Yoga for Kumbo’s Kids

The Himalayan Institute Cameroon offers free yoga classes every Saturday morning to the people of Kumbo. Special classes for kids have drawn large groups with students ranging from toddlers to high-school age.

Even the youngest member of the class enjoys a forward bend.

Even the youngest member of the class enjoys a forward bend.

“I was surprised at how much muscle tightness there is in the young people of this community,” said HIC volunteer and class instructor John Daskovsky. “In Kumbo, almost every family has a farm and the children help with the farm work from a very young age. It’s hard work, so many children develop strong but stiff muscles.” To remedy this problem, the HIC is teaching kids some basic and fun techniques for keeping their muscles loose and flexible.

HIC volunteer Amanda Masters practices the Whirling Dervish with elementary school aged students. The class incorporates fun exercises such as this to help hold the attention of younger participants.

HIC volunteer Amanda Masters practices the Whirling Dervish with elementary school aged students. The class incorporates fun exercises such as this to help hold the attention of younger participants.

In addition to working on flexibility, the class also focuses on relaxation. Most kids go to school, have household chores, and work at their parents’ farm or shop, which is a lot of responsibility for young people and can be the cause of stress. To help address this problem, each class begins with a centering exercise and ends with a guided relaxation. For many of the students — like so many yoga practitioners around the world — the relaxation is their favorite part. By teaching fun and relaxing health techniques, the HIC is working to cultivate a generation with healthy bodies and clear minds.

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