I have heard these words so many times as a kids yoga teacher, ‘but my child needs to know how to do this pose ‘right’ or else they wont get the benefit’ and one of the main reasons I creates workshops for adults to help them understand the absolute extreme importance of allowing children to explore and express themselves in each pose and game.
You see imagination is everything, the world is created through imagination not just metaphysically speaking, it really is.
Lets look at the house you live in, where do you think that came from? The car you drive, the food you eat, the TV programmes you watch.. Yes some genius somewhere thought about that in their mind and guess what, they created it so that you can enjoy it also.
So imagination is not child’s play.
In kids yoga we get to use our imagination in many ways, we also get to express and sense through the poses.
So let’s not get too deep after all it is a Monday !
But in simple terms, we use a very small percentage of our external senses as adults, mainly relying on our vision, which to be honest is not great and most of the time we presume we see things rather than actually registering what we are seeing.
We have all seen those crime programs on TV, where witnesses all say they saw a different thing and when the video is played back they just can’t believe what “actually happened’. So we see that our programing helps shape what we are ‘seeing’.
Children do not do this (until they learn it from us that is ), they use all of their senses , so when we show them a pose on a card, they may ‘see’ it in a different way to us.
As a kids yoga teacher I want them to feel confident to be able to express the pose and feel confident in their imagination. And guess what they will get the benefit !
But will my child hurt themselves doing the ‘wrong’ pose?
Over many hundreds of hours teaching kids yoga, the answer is NO ! Kids are really clever, unlike us grown ups (wink wink) that try to get into poses that don’t suit our body shapes, because the lady in front of us is doing it, we think that should be able to do it or else we have failed.
Kids are just doing the poses, being the poses and if it hurts they won’t do it.
Of course eventually they will learn the finer details of the pose as they grow and refine, but for now whilst doing kids yoga what they are doing is PERFECT!
I understand as parents or teachers we are under pressure to have perfect children , perfect homes, perfect education, giving our child the perfect start and all that perfectness is stressful when it’s not achievable. Because we measure what is perfect on what we think we see others doing, having , being.
We are all unique, all have our own gifts, so how can we make something perfect when we already are perfect just the way we are.
Kids Yoga reminds us that joy, play, fun, bonding and love are just as important as academic results, infact if we have all these in our daily life studies have shown that our children will have better academic results, less behaviours referrals and have more flexibility and strength. And all that is achieved in allowing our children to do the pose, or the game just how they want ..
Happy Kids yoga !
Dr Kate Bartram Brown