Yoga provides early opportunity for parents to exercise with children

Creating a healthy lifestyle of diet, exercise and discipline presents a personal challenge. It is also among the greatest gifts parents can pass on to their children.

Many parents now realize that the earlier these habits are established, the easier they are to maintain. Over the past 30 years, parent-infant fitness programs have become a popular means of introducing fitness while providing a bonding experience. The first courses involved teaching infants to swim. This setting is perfect for fitness and the added feature of promoting water safety.

Yoga is a combination of mental and physical abilities. Its origins are part of ancient Indian culture with roots extending back to 3000 BC. The skills also provide an excellent foundation for infants as young as six weeks to begin a journey toward good health.

Itsy Bitsy Yoga is a program for parents and infants. It combines a child’s natural developmental movements with traditional yoga poses. Helen Garabedian founded Itsy Bitsy Yoga in 1999 to bring together parents who are interested in a holistic approach to health and their children.

“Yoga establishes early lines of communication between parents and children while exercising multiple muscle groups,” said Tara Armstrong, a certified Itsy Bitsy facilitator. She began teaching this innovative yoga program in the Norwich area three-and-a-half years ago when she was searching for a post-natal fitness endeavor to do with her child. She found yoga to be helpful during childbirth and felt it would be a natural transition. She now facilitates weekly classes at the Centerspace Wellness Studio in Bozrah.

Armstrong has classes for infants and toddlers from newborn to four years.

Instituting a regular schedule of fitness should start young to get a head start on good health habits. It will also diminish the likelihood of chronic illness and improve professional productivity. If interested, contact 860-886-8592.

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