Saturday, September 18, 2010

Toddler Yoga - is it possible?

My son, gifted in movement and agility, has learned to master the downward dog, headstand, shoulder-stand and a few other poses comfortably on his own. It makes me giddy to walk into a room and find him doing his headstand against the wall. It has been two years of me showing him a few poses here and there while his attention was peeked.

I became inspired while at a special children's yoga class lead by none-other-than visiting kundalini yogini and singer Snatam Kaur. Noticing how blissed out we all were and how much the class resonated with my son, I realize - hey, it is not just my wishing thinking, my son really does loves this!

I would love to inspire my son towards a life-long journey in yoga. I also would love to communicate to him the deeper meaning and teachings of yoga to help him navigate and ground himself throughout his life. But how exactly does one do this for a nearly three-year-old? I have been struggling for years now to find a method or good techniques that will engage and teach him on his level.

All the books I have found, and the videos I have seen (including YouTube) demonstrate poses and activities that work best for children in the 5 - 11 year range. There are some great yoga-for-kids stuff out there, just not for toddlers.

Am I crazy to think toddlers can be inspired to do and love yoga?

Maybe. But I wanted to find out. So with my son's potential life-long-love of yoga resting on my shoulders, I offered to teach a five-week session at BABS - Bloomington Area Birth Services. I knew BABS would be the perfect place. It already has a following of hip and aware mommies who came to BABS when in need (aka pregnant) and now visit for support groups, regular play dates and other things.

I went to my first class with deep anxiety. I had no idea how it would go. Sure I had a toddler, teach adults yoga, and had several sessions of Music Together behind me, but these are toddlers, who at their best, are unpredictable. 

Find out how toddler yoga is going, and read samples of my best "toddler yoga activities" in my next post!

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