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

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.

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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