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Yoga for children

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STARTING YOUNG Yoga improves children's co-ordination and stamina
STARTING YOUNG Yoga improves children's co-ordination and stamina

Schools abroad are trying out yoga on kids

Yoga has long been used to relieve stress and improve posture. Now the benefits of the ancient discipline are being used by schools in the U.K. to improve concentration and help relaxation. By 2007, YogaBugs, the child yoga specialists, estimate that at least 100,000 children will be taking part in classes each week, doubling the number practising yoga last year. "It improves children's co-ordination and balance, builds strength and stamina and promotes healthy sleeping patterns. Yoga is also valuable for pre-teen children who go through an enormous amount of physical, mental and emotional changes," Fenella Lindsell, founder of YogaBugs, which teaches children in the age group 2-12, was quoted by The Independent, as saying. Karen Conroy, headmistress at Norfolk Lodge Nursery and Preparatory School in Barnet, north London, said teachers have found that yoga introduces "a pocket of calm" into classes. She said three- and four-year-old children spend 15 minutes doing simple deep-breathing poses after their lunch break. The school has adopted an approach that puts each yoga posture to music, named "June's Yoga" after founder June Rowlands. So while children are stretching into the triangle pose (trikonasana), they will sing: "I'm a little teapot." Conroy said: "It is a friendly approach to yoga with rhymes that the children already know such as "Row, Row, Row the Boat". They find it fun, and the teachers find it useful in helping children to concentrate in class." Georgie Wolfinden, a well-being expert, said: "Children are more stressed than before and have forgotten the importance of how to play. Yoga gives them some space to be calm and creative and just be kids again." ANI

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