With a Down Dog Here and A Down Dog There, Kids Enjoy Yoga and Meditation at Daycare

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Jun 01, 2005

Teeny yogis and yoginis in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, are enjoying both yoga and meditation at their local daycare center and preschool, Wisdom and Wonders.

Tracey Thomas, yoga instructor and co-owner of the center, has been a daycare and grammar school teacher for over a decade. She opened Wisdom and Wonders 18 months ago when she could not find a suitable daycare center for her own daughter, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“Think about it,” says Thomas. “A child’s life is full of stress, with upheaval at home and constant stimulation from television and lessons and siblings. And when they go to daycare, that’s stressful too. All those bright colors and [the] flashy entertainment. We take an opposite tack here. Neutral colors, low light, soft music, quiet voices. And yoga. The kids love it.”

Small children are yoga naturals, says Thomas, because they’re not self-conscious and often their elastic little bodies know no bounds.

At the end of class, the lights are dimmed and for several minutes the children sit still, with legs crossed and eyes closed. Austin, a young participant, offers the following insight into his meditation experience: “It’s not a time-out. It’s just like quietness all around.” In today’s fast-paced society, even younger children are enjoying the benefits of experiencing moments of inner peace.

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© 2005 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at www.shirleyarcher.com.