Balyayoga is a new method of doing yoga with children yet it is inspired by the most ancient yogic traditions. It is different to various other methods and schools of thoughts and these are its characteristics:
- Balyayoga – yoga for kids, is different to yoga for adults. Various studies have shown that a simple transfer of yoga for adults to children may even be harmful.
- Balyayoga uses a different approach, supported by scientific studies, in order for children to learn about this ancient discipline in a healthy, safe and playful way.
- The games and the language that are used in Balyayoga are devised to engage the children and the teaching, which is disguised in fantasy and games, allows them to really learn.
- The asanas are designed for children and are different to those for adults. In fact, they are not associated with any strict breathing techniques and both the retention of breath and apnea are absolutely avoided. The asanas are presented in a playful way and their funny names help to stimulate the creativity of the children.
- Breathing: breathing for children is very important and our method teaches it through simple exercises. In this way, they consciously learn the importance of proper breathing. However, no pranayama exercises are ever taught to the children.
- Meditation and relaxation: the path of yoga for children is not just a set motor exercises that are more or less difficult, but it aims to develop self-knowledge through the work of concentration and internalization. Meditation, despite being limited to only a few minutes with children, aims to favour these two processes. On a practical level it translates into listening to your body better, with a reduction in stress and anxiety, improved concentration and focus on solving problems, a decrease of aggressiveness and improved socialization. Because of this, yoga becomes a psychophysical path that helps children in their growth.
- Creative and imaginative activities: Imagination and creativity are at the heart of the psychic development of the child – through fine motor artistic activities, the child’s intelligence is stimulated to see beauty as is their ability to express emotions and moods that emerge after the path of internalization. The stories told also translate into thoughts of the emotions within them, providing children with appropriate tools of consciousness.
- Neohumanist Education: Balyayoga is inspired by the philosophy of Neohumanist education, proposed by P.R. Sarkar in 1982, while taking into account other thinkers and philosophers of the pedagogical scene.
- A holistic view of the child: The activities in our method are intended to give an identity to the child whose physical, mental and emotional components constitute an integrated whole. You cannot fragment the personality into separate spheres, but it all goes together to form a whole, to create continuity in the child’s development so that they can express and reach their full potential. That’s why we talk about holistic vision: to give back an image of a person in training in which all the individual parts unite to form the self. We like to see the child as a diamond of many facets: only returning light if every single face of the diamond shines in all its splendor.