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Solo Sports: Yoga

You've got your right leg folded over your left knee, your right hand on the ground behind you, and your left hand on your left ankle. You're concentrating on breathing in and out through your nose and keeping your mind clear.

Are you:

Topics on Solo Sports:
A Team of One
Martial Arts
Walking and Hiking
From the Mentors
  • Hiding from Aunt Mildred in a box in the attic?
  • Training to become the Human Pretzel in a circus sideshow act?
  • Trying to imitate your cat's favorite sleeping position?
Boy stretching No! You're doing yoga!

Yoga started in India over 5,000 years ago. It is the practice of moving your body into different positions, known as postures or asanas. Some yoga postures are done standing, while others are done sitting or lying down. Each one focuses on a combination of stretching, balancing, breathing, and meditation.

Yoga is a great way to develop physical qualities like strength, flexibility, and coordination. Most people say it helps them sleep better and feel more relaxed. The mental and emotional benefits of yoga are known to improve concentration, confidence, self-control…and even creativity!

The best part about yoga is that you don't need any athletic ability to be good at it. It's not about speed, good reflexes, or strategy. It's about spending some time inside your body and mind.

Cool Yoga Facts

  • The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit language, and loosely means "union" or "joining."

  • There are many different types of yoga, which include Hatha, Kundalini, Bikram, and Iyengar. Even though they all focus on the same basic ideas, each style of yoga has a slightly different focus and history.

  • Yoga postures have English names like Bridge, Mountain, Tree, Cat, Dog, and Child's Pose. When you do the postures, it's fun to see why they're called these names.
What Kids Are Saying About Yoga:

Boy kneeling "I always thought that yoga was a hippie weirdo thing, until my older sister got me to try it. I really like how it's not competitive, but it still helps you get strong and stay healthy."
--Rosemary, 11

"I have actually been doing yoga since I was a little kid because my mother has always done it, so I don't think it's strange to be a boy doing yoga. Last year she bought me a video on yoga for kids and I like to do it when I'm home alone. It's one sport I can do inside in a small apartment!"
--Stefan, 13

"It makes me feel very, very relaxed after, but not tired. It makes my head feel clear."
--Natalie, 10

Get Involved!

It's likely that there's a yoga studio in your city or town. Ask them if they have classes for kids; if not, ask them if it's okay for kids to attend beginner classes. Your local youth, community center, or family health club might also offer a program.

Although it's best to begin yoga in a class with a teacher who can help you make sure you're doing the postures correctly, there are also lots of videotapes, CD's, and books that can help you get started. You might also try to find an adult you know who does yoga, and ask him or her to show you the basics.

Remember that each yoga teacher has his or her own style. If you try a class with one teacher and don't like it, try a different one.

In the next section, we look at the joys of Walking And Hiking.

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