Articles

Nice Moves Baby • an article by Ella Isakov

article previously featured in Sweat Equity Magazine.  All right reserved.

 

INTRO-COPY

 


KIDS YOGA CLASSES LOOK NOTHING LIKE ADULT CLASSES.

more playful, with no emphasis on alignment or breathing.  Adult yoga is about venturing inward.  Kids’ yoga is a very social and interactive activity.  Children learn best when they are interested and engaged, classes are built with the children’s involvement through co-creation.  Music, singing, animal sounds, dancing and laughter are the order of the day. And through non-competitive yoga-play, children learn important life skills – appropriate social interaction, cooperation, communication, meditation – in a caring and open environment.  There is no judgement on anything done in class.  Just praise and more praise, both verbal and non-verbal.  The teacher encourages creativity and imagination, focus and teamwork in an environment that is caring and accepting with lots of touch and affection, games, partner yoga and acro yoga. Compassion, inner peace and most importantly self-love are the result.


IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START!

Kiddy yoga can start from the time a child is born.  In the beginning it’s mostly about massage and movement of the body to rhymes and music.  As toddlers begin to crawl, they are guided in simple  yoga moves with props and music. Classes for ages four to nine start by introducing concepts such as respect, a theme, or an explorative journey.  Then there is pranayama (breathing techniques) that are taught in fun ways with postures being brought in as a group to go along with the theme of the day, followed by a game or partner yoga.  The class generally ends with massaging toes or shoulders using aromatherapy creams, alone or in pairs, before moving to relaxation with a visualization or meditation.

 

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY CHILD?

The dreaded teenage years will come and your little darling may transform into a sulky, angry, sobbing mess.  This age can be a challenging time for everyone and yoga is a fantastic coping tool.  It helps build self-esteem, confidence and teaches teens healthy ways to deal with all these confusing new emotions.  With older kids deeper concepts can be explored and more challenging postures can be introduced – with lots of partner work to ease nerves and social interaction, self-esteem and communication skills. Children  with certain types of autism have benefitted from yoga as it allows for the development of coordination, balance and interactive skills.  Breathing techniques can increase body awarness and help calm an agitated or stressed child.  Similarly, children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)can strengthen attention and stability through breathing and relaxation techniques, thus improving self-esteem, focus, social skills, concentration and mental well-being.  There are just so many positives in kids’ yoga – social, emotional and physical – it should be part of every kids’ life.

ABOUT ELLA

Ella has been teaching kids for over 10 years, first as an elementary school teacher, both internationally and locally, and now as an adults and kids yoga instructor.   She discovered yoga in 2005, certified since 2007.  It was a natural step to teach kids yoga, so in 2008 Ella was certified and has been teaching yoga to kids ever since, first to her classroom of grade 3 cuties,  building a community of compassion, expression and creativity, and noticing a remarkable difference yoga made within her classroom. 

In Ella’s personal life, yoga and meditation gave her courage to face challenging times with confidence and more balance.  Yoga is a way to inspire that inner spark to shine, and with children it will aid in developing social skills, self-awareness and give guidance for a balanced and healthy future.

Along with being a yoga instructor for adults and children, Ella is also a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga therapist, a writer for several magazines, and a trained Raw food chef leading holistic yoga retreats several times a year. To find out more about Ella Isakov please go to Stellar Kids Yoga