" My daughter was mesmerised by the children's yoga program we attended hosted by Cristin. At age two and a half, she sometimes needs to move from one activity to another pretty quickly, but Cristin's approach was so creative, so cheerful and so..."

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FAQs

1.   What is a good age to start yoga with my child?
2.   What are Bizzy Bee Yoga classes like?
3.   Do I need to participate if I bring my child to a Bizzy Bee Yoga class?
4.   Which type of yoga does Bizzy Bee teach to children and why?
5.   What are the benefits of yoga over other activities for children?
6.   Why is it important to use actual yoga poses versus made-up poses?
7.   Will yoga work for children who are very active/hyperactive (or children who are tired/lethargic)?
8.   Can a child with special needs do yoga?
9.   Is it too late to start yoga with an older child?
10. Can yoga help children who will go on to do sports, athletics or dance?
11. What do we mean when we say yoga works on body, mind and spirit?
12. Is yoga spiritual or religious? What does that mean?


1. What is a good age to start yoga with my child?

Children of all ages can do yoga, and can start any time from around six weeks onwards. Even at such a young age, yoga helps develop body awareness and can encourage and reinforce the developmental steps that lead to walking (pushing up from the tummy, belly crawling, hands-and-knees position, sitting, crawling, then standing).

Toddlers enjoy yoga that is adapted to their quick reactions and short attention spans; older children still need fun classes but already start to notice and appreciate the finer details of poses; pre-teens are ready to understand more about anatomy and can be introduced to meditation. Teenagers can practice yoga with adults, but should ideally take classes that use specific poses that best support them through the challenges of teen life, such as decreased flexibility when bones grow quickly and emotional shifts from hormonal changes.

Exposing children to yoga from the time they are babies has immense benefits throughout their development and provides superb gifts for their entire lives.

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2. What are Bizzy Bee Yoga classes like?

It depends on whether it is a course for Babies, Tots or Kids. Learn more ...

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3. Do I need to participate if I bring my child to a Bizzy Bee Yoga class?

Yes. In a Bizzy Bee Yoga Babies class, you need to work with your baby, by holding them, looking in their eyes and moving parts of their body as guided. In a Bizzy Bee Yoga Tots or Yoga Kids class, you should do yoga with them the best you can.

One important way young children learn is by seeing adults model appropriate actions and behaviour, and eventually copying them. So the best gift you can give your child is to be with them and try your best at the poses; the same thing we ask of the child. Bizzy Bee Yoga is aimed at the child, so there is no pressure on the parent or caregiver. The teacher guides the child and the adults try yoga while using positive reinforcement to support the child.

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4. Which type of yoga does Bizzy Bee teach to children and why?

There are many different types of yoga and children’s yoga works best when it selects the most appropriate features from the various types. 

For example, Kundalini Yoga’s dynamic, almost aerobic movements and Celestial Communication (songs with movement) both work very well with children’s energy and help develop fine motor skills. On the other hand, certain hatha yoga poses (like Happy Baby or Dead Bug) appeal to children’s imaginations.

Cristin, Director of Bizzy Bee Yoga, has experience with several types of yoga. So, our curriculum and lesson plans draw on this wealth of knowledge to find what works best for different ages and developmental needs.

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5. What are the benefits of yoga over other activities for children?

Yoga brings body awareness, builds strength and teaches balance. These are essential factors for the main developmental steps for babies (such as pushing up from the tummy, belly crawling, being on hands-and-knees, sitting, crawling then standing and walking). Babies who do yoga work through these progressive steps successfully, which gives them a strong foundation for future physical development throughout their childhood (such as jumping, hopping, skipping, running and sports).

Yoga gives children a chance to have fun and feel joy and vitality, while doing something physical, thus teaching them to appreciate their body, health and life. It also helps them become aware of their breath - breathing fully is one of the keystones of good health.

Another important aspect of yoga is relaxation - in this stressful, fast-paced world, teaching kids that it is good to just relax is one of the best gifts they can receive.

Last, yoga is non-competitive, unlike almost all other activities children do. Read more ...

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6. Why is it important to use actual yoga poses versus made-up poses?

Yoga poses have certain benefits, which a long legacy and history of yoga have proven. It is important for the children to do specific known poses as well as a mix of different types of poses, to gain maximum benefits. For example, standing poses help get the children grounded, balancing poses build strength and give courage, inversions provide a new perspective, and relaxing poses calm them down.

