their impulsivity. On examination, children “receive” a neurologist’s diagnosis of ADHD. Frightening to many parents, the acronym ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but does not mean a sentence for a child. Yoga practices just suggest ways to balance the emotional state and teach children how to relax correctly, focus their attention and regulate their mood.

What are the benefits of yoga for children and adolescents with emotional distress?

Yoga exercises will help:

  • relax and relieve stress;
  • calm down;
  • get rid of “extra” negative energy;
  • train flexibility;
  • try to establish a relationship between body and spirit;
  • learn to focus attention;
  • normalize breathing.

What is the best way to organize your classes?

Experts advise not to skimp on professionalism. Of course, in the modern advanced Internet space, you can find video tutorials for yoga classes for every taste. However, it is best to use the services of an experienced practicing teacher.

It is preferable to study in a group of children or adolescents of approximately the same age and similar difficulties.

Such trainings can be organized in different ways:

  • in the form of single, pair and group exercises;
  • role-playing games and stories;
  • rhythmic or cognitive activities.

Depending on the age of the children, yoga meetings take the form of fairy tales, travels, philosophical conversations, meditation, dancing or body-oriented therapy.

Without fail, children are engaged in special techniques that contribute to:

  • developing skills to express your feelings;
  • acquiring the skills to listen to yourself and hear others;
  • learning to manage your emotions.

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