Get Fit, Stay Focused

YogaFit’s newest workshop helps us give kids what they need to feel better about themselves

It’s January—traditionally the time we all make our lists of resolutions, with promises to be more present, to work harder, to spend more time with family, to eat better and, of course,—the number one resolution—to lose weight. Girls as young as five hear their moms or other adults complain, and they, too, think if they were thinner and prettier, they’d be happier, have more friends, and do better in school. Instead of trying to lose weight, what if we could create a program that would help them appreciate and enhance what they already have? We caught up with YogaFit master trainer Lindsey Sutton, PhD., who has done just that. She’s created YogaFit’s Fit and Focused Kids workshop, a training she feels can help parents, yoga teachers, therapists, and educators give kids what they need to feel better about themselves. Here she explains her fit-and-focused approach.

Why fit-and-focused yoga?

We want to take the attention off the physical and move it to the whole person. It’s our hope by bringing yoga into their schools, into their lives, kids can explore ways to care for themselves and others—from a whole body/being perspective.

What’s a whole body/being perspective?

A way of looking at ourselves from the inside out. The YogaFit approach relates to the concepts of “survive and thrive,” that is presented in The Whole-Brain Child, by Drs. Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. Specifically beyond surviving, the YogaFit method offers them a path forward toward being fit and focused—integrating mind, body, and being. A whole body/being approach can help kids gain the confidence they need to connect with others, learn new things, and contribute to their communities.

How do you do that?

By bringing yoga into the schools, but not just as an after-school exercise program. The research has confirmed that teaching yoga in the schools—not only through physical practice but also by incorporating breath techniques, meditation and positive language—can reduce anxiety and stress, enhance focus and self-regulation, and promote compassion in young children and teenagers.

Who should take the Fit and Focused Kids training?

Everyone! Seriously, though, Fit and Focused Kids is definitely for yoga teachers interested in moving into the burgeoning field of yoga in the schools. But it can show parents, teachers, caregivers, and yoga instructors how to take an active role in helping children develop strong and flexible bodies, clear minds, and open hearts.

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