April 29 – May 12 2009 timeout.com.hk 47
Body language Om, baby, om
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How is teaching kids yoga
different to instructing adults?
A kids’ yoga class is much more
dynamic and creative. I often use a
theme story like ‘Around the world’,
‘Zoo visit’, or ‘Awesome anatomy’ to
help teach the class. I also incorporate
games, songs, stories, and imaginative
play. The atmosphere is fun and
inspiring with a lot of laughter.
Kids do the darndest things…
any crazy moments in your
Once, during Halloween season, I
asked them to transform through
poses from their own creations. One
child went from a mosquito to a
butterfly to a monster-truck – you can
imagine how his poses looked!
What are the main benefits of
yoga for kids?
So many! Our kids today need calm
and should take regular breaks from
TV, PS3, Wii, homework, and stress
from school. Yoga gives them a way
to find themselves again and refocus
their energy inward. Practicing yoga
at an early age often strengthens
self-esteem, social skills and good
posture. Yoga’s breathing and
relaxation techniques also boost their
concentration and focus.
So how young can they start?
My son, now 18 months, he is already
following me doing the downward
dog! But in terms of being in a yoga
class, children can start at three years
of age. Different classes are held for
different age groups: three to five, six
to ten, and 11 to 15.
What is the most challenging pose
a toddler can do?
They can do many poses, except ones
that require much more core and arm
strength, like swinging pretzel or crow.
If I had to pick one, I would say the
most challenging pose they can do is
Has a kid ever achieved true
nirvana in your class?
[Laughs] I can only tell you the answer
if I can read their mind and only if I
know what it is like to be in nirvana.
Perhaps my four-year-old daughter has
reached nirvana; she told me after a
brief meditation that she disappeared
in a pool of many candies, choco