Instructor Kim Rawkins rounded out the Monday Yoga for Kids session with a stretching and breathing exercise called the boat pose.

Instructor Kim Rawkins rounded out the Monday Yoga for Kids session with a stretching and breathing exercise called the boat pose.

The positive impact of Yoga for Kids

Yoga for Kids is all about boosting balance, self esteem, coordination and flexibility.

It’s not a stretch to say that regardless of age, balancing mind and body for work and play is a practice anyone can benefit from.

That is what Yoga for Kids is all about – boosting balance, self esteem, coordination and flexibility, says yoga teacher Kim Rawkins.

Rawkins instructs children ages six to 12 in the Trail Memorial Centre fitness studio Monday afternoon in 45-minute sessions.

The lessons focus on breathing exercises and basic yoga poses as well as games and relaxation moves that are given a kid-friendly twist.

“I try to create an environment in class where no one is striving to be the best,” said Rawkins. “And everyone is striving to be brave and try new things.”

Sessions involve partner poses, “yogi says” challenges and stretches with fun names, like the tree pose, crow, warrior waves and fire hydrant. Yoga is becoming increasingly popular in schools and community settings as a physical, mental and spiritual discipline that is widely practiced for wellness and relaxation,

“Yoga can teach kids healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with their emotions, increase their concentration and empower them to feel in control of their bodies,” Rawkins explained.

Rawkins, a Registered Nurse, began yoga classes in Victoria eight years ago as a means to stretch out tense muscles from studying and pole vaulting.

“Yoga slowly taught me the importance in finding balance between strength and flexibility, physical activity and relaxation,” she explained.

Three years ago Rawkins became a yoga teacher in India, and has been instructing classes periodically ever since.

“After volunteering to teach a kids yoga class for the Girl Guides in Warfield last year, I realized how much fun teaching kids yoga was,” Rawkins said. “I realized how great it would be to have this non-competitive activity for kids that helps boost their balance, self esteem, coordination and flexibility.”

So far, class turn out and community feedback has been positive for Yoga with Kids, and plans are underway for fall sessions.

“The non-competitive nature of yoga is what really got me interested,” said Rawkins. “The goal is to make your body feel good, period.”

Classes in Trail run until June 1, for information contact the recreation department at 364.0888. Rawkins also teaches Kids Yoga at the Rossland Miners Hall, Wednesdays from 3-4 p.m. until May 20.

Drop-ins are welcome. For more information, contact Rossland recreation at 362.3267.

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