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Guidelines for Child Yoga

Children of the Age Group of 3-10 Years

  • Children less than 10 years of age can do upto 10 seconds staying in the final stage of any  asana / Yoga practice. The total time for the kid’s Yoga session should be not more than 20 minutes.
  • Children are advised not to perform asana for long duration and breathe holding practices (Kumbhaka).
  • Yoga for children involves gentle Yoga stretches and movements, often mimicking animals, and incorporated with games.
  • Imaginative stories about Yoga practices are the best methods of teaching Yoga to kids.
  • Always demonstrate the posture, rather than explaining it. Use the same method when trying to correct their poses, during practical sessions.
  • Avoid extreme forward and backward bending asanas.
  • Avoid head stand and hand standing asanas.
  • Avoid over stretching or pushing too hard while practicing Yoga.
  • Yogic practice should be done in an empty or light stomach.
  • Children should practice Yoga under the supervision of an expert/ trained Yoga teacher with proper guidance and never alone.
  • If child complains of any discomfort while or after practicing Yoga, he / she should be given full attention and medical help, if needed.
  • Never compare the children with each other. Encourage them in each and every session for discipline to sit properly.
  • It’s always appreciated to teach Yoga with affection and deal all their reactions tenderly.
  • Basic principles of Yoga like Yama and Niyama should be emphasized while teaching Yoga practices to get better results.

Adolescents upto the Age of 18 Years

  • There should not be any competitive attitude while practicing Yoga.
  • Girls should avoid Yoga practices during menstruation or they can do relaxing practices.
  • The practice sequence of asanas should be initial to advance in order, followed by Pranayama, Bandhas, Mudras, Relaxation and Meditation
  • Asanas should not be practiced in haste or by applying any sort of undue force under any circumstances.
  • Attain the final position step by step and maintain the same with closed eyes for an inward awareness within the whole body.
  • Maintenance of the final posture in asana is always beneficial as per one’s capacity.
  • Yogic practice should be done on an empty stomach or light stomach.
  • It is the period of changing from childhood to adulthood, which needs practice of the posture done with more time and awareness.
  • Adolescent ages usually have a negative body image due to bodily / hormonal changes and teaching with all such considerations and encouraging them, is needed.
  • Physical movements from one posture to another provide strength, endurance, flexibility to joints and muscles of the growing adolescents and facilitate positive health.
  • Explain what they are doing by telling teens about each practice and how the practice will be beneficial for them. Create conducive atmosphere for them so that they can share their experiences without any hesitation.

Source: NCPCR Guidelines for Child Yoga



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