Il Metodo Balyayoga ® (The Balyayoga Method ®)
by Gianni Zollo and Barbara Ladisa, Cosmic Mind Editore.
Yoga for children is intended to be a type of manual, a collection of suggestions and practical advice for all those who desire to do yoga with little ones: parents who want to practice with their children, educators and teachers who would like to introduce yoga into their classes and integrate it with their didactic activities and yoga instructors who already work with adults and want to introduce this ancient discipline to children too.
The book is divided into seven chapters. Firstly, “What is yoga?” suggests a simple yet fun way to tell children what yoga is and how it began in ancient origins.
The second chapter “yoga meetings for children” explains how to set up a lesson, describing in depth, with the aid of detailed illustrations, a series of asanas (postures) suitable for children.
Asana in Sanskrit means “a comfortable position, maintained easily and effortlessly.” The poses are inspired by the form and names in the natural world, evoking animals, plants, flowers and natural elements so that the children are lead to learn yoga in a playful and fun way. Because of the exercise and practice, the body gradually becomes more and more loose and flexible. The important thing is that it is done gradually, without haste and without a competitive spirit. In fact, the purpose of yoga is not to achieve a perfect position, but to develop the child’s inner strength and self-acceptance.
Of utmost importance, in this second section of the book, are the paragraphs devoted to warming up and breathing exercises, games to be executed in the preparatory phase, as well as relaxation techniques and visualizations that are specific to children.
The third chapter is about meditation, containing a series of useful exercises to accustom the children to meditative practices. In recent years, scientific studies on the effects of meditation have been countless. Conducted by leading universities and international research institutions, such studies have all come to the same conclusion: meditation has enormous benefits mentally, physically and physiologically. It helps to get rid of anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and causes an increase in self-confidence, creativity, concentration and attention and gives a deep state of well-being. This is why it is important that children are accustomed to meditation. But it is also important that this is done in the right way, and the book explains how.
The fourth chapter is devoted to stories for yoga. Be it fairy tales or fables, stories have always played an essential role in human evolution, not only as a means to get across (initially only orally) traditions and beliefs, but also moral and social principles that are fundamental for the growth and maturation of each individual. As G.K. Chesterton, an English writer and journalist living in the second half of the nineteenth century said in his famous phrase, “Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist … They tell children that dragons can be defeated.” That is why it is good that the narrative and reading stories aloud become part of a yoga class for children. The book helps you to understand what stories to choose and how to do it.
The following chapters are dedicated to how to set up a meeting of yoga for children based on age ranges, to regulatory and tax issues to be addressed if you want to undertake activities at a professional level and finally, the comments of some school leaders who added yoga to the subjects offered at their schools.
The book The Balyayoga® Method Gianni Zollo and Barbara Ladisa, Cosmic Mind Publisher, is available in bookstores and can be ordered online at the following address http://cosmicmind.it/prodotto/il-metodo-balyayoga/