Yoga for Kids

Yoga is becoming a common exercise and public schools are the latest example. A handful of schools are now teaching the four R’s — reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmatic and relaxation.

Some kids find school to be a stressful experience. But for others, school is now a place to relax. Welcome to the accelerated school in inner city Los Angeles. This is not recess or rest-time. It’s an actual class in yoga.

Leah Kalish developed the yoga class as part of the curriculum, and the students love it.

Kalish tells Ivanhoe, “Kids aren’t using yoga to make themselves better or to get better or to heal something, they’re into yoga to see what they can do. To explore, to build skills.”

She encourages yoga for kids as young as 4. Flash cards comparing yoga positions to animal shapes help kids learn. She says the class does more than relax, it helps with school.

“Yoga gives kids a way to actually be learning-ready. To actually accelerate their ability to open up, be creative,” says Kalish.

Like adults, children are learning that they can sometimes find solutions by turning inward.

Yoga student Kamilah Moore tells Ivanhoe, “Like in yoga, you’re relaxing.”

Kalish says yoga is the perfect solution for cash-strapped schools with shrinking physical education budgets.

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