This mini yogi is living proof that Bikram Yoga isn’t just for adults. At “almost eight” years old and in Grade 2, Jewel’s been posturing since she was a toddler. Find out why she loves yoga, and read about the benefits of bringing your kids to the hot room!
With parents like Rea and Jacob (who are not only teachers but also practise regularly), it’s no wonder Jewel makes an amazing yogi! She was introduced to Bikram Yoga in 2008 when she was just three years old. “It was right before I went to Teacher Training,” Rea says. “I wanted her to understand why I was going and what yoga was.”
Under mom Rea’s guidance, Jewel practises various poses at home every other day. Possessing the enviable flexibility of youth, she’s able to perform advanced postures like Full Cobra and Bound Lotus with ease. “Instead of watching cable TV, Jewel does yoga or goes swimming,” says Rea. “She is calm and grounded. The benefits are inexplicable.”
Jewel also practises at the studio “whenever she asks,” sitting out the Standing Series in the lobby and entering the hot room in time to do the second half of class (as per Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury’s recommendation).
“She’s done full classes before, but 90 minutes is a bit long for her,” Rea explains. “In a few years she can probably do the whole class more often. She will know when she is ready.”
She also enjoys sharing her passion for yoga with her baby sister. “Jewel and Jacob put P.J. into Wind Removing and Cobra Pose at home on the carpet in the living room,” Rea says. “She just turned one but P.J.’s been doing yoga her whole life [read Rea’s tips on practising Bikram Yoga during pregnancy]. Jacob likes to joke that she came out of the womb doing Standing Head to Knee! She’s a natural, just like Jewel.”
*According to Bikram, kids around the age of nine or 10 can practise the full Bikram Yoga class – but this doesn’t mean they need to do every posture. Kids should be told to take it easy and only do what they can even if that means doing one set of every posture.
*Kids under the age of 10 should do a maximum of 45 minutes of the class, only entering the hot yoga room at the start of the floor series. Because they handle heat differently than adults and may overheat, kids don’t need to do the Standing Series.
*Kids should be introduced to the practice gradually and should display their own interest and curiosity before attending.
*The Hatha Yoga Championship has a youth category, which includes kids 11 to 17.
*Drop-ins are free for kids under 14 at Bikram Yoga Vancouver!