Common questions about kids yoga: Aren't they born flexible? It must be so easy for them - is it just to calm them down? Babies/we are born perfect - aren't they? Kids move all the time - they move so much it wears us out - do they really need a movement class? Can you get my child to relax?
Let's chat about it - here's my perspective after 21 years of teaching, 16 years teaching kids. Your experience may differ.
Aren't they born flexible? Babies are heirs to a lot of things at birth. Part of this inheritance is postural habits. You may say, so they slouch? Not life threatening. We'll get them into dance and sports.
Things like slouching, or excessive muscle tension, or even lack of muscle tone can be more limiting than we might guess - any of these may be indicative of deeper, lifelong tendencies which eventually impact our lives on many levels. Our developing bodies go through a series of movement patterns called primitive reflexes. Integrating reflexes is crucial for optimal neurological development and functioning. Reflexes are automatic, instinctive movements that help us respond to various stimuli, ensuring our safety and facilitating fundamental motor and sensory skills. When reflexes are appropriately integrated, they lay the foundation for higher-level skills and abilities, including coordination, balance, posture, fine and gross motor skills, and cognitive processes. Proper integration of reflexes is essential during early childhood as it sets the stage for more complex movements and behaviors later in life. When reflexes are not integrated or retained beyond their typical developmental stages, it can lead to challenges in learning, attention, behavior, and overall development. Addressing and integrating reflexes through targeted therapies and activities can aid in overcoming these challenges and promote a well-rounded neurological development, enhancing overall functioning and quality of life.