Is introducing children to yoga adding to the “wussification of America?”
Larry Winget, author of Your Kids are Your Own Fault, seems to think so.
It is said that over 20 million people are now practicing yoga and that more and more children are being introduced to it. Yoga can be noted as having health benefits for your mind, body and spirit. Yet, Mr. Winget seems to think that because it does not include a ball, it has no place in the world of sports.
Watch the video to see Larry Winget’s perception of what yoga is not.
I can tell you one thing for sure. This guy has never experienced yoga.
After watching this, the first thing I thought was, “Let me get this guy into one of my Ashtanga classes and I will show him humility and how to lose with dignity!”
I will agree with Larry on one thing. Yoga is not a sport. Yes, there are now yoga competitions sprouting up here and there. But I continue to believe that yoga is a tool. It is a tool to train our minds, bodies and spirits to better navigate life, to enrich life and to help keep us healthy and happy. It can also be a great training method for sports.
Let me explain something to you, Larry, if I may call you that.
Yoga can offer everything that sports can offer plus more…
As Jessica Jenkins wrote in her article, “Can We Take Our Egos Out of our Workouts & Find Acceptance?”:
CrossFit talks about the 10 fundamentals of fitness, which are:
What about yoga? Yoga doesn’t offer those?
I’m pretty sure it does, and I’ll tell you the 11th thing that is on yoga’s list: patience. The 12th is tolerance, 13th, acceptance and the most important: 14th, love.
Don’t knock it before you try it. “I had no idea!” is what my athlete friends have said to me after experiencing their first yoga class. They realize that it is not all stretching and meditation. There is so much more than meets the eye.
Nothing can compare to the lessons that yoga has offered me. I have learned that not everything in life needs to be a competition. I have learned to listen to my intuition and to accept myself as is. I have learned perseverance, patience, tolerance and humility. I have built a strong body and mind (stronger than I ever had when I was growing up and participating in sports).
Yoga has been with me through every up and down. When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia yoga saved my life. I have used it while I have had injuries. It has taught me compassion and empathy for others. I have found courage through teaching. I get injured less, sick less and depressed less. All things no sport ever, ever helped me with.
Call me stupid, but my daughter has been doing yoga with me since she was born. At 10 years of age, she is able to use her breath to make it through challenging parts of life. Her dance teacher has noticed how yoga has helped lengthen and strengthen her muscles.
I have taught a yoga class for nine and 10 year old girls and a big part of that class was based on interacting, communicating and working with other peers. After a youth yoga class, I have never witnessed a child feeling like they have been a poor loser, left out, or not good enough. In my experience, yoga offers children tools like self-confidence, peer support and a healthy body image. While it may not be a sport because it does not have a ball, as Mr. Winget expressed, it continues to support children in all of the ways sports can plus so much more.
So, I double dog dare Larry Winget to participate in an Ashtanga or Bikram yoga class. I triple dog dare any athlete, who has not taken yoga before, to do the same.
Then get back to us about how “wussy” it really is!!
Nichole Gould is the founder of Barefoot Warrior Yoga in The White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a Student of life, yogini, yoga teacher, landscape gardener, single mother, organic pizza waitress and lover of all board sports, she considers herself a jack of much and a master of none. She can also be found dabbling with guitar playing, singing off key,reading from her many stacks of books or writing poetry. Feel feel to peruse her Facebook page or contact her via her website for more insight into her ever curious mind.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel