Empowering Children Through Yoga

AM Yoga offers classes designed for kids.

From test-taking to temper tantrums, being a kid can be stressful. When emotions become overwhelming at school, work or home, it is essential for both children and adults to learn how to understand their feelings and express them in a healthy and productive way.

While many adults have been adding yoga to their workout routines, not many studios offer yoga classes for kids. However, AM Yoga is committed to educating all ages of the community on the significance of self-care.

Since mental, physical and emotional health are all important areas for wellbeing, AM Yoga teaches kids that “just like you shower or brush your teeth each day, yoga is like a shower for your insides,” Becky Martin, an AM Yoga kids’ teacher, said. These children are not only exercising their bodies when they come in for a yoga class but also their minds and souls.

Because yoga balances the brain’s neurochemicals, which helps “get the brain in a ready-to-learn state,” a regular yoga practice can lead to numerous advantages, Martin said. While some benefits may include improved sleep, strength, flexibility, balance, motor planning and coordination skills, children may also learn leadership, self-confidence and self-regulation techniques during yoga classes.

AM Yoga offers kid-focused classes to help children learn how to practice self-care.
AM Yoga offers kid-focused classes to help children learn how to practice self-care.

Understanding how to be present in the moment and discovering the power of breath are valuable skills to maintain throughout your entire life. Through educating children on these important lessons, Emelia Hyde, an AM Yoga kids’ teacher, explained how she has witnessed a significant growth in each of the children she has taught.

One child that comes to mind is Molly, a two-year-old who has incorporated practicing yoga and candle breath to prevent meltdowns and tantrums. “At two-years-old, Molly is able to recognize her emotions and self-regulate, a skill that many adults don’t have,” said Hyde.

For all the superheroes out there, AM Yoga offers a Super Yogi class for ages 2 and a half to 5. Those who are a bit older can also participate in the Elementary class for ages 4-10. Breaking down challenging positions and incorporating partner and group poses, all classes combine yoga with various games, breathing techniques and mindfulness activities so kids can have fun during their yoga practice.

Because “on average girls’ self-esteem peaks at 9 years old,” AM Yoga wanted to create a program that would teach life-lasting tools to empower girls and help them feel strong and confident, said Hyde. Instead of competing against each other, the Girl Power program teaches girls to trust themselves and support and inspire one another. This class runs for four weeks at a time and is offered every month. It welcomes all genders, ages 8 – 13. The next session begins on Tuesday, March 6.

Classes combine yoga with various games, breathing techniques and mindfulness activities so kids can have fun during their yoga practice.
Classes combine yoga with various games, breathing techniques and mindfulness activities so kids can have fun during their yoga practice.

Although kids can choose to do any sport, adding a regular yoga practice can teach kids “tools that they can utilize in every area of their life,” Martin said. This non-competitive physical activity cultivates a community of self-love and respect, all while having fun.

Through providing various yoga and meditation classes for all ages, AM Yoga aims to be an accepting and accessible studio for anyone looking to improve their health and have a good time.

All AM kids’ instructors are 200-hour Registered Yoga Teachers with an additional 95-hour Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher certification and are available to teach on-site at daycares or schools. Visit AM Yoga’s website to learn more about its class offerings for both kids and adults.

*Photos courtesy of AM Yoga

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