Is hot yoga good for kids and teens?

Is heated yoga great for kids?

It looks like this hot secret has finally been out: kids can benefit from hot yoga just as much as adults. And even more.

As such, many hot yoga studios are seeing an increase in youth attendance, particularly tweens.

On a physical level, yoga has been shown to improve physical flexibility, coordination and strength, all of which make children less likely to be injured on the field of play. And kids of all ages play lots of sports in school and after school, including college-level sports.

On an emotional level, children who practice yoga tend to show greater self-esteem. They are better able to focus on assignments and handle stress at school, including tests, homework, and a social life that can become quite stressful as they enter pre-teens.

Both of my children started doing yoga with me when they were 14 and 17 (my daughter actually attended yoga with me when she was 5, but started practicing alone at 14). They are both athletes: my daughter Carly plays softball and league soccer and is an avid cross country biker and hiker. My son Zach is a black belt in karate and recently started Capoeira.

My kids credit hot yoga for years of injury-free athletics.

I give him credit for keeping my sanity during his teenage years.

What is hot yoga?

Traditional Hot 26 yoga is performed in 105 degrees with 40% humidity, a sequence of 26 poses over 90 minutes.

The teacher is in charge of keeping everyone safe and challenged to the maximum, so rest assured that your children will be well taken care of in the heat.

Benefits for young athletes

Children can play rough.

Real hot yoga improves flexibility, coordination, and strength, all of which make kids less likely to get injured on the playing field. That’s one of the reasons more and more high school coaches (football, baseball, soccer, and hockey) are recommending hot yoga to their young athletes.

Additionally, kids who practice often report higher self-esteem and are better able to handle stress, including tests, homework, and a busy after-school schedule.

And what teen wouldn’t benefit from a big dose of self-direction?

Yoga kids also tend to better handle emotional challenges with patience, tolerance, and, let’s just say the L word: love.

At what age can children do hot yoga?

In my opinion as a yoga teacher, the age of 10 is the earliest a young student can fully handle the stamina and balance as well as the heat acclimatization needed to fully enjoy the 90-minute hot class.

Make sure they drink plenty of water, half their body weight in ounces, so they come to class well hydrated.

Should parents take their children to yoga? A heated debate…

I love watching parents and their kids do hot yoga together and bond over a sweaty class.

Even when tweens or teens have little in common with their parents, they can still enjoy this challenge together. Being warriors together in a yoga class can offer a reprieve from fighting each other.

A warning to parents: stop being a parent while you are in class with your children! Don’t correct them, scold them, don’t even put your mat where you can see them, otherwise the temptation to breed them will be too great.

Let the yoga teacher take care of everything in class; enjoy his practice and let his son enjoy hers.

Yoga teaches balance, body control, it even teaches focus and concentration. These yoga-inspired traits are something all youngsters can carry into adulthood and turn into lifelong habits for happiness and success.

And a reminder of the value of patience, self-love, and a time when your body was much more flexible, they’re also great for the kid in all of us adults.

By Rhonda Uretzky, E-RYT

Lambertville New Jersey, November 22, 2011

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