A children’s yoga class at Yoga Illumined. Photo credit: Stephanie Marshall
The cure for the "I don't know what to do with my kid all day" blues? Yoga is the best way to help little ones chill out this summer, says Zoe Mantarakis, co-owner of the new Austin, Texas, yoga studio Yoga Illumined. Mantarakis is introducing her first-ever indoor Yoga Camp for Kids this summer, featuring three affordable weeklong sessions that both calm and entertain kids when the days are long and hot. Below she explains how a yoga immersion can benefit a child.
Also seeThe Benefits of Yoga for Kids
6 Reasons Kids Need Yoga Camp
1. Kids are jazzed about the idea of doing yoga.
One of the things they say about yoga is that the poses are supposed to be things our bodies do naturally. When you get a bunch of kids doing yoga, you can see that that’s true. Kids can do these pretzel poses that adults can’t do, and they get excited to put their bodies to full use.
2. You’re setting up a healthy foundation.
My kids (ages 8 and 10) will go through phases where yoga isn’t cool anymore because mom does it … I always take heart that they’ll come back around to it.
3. It’s fun.
The kids learn poses inspired by animals, plants, and constellations and read yoga mythology (for example, the history of Tortoise Pose). Partner poses like holding hands in Tree Pose are a must. Kids also love going upside down for inversions. Sometimes we’ll do assisted Headstand or Handstand with an adult supervising against the wall. There’s also story time, acting out story time, a craft project, snack time. We’re going to make a fort with yoga blankets. It’s yoga playtime rather than serious.
4. It prepares them for the school year.
The kids learn tips for quieting the mind through yoga games that increase their ability to sit still, concentrate, and listen internally.
5. It builds confidence.
Even after learning the smallest thing, like being able to balance on one leg in Tree Pose, kids will come home and say, “Mom, look what I can do.” These bragging rights are really powerful for children.
6. It helps them chill out.
They’re wriggling worms at first, but once you do the poses, breathing, meditating, and group work, by the time get to Savasana they’ve learned ability of stillness. They appreciate it and love it and they’ll rest there quietly. Sometimes parents can’t even believe it. It’s a great trick for winding down at the end of the day or in the morning when they’re getting ready and focused for school.
Summer Yoga Camps for Kids Ages 4-10, led by Yoga Illumined's certified family yoga teacher, Myra Simmons.
Three one-week sessions in June (June is closed for registration), July, and August. Each session runs from 8:30–11:30 a.m., Monday–Thursday. Learn more.
Yoga Illumined Studio, The Shops at Soco, 3801 South Congress, Suite 111, Austin, Texas 78704
$125 per session