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How to start yoga with your kids

silhouette-165527_1280Lots of people ask me how they can start yoga.  If there’s something special they have to do first, a specific pose to start with or anything like that.  The truth is you can pretty much start wherever you want!

Some people like to learn by listening to recordings, others like to watch a video and practice along.  You can find lots of choices for either of these options online, at local health food stores, bookstores and pretty much any place health supplies are offered.

While it’s totally okay to learn meditation from recordings, or even through books, it’s best to make sure you are learning yoga from someone skilled and trained in teaching it.  Yoga, like any other exercise program, can cause injury if it’s not practiced carefully, and a trained teacher is the first part of that.

Some teachers are certified, others aren’t.  And there are a number of different types of certification.  Find out what kind of training your teacher has had.  Certification isn’t necessary, and certainly doesn’t guarantee they know what they are doing.  You can find out more about their skill level by finding out what kind of training they’ve had, certified or not.

Yoga has a number of health benefits and can help your kids in a number of ways.  Done right, it’s also fun and your kids will be asking you when they can practice.

While most kids can probably start their yoga practice without too many concerns there are some conditions that can create problems.  To be safe I always recommend checking with your child’s doctor before beginning any sort of regular exercise.  Find out what is okay, and what is not, for your child.

All children are different, and there may be special concerns to consider.

It’s also important not to start out too heavy in the beginning.  Remember, it is easy to pull a muscle or injure yourself, and the same is true for your kids.  It’s super important to make sure to always, always, always warm up and cool down each time you practice yoga.

In fact, you can incorporate your warm up and cool down periods to the practice with your kids.  That way you will make sure to warm up and cool down every time and, not only will your kids stay healthy by doing the same, they will be creating strong and healthy habits early on.

Also, practice yoga with your kids in a comfortable room. This means not when it’s not too hot or too cold.  While Bikram Yoga may be great for adults, and many certainly love to practice hot yoga, it is too taxing on a child’s system.  They are not equipped to practice in super hot or super cold environments.

The bottom line is to figure out how you and your children learn best and are most likely to have fun practicing, and do it that way.  Whether it’s on DVD, CD or by reading a book or website on meditation, the most important thing about practicing yoga with your kids is just to start.

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