Kids jump on the yoga bandwagon
May 3, 2006
Once or twice a year you can find children chanting at the Park City Library, they are participating in a free yoga class held by Michelle Shaw of Body by Bella.
Shaw says one of many benefits of yoga for children is to help them to focus their attention.
"Boys especially that have ADHD, it helps them calm down," she said.
It also helps with flexibility and muscle tone.
Saturday’s class had about a dozen participants ranging from 3 to 10 years old. She began with breathing exercises and a warm-up. Because it’s a children’s class the poses aren’t held for as long and there are no inverted poses.
"We try and make it fun, and we play games," Shaw said.
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One game is to hand out a card to each student that has pose on it, then each student takes a turn leading the class in that exercise. She also incorporates interpretive dance into the lesson and has children behave as though they are butterflies.
The class closes with chanting.
" doing that, coming into their heads, they’re centering their bodies," she said.
A mother, Wendy Davies, brought her two children to the class.
"I saw Bella’s flier, we picked it up at the library last week and thought why not try it," Davies said.
After observing the class she noticed some immediate benefits.
"My son has tight hamstrings and just doing this helps," Davies said.
She is a yoga fan and often does it herself.
"I like it for stretching, and what I’ve found is my own focus has improved. I would love for my kids to start that," she said.
Davies is considering enrolling her children in a summer camp taught by Shaw at Silver Mountain Sports Club.
Jayla Lundstrom, 9, took the class on Saturday. She said she liked, "doing it and getting exercise."
Davies’ classes typically range from $6 to $8 and are often offered at the local elementary schools as part of an enrichment program. She is looking into offering it to middle school students as well.
"I think the teen girls would benefit from it because they have so many body-image issues," she said. "I think yoga gives them a sense of self esteem."
Lundstrom, who is on the verge of becoming a teenager, says she likes to try and do yoga at least every month because it is something she enjoys.