Being fairly new to the Kidding Around Yoga craze (I completed my awesome certification almost 7 months ago), most of the yogis coming to my classes have been little girls between the ages of 3 and 10. That is until recently, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Boys bring a whole new dynamic to yoga. As the mother of an “energetic” soon-to-be-8-year-old boy myself, I am no stranger to the myriad of antics that can and do occur at just about any minute of the day. It’s the same with my yoga classes! First of all, I’m very excited that parents are keeping an open mind and realizing that yoga isn’t just for girls. And, of course, it isn’t – it’s so good for your body and mind. Why should little boys be left out of those benefits? They need them just as much, if not more than anyone!
Other than physical fitness, boys can certainly benefit from the quiet parts of the class (mini meditation) and from the balancing poses which require not only strength but also enough focus not to fall over! According to statistics, this generation shows increasing numbers of children diagnosed with ADHD, autism, and “conditions” labeled as “behavioral disorders”—and more boys than girls seem to be affected. More boys, in general, are diagnosed with hyperactivity too.
So, what is the appeal for boys in Kidding Around Yoga classes? What makes them not only attend but “want to” attend? Well, it’s the many awesome and appealing resources found in the songs and games which pique and maintain the interest of boys in particular! AND—as the name itself suggests, they get to kid around and be silly. In fact, that is a class requirement! You cannot get through a Kidding Around Yoga class without acting like a complete goofball, a.k.a. “happy child.” This is great not only for the boys and girls who regularly attend these classes, but oh so good for the adults in their lives as well. I love watching the awestruck look on parents’ faces when they watch their sons “jog through the jungle” and act like dogs, lions, snakes, and eagles. I love watching the parents watch their sons doing a “totally cool dismount” from our imaginary motorcycle ride chock full of yoga moves. I love watching the parents watch their sons obey the “Sarge” in Kidding Around Yoga’s high energy version of salutations to the sun. And most of all, I love watching the parents watch their silly sons settle down for a short rest during meditation time. They see a new side of their son. They see the “light” in him, and that’s what it’s all about. Soon, the boys begin to see the light in themselves too.
Don’t get me wrong—boys will be boys—that’s for sure. But that is perfectly fine in our Kidding Around Yoga classes. No matter what the personality type or background of the boy, yup…we’ve got a song for that! And they love them (in a cool way, of course). Over the course of the last few months, I’ve had boys in my classes whose parents clearly put them in it to settle them down; but to see these boys “Om-ing in,” maintaining eye contact the entire time, and shouting out answers to our silly yoga class questions is just Om-mazing! Some of my favorite yogis are little boys who were so reluctant to join in and do what the group was doing, only to become dedicated and leader yogis by the very next class.
The fact of the matter is that KAY’s classes are addicting-—thank goodness! What an awesome and healthy addiction it is. Kids get to be themselves in a welcoming and mindful environment while receiving the benefits of physical fitness, stress management, and focus at the same time. So, send your boys to my yoga class any day. I’m sure I’ll learn just as much from them as they will from me. One of the little yogi’s in my preschool enrichment even made up his own pose during “A Yogi Went to Sea.” It’s called seahorse, and it’s ingenious. It’s now a big part of that song whenever we do it, and the proud look on his face when we include it is simply priceless. His mom is also almost moved to tears when she picks her son up and sees him beaming with excitement and confidence as she listens to a “good” report on him for a change. KAY is an amazing gift to this generation of children and the lucky grown-ups in their lives. You definitely want to find out more about this…TODAY!