Is heated yoga cool for kids?
Seems that this hot secret has finally been revealed: children can benefit as much from hot yoga as adults. And even more.
Many hot yoga studios experience an increase in the number of young people, especially tweens.
On the physical level, yoga has been shown to improve physical flexibility, coordination and strength, making children on the field less susceptible to injury. And children of all ages do a lot of sports at school and after school, including university sports.
On an emotional level, children who practice yoga often show increased self-esteem. They are better able to focus on tasks and deal with school stress, including tests, homework and a social life that can be quite stressful at the beginning of the interim years.
My own two children started yoga with me at the age of 14 and 17 (my daughter actually went to yoga with me at the age of 5, and started practicing on my own when I was 14). Both are athletes - my daughter Carly plays league softball and football and is an avid cross-country biker and hiker. My son Zach is a black belt in karate and has recently started capoeira.
My children attribute Hot Yoga to injury-free athletics for years.
I owe it to my mental health during her teenage years.
What is hot yoga?
Traditional Hot 26 Yoga is performed at 105 degrees and 40% humidity, a sequence of 26 poses for 90 minutes.
The teacher has to make sure that everyone is safe and that everyone is challenged in the best possible way. So rest assured, your children will be safe in the heat.
Benefits for young athletes
Children can play rough.
True Hot Yoga energizes flexibility, coordination and strength, making children on the field less susceptible to injury. This is one of the reasons why more and more high school coaches - football, baseball, football and hockey - are recommending hot yoga to their young athletes.
In addition, children who practice often report increased self-esteem and are better able to cope with stress, including tests, homework, and a full post-school schedule.
And which teenager would not benefit from a large dose of self-control?
Yoga children also tend to face emotional challenges with patience, tolerance and, let's say the L word: love to master better.
At what age can children do hot yoga?
In my opinion, a 10-year-old yoga teacher is the earliest time a young student can fully master the stamina, balance, and thermal acclimatization required to fully enjoy the 90-minute Hot Class.
Make sure they drink plenty of water - half their ounces of body weight - to get them into the classroom that is already well hydrated.
Should parents bring their children to yoga? A heated debate ...
I love watching parents and their kids doing hot yoga together and connecting for a sweaty session.
Even if tweens or teens have little in common with their parents, they can enjoy this challenge together. Being together in warrior yoga classes can be an answer to fighting each other.
A warning to parents: Stop being parents while you're in class with your children! Do not correct them, scold them, do not even lay down your mat so that you can see them - otherwise the temptation to educate them is too great.
Have the yoga teacher do everything in class. Enjoy your practice and let your child enjoy theirs.
Yoga teacher balance, body control, even teacher focus and concentration. These yoga-inspired exercises can be carried by every adolescent into adulthood and become lifelong habits of happiness and success.
And remembering the value of patience, self-love, and a time when your body was much more flexible is great for the child for all of us adults as well.
By Rhonda Uretzky, E-RYT
Lambertville NJ, November 22, 2011