Interest in drugless methods and encouragement towards natural remedies draws many parents to consider sending their children to yoga classes if they can be assured of the professional specialization of the teacher.
Yoga techniques are generally for the application by adults in seeking a complete method of self culture. The teaching methods therefore must be adapted in order that children can benefit and this requires skill. However, in spite of some difficulty often encountered when seeking such a teacher, general yoga classes offer basic relaxation techniques and gentle exercises that will help a child who is in need of slowing down, learning to enjoy being still, and also in becoming aware of the part that breath control has in disciplines of self control.
If your child will accept discipline he or she will be able to participate in classwork but will only fully benefit in a class of students of similar age.
Yoga teachers follow the philosophy that sets principles such as non-violence, obedience to parents, clear recognition of differences and different needs in training exercises for boys and girls. They are taught to have mutual respect between the sexes – seen as equal but opposite.
Most of all, parents must be willing to communicate with the yoga teacher so that they share an understanding of the aims and methods and are in complete accord so that matters related to the child can be mutually discussed.
It can be surprising to parents to observe children happily enjoying yoga classes where there are no electronics, toys, diversions or crafts to occupy them. Instead, they are involved in testing their own muscles and physical abilities in exercise and in mastering a limited range of yoga Asanas. In the process they discover talents that bring self confidence and through breath control, achieve a simple tonic and natural sedative to benefit their nervous system.
There are many other benefits offered by a yoga teacher who is wise enough to adapt the teachings that promise health of mind and body.
Parents benefit in several ways by having children disciplined through Yoga classes. Well disciplined children become more amenable and co-operative, improving in schoolwork and in their behaviour and often become more creatively employed in hobbies of real interest rather than becoming too addicted to electronic toys and TV.
Having dedicated many years pioneering in this field I can speak of the positive responses in many parts of the world where the ideas and techniques of classical yoga are considered as an important adjunct to academic tutoring, attracting more skilled teachers to this particular specialization in education.
Most importantly, following a simple natural approach towards slower and restrained, less excitable challenges in exercise will provide a child with greater chance of self determination and so avoid behavioural habits that cause prescription of medical psychiatric drugs.