I took my 5-year-old niece, H, to kid’s yoga this past weekend. What a fun experience!
She has had some experience with toddler yoga before, but never Bikram yoga. So the whole experience–even if it was only warm (80ish degrees) and a single set per posture–was a lot to try. She got frustrated by not knowing what to do, and it was a fine balance to juggle between staying quiet, showing her what to do, and trying not to laugh at the inevitably hilarious results.
Certain postures–Triangle, Spine Twist, Camel–she did NOT “get” what was supposed to be happening. In Half Moon, she exemplified the typical beginner’s collapsed chest (you know the kind I’m talking about, where the head and arms are way forward and the butt comes way back). Separate Leg Stretching she stepped over MY mat instead of hers, and then got upset when she smashed her finger trying to grab her foot.
Other postures–namely Fixed Firm and Half-Tortoise–she did easily and well, like a natural yogi pro. If only all adult beginners had that kind of flexibility!
Still, there was definitely some overlap with adult yoga, mainly in the commentary:
- “This is too tricky!” (Separate Leg Stretching)
- “This is uncomfortable!” (Rabbit)
- “I’ll keep trying and then I’ll be better at it.” (after class)
All of which were true, and therefore hard to dispute. I really enjoyed getting to introduce her to what I do. It has reminded me how to teach the posture in the simplest, most straightforward way and to enjoy the opportunity for silliness that we lose so easily in our “Torture Chamber” (Step 1: never call it that). I know, also, that the yoga has the potential to really help H be more patient and learn to control her breath and her emotions, since she struggles with being overwhelmed and frustrated. I only hope I’ll have a chance to take her again. If not, it’ll be lessons at home until she’s old enough for me to bring to a real class…. and that’s quite a few years down the road!