Children's age and yin yoga

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Children's age and yin yoga

Post by juniperock »

How old should a child be to practice yin yoga? I practice often and I want my 3 daughters (10, 9, 7) to grow up doing it with me. They want this as well. But since their bodies are not finished growing I am concerned that I may be putting them in harms way if they practiced Yin with me.
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The Arc of Aging & Yin for Kids?

Post by Bernie »

Paul Grilley has a saying that I love: we all follow the same arc of aging, just at different speeds.

When we are born, we are completely yang-like: all mobility and no stability. As we age, we become stiffer and stiffer, more stable but less mobile. Around 30 years of age or so, we seem to be in a balance between stability and mobility and if we just stay there, life would be great. But we continue to get more and more yin like as we get older. At the end, we are completely stable (stiff) and have no mobility. We end life completely yin-like.

Different ages require different emphasis on exercise: when we are young and yang-like, we need yang type of exercises. We want to work the muscles more than the connective tissues. We need strength more than flexibility. When we are older we need more yin types of exercise because we tend to lose a lot of flexibility.

I am not aware of any dangers to your children in doing yin yoga poses, but I do wonder if this is really the best for them. For one thing, yin poses are long held and in stillness. Kids like to move, wiggle and giggle. Do you really want them to be still for 5 minutes over and over again? I am not a kid's yoga teacher but I used to be a kid. I think I would have been terribly bored by yin yoga. However, active and fun yang yoga poses are great.

I would be interesting to hear from other yoga teachers who work with kids to get their view on this.

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Post by Lorien »

Yeah, kids don't really do that well in a yin class. I had my 15-year old, who is a pretty mellow guy, in a 60-minute yin class. We only held the poses for 4 minutes each, but sitting still for that long was torture for him.

I commend you for wanting to share this type of practice with them! I would recommend a combination class: 30 minutes of yang, gradually getting mellower, then ending with 1 or 2 poses of yin and then final relaxation. Watch their fidgeting in the yin pose and give them options for coming out and coloring or reading or just sitting while the rest are finishing (that's what I do with my 11-year old).

Be well,
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