What is different about children's yoga compared to yoga for adults?
Adults largely decide to attend a yoga course of their own accord. The reasons that motivate them to do so are varied. Some have psychosomatic or physical problems they want to overcome with yoga, ranging from "typical" back pains or sleeping problems to reduced performance capability. A general wish to do something "for one's own fitness" is also motivation for attending a course.
Children, on the other hand, are almost always sent to yoga classes. Therefore, they do not choose yoga themselves initially. Also the motivating reasons for attending a course mostly come from the parents. The main aim is to improve concentration powers and learning ability. To a small extent, children are also sent to yoga classes due to psychosomatic disorders or to promote motor skills.
Adults expect and are given rationally based teaching, as a rule: The exercises can always be rationally understood, as each exercise is explained in detail as to how it is to be performed and why.
The "what/how/why" is conveyed in a logical/verbal way before the physical/sensory experience follows.
Children mostly have an imaginative/creative way of dealing with the Asanas, which, by the names alone, provoke imitation. Therefore, their approach is more direct and immediately starts on a sensory, physical level. By reason of their development, the rational level of practising yoga is not so important for children.
The emotional and spiritual development which is stimulated through continuous yoga practice is mostly insignificant for adult beginners. The situation is the same for children, but they have high emotional access to yoga in contrast to adults. Children's need for movement and exercise is satisfied by the postures, with their imagination-stimulating names. Experiencing oneself in the course of movement is especially important for schoolchildren aged between 6 and 12, which is due to brain development during this period. Children have easy access to the spiritual contents and exercises of yoga. They love mantra-singing, contemplation and meditation. They quickly grasp the benefit of affirmations and use them in their everyday life.
Especially adult beginners frequently tend to have little motivation to practise independently outside the course dates - the key phrase being "one's weaker self"... In addition, they develop a certain bond with the yoga teacher and frequently attend the course over a long period.
Children, however, are (intrinsically) highly motivated to practise and try things out on their own - often for years. They tend to have a weaker bond with the yoga teacher and less interest in longer continual course attendance.
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