Published in The Sydney Morning Herald on July 20, 2016
Yoga should be made a mandatory part of the school curriculum, the founder of Connect Kids Yoga believes.
Cynthia Levin said the health benefits of yoga outweigh those of any sport offered in the public school system.
“If yoga was in schools, our kids would be so much calmer and they would be able to cope with all the stuff that they have to do,” Ms Levin said.
“There’s so much pressure on them in society these days that tells them what to do, what to wear, how to feel, how to think, and pressure from their peers and school. Yoga deals with all of that.”
Ms Levin said that kids should start doing yoga as early as possible.
“We teach kids from two, but there are opportunities for kids to be involved even younger than that,” she said.
“There are mums and bubs classes that are available out there as well. The more exposure kids can get, as early as possible, the better.”
US research suggests that yoga can also help kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The research claims it can improve core symptoms of ADHD, including inattentiveness, and hyperactivity.
“What yoga gives students that no other sport offers is that their mind, body and soul are enhanced and grown,” Ms Levin said.
Connect Kids Yoga classes will be one of the main attractions at this year’s Kidtopia Festival at Parramatta Park, which will run in the next school holidays from October 7 to 9.
Ms Levin will be holding two classes a day, one for kids aged five to eight and one for children aged nine to 12.
“They just love coming to yoga,” Ms Levin said of the classes for children aged under eight.
“They haven’t got those inhibitions that the older kids have. They really throw themselves into it, it makes a big difference that they haven’t gotten to that age where they’re worried about what people are going to think.”
The Kidtopia Festival will also include attractions such as a circus school, science shows and a petting zoo.
Ms Levin said that preschool aged children will particularly benefit from the tools they learn in class.
“Yoga teaches them to be able to identify when they are feeling a little bit stressed out,” she said.
“The tools that are taught in class help them to calm themselves down.”
The Fairfax Kidtopia Festival is on October 7 to 9, 2016, at Parramatta Park
Tickets are available online at kidtopiafestival.com.au