While yoga has long been considered an important part of adult fitness regimes, in recent years it has also been gaining popularity as a sport for children. Yoga experts believe that introducing children to yoga from an early age can both help them to stay fit and also help prepare them to embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Lindsey Layne Ward Hoffman, Owner of Bloom Family Yoga Studio in MSQ, is a qualified yoga instructor who offers classes for children. Lindsey started studying yoga in 2001 and earned her certification to teach with a 200-hour Yoga Alliance accredited teacher training in Prague shortly thereafter.
Lindsey was a preschool teacher from 2005-2012, so naturally she began to teach yoga as an afterschool activity for her students. As she taught the children, she began to see many unexpected benefits of the practice in the small children. The yoga practising youth were developing longer attention spans, increasing body awareness, and parents reported that their sleep was improving as well. That’s when she realised what she wanted to specialise in.
“I got certified in children’s yoga with Teeny Yogini, out of Philadelphia, PA. I’ve taught children in Europe, China, and the Middle East,” said Lindsey, who went on to explain that in today’s time children are often found to have lack of concentration. They seem unable to focus on anything for a long stretch of time. Yoga teaches children to concentrate and focus on their breathing, which is a kind of focus that spills over into other areas of their young lives. “Yoga helps them tune out from our high tech society and tune into themselves. It’s non-competitive. It helps them to become more confident and self aware, yet kind and empathetic to others.”
It helps them to manage stress through breathing, meditation, and healthy movement.
Lindsey’s classes start children from the womb, literally. She offers pregnancy yoga followed by “Mommy and Me” classes, which are post-natal yoga sessions for moms and their new babies. “Once the babies begin to crawl, the baby yoga class is a mix of movement, story and songs. As they hit the toddler years, the movements get bigger to match their developing motor skills, but remain playful and fun,” Lindsey explained.
For children age three to five, the playful energy continues, but more relaxation techniques are added into the mix. By the age of five to nine, students attend well rounded classes much like those offered for adults, but in a lighter environment. Finally, the preteen class nine to twelve-year-olds incorporates a lot of strengthening movements with breath work and relaxation, along with the occasional creative endeavour, too.
“Yoga helps kids to build mental strength, which is something they can take off the mat and into their home and school environments,” Lindsey said, expanding on her belief that one of the key components of yoga is balance. When a child learns all the different elements of a yoga practice, they learn to breath through their frustrations, to clear the mind, to focus, to stay calm when things are difficult, and to keep trying until they achieve whatever goal they are working on. This kind of mental strength is an enviable goal for anyone and a potentially great asset for youngsters as they embark on the tumultuous journey of life. —[email protected]
Bloom Family Yoga Studio
1737 Way, Villa 2813,
Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
Timing: 9:00AM - 6:30PM
Call: +968 9593 8671
*Summer Yoga Camps begin in May, starting at OMR30. Click or call for more details.
Al Qurum Resort
+968 9338 8323