Yoga – not just for grown-ups

Stretching it out . . . Dunedin yoga practitioners Aaron Kyle (centre) works on a group exercise with yoga beginners Maddy Stewart (8, at left) and Jack Cairns (8). PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

The peaceful, calming nature of yoga, along with its well-known physical benefits, make it ideal for children and young people, a Dunedin yoga practitioner says.

Aaron Kyle adopted yoga five years ago and was impressed by its impact on her life, both physically and emotionally.

Working as a teacher aide supporting children with disabilities in schools, Ms Kyle recognised that many children would benefit from learning relaxation skills.

Making the decision to become a yoga teacher, Ms Kyle undertook specific training in children’s yoga and will launch a series of community yoga classes in term one through her Blissful Souls business.

“Evidence indicates there is a real need for classes like these for our children, who are facing increasingly challenging times,” Ms Kyle said.

“It is my passion and my aim to introduce yoga to as many children, teens and families as I can in our community.”

Along with flexibility and strength, the classes involve relaxation and mindfulness, both of which could help children and young people with concentration and help with anxiety, she said.

“I view teaching yoga to children as instilling skills for life, and I believe it has benefits for every child.

“Children are so busy these days, always out doing activities, so it is good to give them something that is calming and beneficial for the whole body and spirit.

“Also, yoga is not competitive. You just do the best you can for yourself.”

Ms Kyle said even very young children and infants could participate, with parents’ help.

The key to working with children was to make activities fun and to this end Ms Kyle aimed to make her sessions varied and interactive.

Classes in term one will be held in community halls in Wakari and Mosgiel, and Ms Kyle aims to expand them into Port Chalmers and Macandrew Bay later in the year.