Although yoga seems to have integrated everywhere in Western culture, there are still some myths and misconceptions surrounding it. You probably have heard a few, and maybe wondered about them yourself. I hope that these FAQs and answers to them will help you to debunk misinformation, deepen your understanding of yoga, and ease any doubts or fears.
Yoga is a discipline, not a religion. You can be of any confession and still do yoga.
It is a way of life to improve physical and emotional health through harmony.
Yoga gives kids a tool for spiritual exploration. It’s a path to self-awakening.
It nurtures the hearts, minds and bodes of children without violating the individual beliefs of their families.
You can eat anything you want and still do yoga.
However healthy eating is an important aspect of yoga lifestyle. A recommended yoga diet is sattvic, made up of whole, fresh foods that are minimally processed. What you put on your child’s plate will affect his/her ability to regulate his body and moods, sleep well, stay fit, and learn.
Always remember: “You are what you eat” and eat healthfully and mindfully.
Anyone can do yoga. Your child won’t be required to contort his/her body into strange shapes and positions. Physical posture is only one, yet most recognised, aspect of yoga.
Another very important part of yoga is the way it can free the mind from confusion and negative feelings caused by the fast pace of modern life, de-stress and restore a sense of calm and peace. This can be achieved through relaxation, visualisation, working with the breath (pranajama) and yoga postures (asanas).
There are several types of meditation practices available to help children train the body and mind and to come into the present moment. In fact, the physical yoga practice itself is considered a “moving meditation”. Some people sit in silence with their eyes closed, using a repeated phrase (mantra) as a point of focus. For others, simply focusing on breath, a visual image, a phrase, or a concept works well. Even mindful walking, swimming, running, and other physical activities can serve as a form of meditation. In fact, most child-friendly practices are those of mindful awareness (pratyahara), a precursor to a classical yoga meditation.
Truly, bringing yoga into your home is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and your child!