Children, Yoga and the Outdoors
By Toni Riedel • April 15th, 2013 • 3930 Views
When was the last time you talked with your spouse or children about the importance of the environment? Too frequently, we hear gloomy stories about the ozone layer getting worse, water contamination by pesticides, or the upsurge of genetically reproduced cows. These stories are becoming a way of life for us. We forget that these environmental issues will be problems for future generations to fix. What can a community, family, or parent do? Help children to love nature and appreciate the world in which they live. Children do not spend enough time in nature due to a number of reasons, including: parent(s) working; too many scheduled activities; or too much TV watching or other use of electronic devises. However, neither TV nor video games are able to teach a child how to explore, be creative, or develop self-esteem. Studies have shown that too much time in front of a TV, or playing a video game has directly led to a growing younger population dealing with obesity, stress and poor eating habits. By exposing children to yoga and nature, we are opening a whole new world of appreciation for the environment, stewardship and self-care.
So, what can yoga offer children? It’s a great way to spend quality time with your children. Yoga allows children to explore and be creative in movement, connecting the mind and body. Since children are active and lively, their yoga practice would be as well. One might hear sounds of animals as they move into a pose such as cat (meow), cow (moo) or downward facing dog (barking). Yoga allows children to play, move and be creative with each posture. Motivate your children to spend more time in nature – it only takes one adult who will foster this love of nature to their children for a lifetime benefit. Take yoga to the outdoors, whether in your backyard or local park, and use the natural surroundings to inspire the flow of creativity with each movement. While it seems apparent, children are suffering from a lack of connection to their own bodies, their environment and the food they eat. According to Sita Chillemi, Director of Yoga for Life in Setauket NY, "A heart of wisdom can shower our world like rain to a flower garden, but we must be able to withstand the energy of the elements, like warriors shine on and on - sat nam namaste joi...