A new children’s yoga class at Sevenoaks Leisure Centre aims to bring the benefits of the 5,000-year-old practice to a whole new generation.

“For many children today, every aspect of life is a competition – school, sports, popularity, you name it,” says Josie Male, who’s running the weekly classes. She’s been teaching yoga for 15 years and decided a few years back to look into the benefits it offers children.

“This sense of competition may teach children about being tough and excelling, but it could mean they approach life in a judgemental way as well as one that creates unwelcome stresses at an early age. What I aim to do is help children enjoy exercise in a fun, non-competitive environment. You don’t have to be great at traditional sports to do yoga – its inclusivity is one of the many reasons it’s so great.

“As a mother of four, I’m passionate about encouraging children to follow a healthy lifestyle. It’s also proven teaching young people ways of coping with stress can contribute positively to balance in life, wellbeing, concentration and mental health,” comments Josie.

“We don’t teach children’s yoga as a scaled down version of an adult class. It would be very difficult to maintain their concentration if we did. We use lots of visual props and music to deliver invigorating, interactive imaginative journeys into a child’s developing mind and, of course, lots of poses are objects or animals, so bringing a jungle theme into the classes is so much fun!”

• Children’s yoga classes at Sevenoaks Leisure Centre take place on Tuesdays between 3.45pm-4.15pm. For more information and booking details, visit sencio.org.uk. For more details about Josie, visit yogadoes.com

Image © Phil Lee