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Yoga for Children

  • Iyengar Yoga Center of Grand Rapids 327 Division S. Ave. Grand Rapids, MI 49503 USA (map)
The practice of yoga uplifts a child morally, physically, mentally and emotionally. It nurtures their creativity and joy for life. Regular practice helps correct faulty [postural] habits and structural imbalances in the formative years. It is a true culturing of human beings and builds up will power and self-discipline. It channels the energy of youth into positive outlets. It teaches children to heal many ailments and problems without medication or its side-effects. Besides, it teaches them experientially through movements, about themselves and helps eliminate limitations that modern lifestyles create. Finally it prepares them deal with the stresses and strains of life as grown-ups in an increasingly tense, polluted and hectic world.
— Geeta S. Iyengar from “Yoga for School Children”

taught by Jennifer Beaumont, CIYT. Saturdays 12 - 12:45pm , on these dates: January 19, February 2, February 16, March 2, March 9, March 23, March 30 / 7 classes: $70 per child. recommended for children ages 7 - 13

The class starts promptly at noon, please come earlier so children are prepared to begin.

Yoga for children should be as dynamic and playful as the joyful innate nature of the child is to be present, alert, aware. Yoga is very beneficial for children's overall health and development. The practice has great potential for protecting the physical alignment of the body and uplifting the emotional well being through the vital development phases of a child’s growth. The asanas (postures) are the physical foundation of the practice through which other aspects (moral, philosophical) can be learned. Through preparatory movements and actions, children learn to coordinate the two sides of their body through a playful yet methodical introduction to the yoga asanas. While the emphasis is upon mobility and agility for the younger ages, gradually the postures are improved and perfected.  We will also learn and practice poses that are soothing for stomachaches, poses that help with headaches, those which help for sore necks and backs, and much more!  This quickly-paced playful class is modeled on Jennifer’s observation of the children's yoga program taught at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India.  This class is ideal for older children, especially those age 8 & up.  This class is offered when enough students preregister.   When kids and teen yoga class is not offered on the weekly schedule, older children and teens are welcome to attend regular classes with parents, and teens may also attend without parents.

About the Teacher: Jennifer Beaumont, director of Iyengar Yoga Center of Grand Rapids, began the study and practice of Iyengar Yoga in her teen years. She has been studying and practicing Iyengar Yoga for two decades. She was one of the youngest Iyengar Yoga teachers ever to earn Iyengar Certification (CIYT), and is now certified at the Intermediate Jr. III level, is a Certified Yoga Therapist, and is also Certified in Secondary Education in Michigan. While studying child & human development in San Francisco, she became very interested in brain development research as it applies to the developing child, which later influenced many parenting decisions including the decision to homeschool her two children. While play is a foundation for learning, yoga practice in children and teens has a tremendous capacity for healing, by using the body to access, awaken, heal and coordinate the brain and nervous system, calming reactions to stress, relieving anxiety.

If the foundation is firm,
the building can withstand calamities.
The practice of Yoga is the foundation,
so that the Self is not shaken under any circumstances.
— Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar

“Yoga for children is one way to ensure that our children grow up healthy and happy. Of the many aspects of Yoga, Yama and niyama and Asana are relevant for children. While the principles Yama and niyama reinforce the universal values such as truth, non-violence, cleanliness and contentment, the āsanas help a growing child develop physically, emotionally, and psychologically. In this way Yoga is a necessary complement to formal education. By practicing this wonderful art and science, children can blossom into healthy and well-balanced men and women with strong bodies, clear minds and pure hearts.” —Chanchani, “Yoga for Children”.