Children learn ancient art of yogic toddling

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The Independent Online

Parents in search of inner calm are signing up to yoga classes - for their three-year-olds, writes Julia Snoddy.

The ancient technique, said to have originated in the Indus Valley more than 5,000 years ago, combines movement, breath awareness, relaxation and meditation.

Fenella Lindsell, director of The Art of Health, a complementary health and exercise centre in south London, is so sure about its worth that she has started a Yoga Bugs class for children aged between three and seven.

"Children can benefit from understanding how they can feel their own energy through doing the postures and breathing properly," she said.

Yoga is also being taught in more primary schools amid claims it can aid concentration and memory. Surrey-based Swami Vedantananda already teaches children in Plymouth, Manchester, Oxford, Brighton and London. "Some primary schools are including it in their timetable," she said. "Yoga for children is not yet widespread, but it is catching on."