All children benefit from the mix of poses in the Bizzy Bee Yoga classes, which give the most health benefits if done in the given order. That said, if children get creative and make-up a new pose, like “sheep pose”, it is fine for them to have fun with it.

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7. Will yoga work for children who are very active/hyperactive (or children who are tired/lethargic)?

Yoga works for children of any energy level. Since the angles created by the yoga poses help regulate the glandular system and strengthen the nervous system, they help bring about balance within the child.

From experience, we know that children’s yoga helps very active children calm down (and even relax at the end of class) and helps tired, lethargic children perk up. However, continuity is key here – you might not see a marked difference after just a few classes, but with time and regular practice, your child’s energy level will become more balanced.

Your Bizzy Bee Yoga teacher can offer advice and support if you want to do yoga at home to help children find more energetic balance.

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8. Can a child with special needs do yoga?

Children’s yoga is immensely helpful for those with learning disabilities and special needs. Often, the physical yoga poses, taught in fun ways with breathing and songs, allow a child to move into a position that they would have imagined impossible. Then, through the body experience of connecting their coordination and action, they develop and grow. Yoga can also help to balance children’s energy, whether hyperactive or lethargic.

Bizzy Bee’s Yoga curriculum is suitable for children with learning disabilities and minor special needs. That said, some children with special needs should ideally be taught on a one-to-one basis or in very small group private sessions by a therapist or special needs yoga teacher. Alternatively, a child could come to class with their special needs therapist, who could provide the necessary modifications and support to allow them to participate.

If your child has special needs, contact the Bizzy Bee Yoga Teacher beforehand to discuss what will work best for your child. For children with severe special needs who need more support, the teacher may be able to refer you to a specialist in your area.

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9. Is it too late to start yoga with an older child?

Starting yoga at any age can only benefit the child, as yoga improves physical health, calms the mind and connects us to our breath, ourselves and the present moment. Awareness of self and of the world is a true gift that can be offered to any age child and developed from any age forward. Also, the physical benefits of strength, balance and body symmetry are valuable to people of all ages.

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10. Can yoga help children who will go on to do sports, athletics or dance?

Yoga has immense benefits for athletic children and dancers. It helps them to enjoy simply ‘being’ and to discover what their body is capable of, all in a fun way. They develop body awareness and body control through yoga.

The more positive body experiences young children have, the more they develop useful physical skills that will enhance their athletic abilities. From very early on, yoga helps children develop both fine motor skills (having excellent control of hands and fingers) and gross motor skills (large body movements like balancing, hopping and running), improving coordination and brain hemisphere integration.

Yoga also teaches the important lesson that if you practice something, you will get better and better – a useful skill for dance and sports. In addition, yoga’s non-competitive nature helps children find a way to challenge themselves without pressure, to be self-aware and self-confident, so they can recognise and build on their own strengths.

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11. What do we mean when we say yoga works on body, mind and spirit?

Yoga helps the physical body to be strong, flexible and balanced. It also helps to calm the mind, reducing the impact of negative stress. This happens because yoga provides a new perspective, but also because it enhances breathing and works on the glandular system (which regulates stress hormones).

Breathing is the most significant part of most yoga practices, and bringing awareness to breathing (whether you are a baby, child or adult) is hugely beneficial. Simply being aware of our breathing calms the mind, relaxes us, brings us into the present moment, so we do not worry about the past or future. Breath links the body and mind, which allows access to self. When we are aware of our own unique being, we can value our strengths, acknowledge our weaknesses, become more confident and be happier.

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12. Is yoga spiritual or religious? What does that mean?

Historically, yoga has evolved from various times, places and strains of thought. Since yoga philosophy emerged from Buddhist and Jainist writing, then evolved over thousands of years in India, as well as Tibet and China and likely Egypt, it is associated with Eastern religions more than Western religions.

The strong influence of India in the development of yoga, as well as the fact that many of the teachers who brought yoga to West in the mid-20th century were Indian, leads many people to believe that yoga is tied to Hinduism or Sikhism. However, yoga is not a religious practice, and can be part of anyone’s life and/or spiritual practice. Some types of yoga, and some yoga teachers, focus more on the spiritual side than others.

In Europe and the United States, yoga typically focuses more on the physical aspects, including poses and breathwork. The more esoteric practices like meditation are often somewhat secondary.

In children’s yoga, the idea is that children ‘play’ at yoga - getting an experience of yoga, gaining all the physical benefits and becoming aware of the breath and self. They learn to pay attention to their bodies, enjoy life and become conscious of the value of practice and compassion for self and others.

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