Teaching toddlers to de-stress with yoga - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Teaching toddlers to de-stress with yoga

The American Academy of Pediatrics wants doctors to screen babies and toddlers for stress levels the same way they are screened for lead poisoning.  Doctors say toxic stress early in life can lead to a lifetime of health problems. Some parents are managing their children's stress and their own with toddler yoga.

Toddler Yoga at Charlotte Family Yoga Center is not about silence or meditation.

"Show them your downward facing dog," said Diane Cevallos, the instructor and owner of Charlotte Family Yoga Center. (http://charlottefamilyyogacenter.com/yoga/)

"Through play we teach them yoga," said Cevallos, "Some downward facing dog, we bark like a dog and then we go into frog which is actually malasana."

The little ones in her toddler yoga class are all under 2 years old.

"Namaste my friends," is just part of one of the many songs sung during the class.

"I realized that my stress level.  I needed this," explained Kathey Debree, a mom of three, " I needed to start coming back to yoga."

Toddler yoga class doesn't look like other yoga classes. And it's not just about fun. There is a purpose both for the mother and for the toddler.

"Can you say om?" asked Debree of 22-month-old Brooke, "Calm down."

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports there are three levels of stress ranging from positive to toxic.

Parents at toddler yoga, want to help teach their children how to manage their own stress early.

"They'll calm down and hopefully that will help make the meltdowns easier," said Debree.

Most yoga classes start at age 3.  But Cevallos said she did toddler yoga at home and decided to bring it to the studio.

"You just feel this joy, this overwhelming joy cause they're happy and you're happy," said Cevallos, "And the mom takes those benefits away. Happiness is a stress reducer."

Happiness and deep breaths are a healthy combination.

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