Jumpers for goalposts, climbing trees, long, long bike rides and not a sniff of childhood obesity. That’s the general picture when we on the Time Out team reminisce on our rose-tintedly perfect formative years.
There’s much tut tutting about how the kids of today never play outdoors and are seemingly sofa- or bedroom-bound and computer obsessed.
But, to be fair, it’s not so easy to be an outdoorsy type when the temperature is well above 40 for at least half the year and I wouldn’t even take my own life in my hands to ride a bike on Bahrain’s crazy roads, never mind expecting a kid to do it.
So what’s the answer? Yoga for children might seem an odd choice given that the Eastern exercise discipline is often associated with relaxation and stress relief. But Lavina Faleiro, who teaches classes for parents and tiny tots as well as older children and adults, makes a convincing case.
“Children’s yoga offers the opportunity to develop strength, co-ordination, flexibility and balance in a non-competitive, nurturing and respectful environment. Our classes are relaxed and fun so that the children are at ease to explore their bodies and their abilities and in doing so develop their confidence and self-esteem,” she says.
“There is no ‘perfect’ pose rather we explore the many ways to do a pose, however there will be guidance on how one can improve a pose. While classes are structured, we invite spontaneity and interactivity so that the children can engage fully in the class and also with each other and with themselves.
“Mothers (and fathers) are an important part of my classes because I offer these classes as an opportunity for the family to share in a fun, structured and interactive activity. It provides a chance to connect, bond, and relax. Relaxation is a key feature in all of my classes ... relaxed children, relaxed parents, relaxed family. Also included in these classes are key poses to relieve shoulder, neck and back pain for the parents.”
A class for mums and toddlers, up to about three years, usually starts with singing a nursery rhyme with lots of yoga-style actions and in the older classes (up to around nine years) the emphasis is still on fun with parents still joining in in more structured poses.
Lavina runs small classes at her home studio in Amwaj with kids/families on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, mums and toddlers (crawling to walking) on Tuesday afternoons and Sunday mornings and mums and babies on Sunday mornings.
She’s also aiming to start yoga training for youngsters with special needs having recently undergone the additional certificatioin in the UK.
For more details call 36422146 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mums for mums
Mums in Bahrain, the organisation that’s on hand to help beat those mummy meltdowns we referred to last month, has a revamped website which includes ‘every single thing that we can think of for parents in Bahrain’.
There’s an ‘ask the doctor’ section onto which parents can submit their questions, which will be answered in 48 hours by medics from the Royal Hospital Bahrain, and the group’s also planning monthly ‘meet the doctor’ workshops.
This month sees the launch of the mums’ Drive Safe campaign concentrating on all aspects of road safety for mums from how to change a tyre to that thorny issue on Bahrain’s roads of using child car seats.
And there’s also a section on the website to register for a discount card which, for a small charge, offers members discounts at more than 150 outlets across the kingdom from restaurants to toy stores, salons and even medical facilities.
As well as an offshoot, Mums in Business, the group runs various kids’ activities aiming for around eight activities per month from zumba classes to Tae Kwando. Until January 15 members will be running reading workshops, in association with Jashanmal, at the Winter Wonderland at Bahrain City Centre.