Yoga is a unique ancient healing art originating from India more than six thousand years ago. This ancient art of movement is a low intensity non-competitive form of exercise that can be safely practiced by children at any level of physical fitness. Yoga is derived from Sanskrit, one of the world's most ancient languages. In it's simplest form, yoga means 'a bringing together of the parts in order to create a union or balance of a persons body, mind and spirit'. It was developed by yogis who went into the jungles of India, thousands of years ago to meditate. During meditation these yogis observed animal movements. The development of some of the present day yoga postures actually come from these observations.
This form of fitness session is a great alternative to do with a group of primary aged students. Firstly the non-competitive and overall harmonious nature of yoga can alleviate any feelings of physical inadequacies that some students may harbour. Therefore, you are more likely to see greater motivation and participation towards the activities as the students who may not be as physically fit or coordinated as other classmates will have the opportunity to try out a new exercise without ridicule or defeat. Secondly this form of fitness session is a fantastic one to do with students who are within their peak height velocity or students experiencing the effects of puberty. This scientific system of exercises or poses are designed to strengthen bones, stretch muscles, massage internal organs, increase blood flow and increase flexibility of the tendons, joints and ligaments. (Holander, 97, 1) This is particularly important when concerning primary aged students around or during their pubertal growth spurt. Considering girls peak height velocity is around 10-12 and 12-14 in boys. Physical activity that does not contain the same characteristics as yoga can aid the cause of injury.