Yoga

Is heated yoga great for kids?

It seems like this hot secret has finally come out: kids can benefit from hot yoga just as much as adults. And even more.

As such, many hot yoga studios are seeing an increase in attendance from young people, particularly tweens.

On the physical level, yoga has been shown to improve physical flexibility, coordination and strength, all of which make children less prone to injury on the playing field. And kids of all ages play a lot of sports in school and after school, including college-level sports.

On an emotional level, children who practice yoga tend to show higher self-esteem. They are able to better focus on homework and handle stress in school, including tests, homework, and a social life that can become quite stressful as they enter adolescence.

My two sons started practicing yoga with me when they were 14 and 17 (my daughter actually attended yoga with me when she was 5, but started practicing on her own at 14). They are both athletes – my daughter Carly plays baseball and football and is an avid cyclist and cross country hiker. My son Zach is a black belt in karate and recently started in Capoeira.

My kids attribute years of injury-free athletics to hot yoga.

I give him credit for keeping my sanity during his teenage years.

What is hot yoga?

Traditional Hot 26 yoga is performed at 105 degrees with 40% humidity, a sequence of 26 poses for 90 minutes.

The teacher is charged with keeping everyone safe and challenged to the fullest, so rest assured that your children will be well cared for in the heat.

Benefits for young athletes

Children can play hard.

True hot yoga improves flexibility, coordination, and strength, all of which make children less prone to injury on the playing field. That’s one reason more and more high school coaches (soccer, baseball, soccer, and hockey) are recommending hot yoga to their young athletes.

Additionally, children who practice often report higher self-esteem and are better able to handle stress, including tests, homework, and a busy after-school schedule.

And what teenager wouldn’t benefit from a great deal of self-direction?

Kids who practice yoga also tend to better handle emotional challenges with patience, tolerance, and, let’s say the L word: love.

At what age can children do hot yoga?

In my opinion, as a yoga teacher, the age of 10 is the earliest a young student can fully handle endurance and balance, as well as the heat acclimatization necessary to fully enjoy the hot 90 minute class.

Make sure they drink plenty of water, half their body weight in ounces, so they come to class well hydrated.

Should Parents Take Their Kids To Yoga? A heated debate …

I love watching parents and children do hot yoga together and bond over a sweaty class.

Even when tweens or teens have little in common with their parents, they can enjoy this challenge together. Being warriors together in yoga class can offer a respite from the fighting between them.

A word of caution for parents: stop being a parent while in class with your children! Don’t correct them, scold them, or even place your mat where you can see them; otherwise, the temptation to breed them will be too great.

Let the yoga teacher take care of everything in the class; enjoy your practice and let your child enjoy hers.

Yoga teaches balance, body control, it even teaches focus and concentration. These yoga-inspired traits are something all young people can carry into adulthood and become lifelong habits for happiness and success.

And a reminder of the value of patience, self-love, and a time when your body was so much more flexible, they’re also great for the child that we’re all adults.

By Rhonda Uretzky, E-RYT

Lambertville NJ, November 22, 2011

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