Junior Yoga: Child’s Play to Wholeness
Introducing our children’s school holiday camp “Junior Yoga – Path of the Dancing Warrior” at Sydney Olympic Park marks a beautiful full circle moment on my own journey. I started yoga at age ten; and yet, I still remember the joy I found in my first few playful days of yoga.
Learning simple sun salutations, moving around the room with our eyes closed, listening to music and dream journeys, becoming aware of my breath and learning about the body’s energy became deeply ingrained in my being. I’d been active but off in the clouds with my nose in my books before. Yoga moved and grounded my body and mind. Yoga became my inner home.
Over the years, growing into my teenage body and starting other sports was supported by my mindful movement routine. I learned to work through stress, pain and trauma in my practice. Before exams, I would get on my mat and lose my nerves. When my knee got badly injured during a sports camp, I practised on the soft sand to help me handle the pain. Through surgery, recovery and rehab process, yoga was there. It allowed me to keep exploring new forms of movement – like dance. First kiss jitters – you guessed it. I was doing yoga.
Of course, it could have been any practice, any sport, you could say. And yes, children hugely benefit from even just physical exercise. But the magic of mindful movement is in the deliberate connection made between outer and inner world. When we learn a routine of movements designed to calm the mind and connect us with the present moment, the ripple effects into other areas of our lives are extraordinary. Yoga is a path to wholeness.
Yoga can be practiced in a lot of different ways. It is also not reliant on physical aptitude or strength, as there are parts of yoga – like meditation, singing and study – that do not require your body to be ready for action. It is this diversity of practices – including moral and ethical mindfulness work – that, in my opinion, make yoga so accessible yet powerful. Yoga truly is a way of life.
And so, I invite you to gift your child an intro to this beautiful mindfulness practice. Like my first experience of yoga, our 3 day school holiday program will bring in many aspects of dance, music, dreaming and creating. We will explore how to express ourselves through different mediums, channel and transform emotions and built-up energy, form connections with self, others, nature and experience the beauty of mindful movement together.