My name is Megan Bagga, and I am a 28-year old certified kids yoga teacher who has a passion for all things yoga!
I am the founder of Rooh Kids Yoga, a Philadelphia-based organization dedicated to teaching children and teenagers yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises. I was certified as a yoga teacher from the Yoga Alliance registered, internationally recognized organization, Rainbow Kids Yoga.
I also have a double Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. My first degree was from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, where I concentrated in family therapy. My second Master’s degree was from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA, where I concentrated in child and pediatric psychology. I have conducted individual, group, family, and couples therapy for adults, children, and teenagers presenting with a variety of diagnoses and symptoms (most commonly, depression, anxiety, impulsivity, attention deficits, trauma, autism spectrum, learning disabilities, and co-existing health issues) within the community based, academic, and hospital settings.
I combine my background in psychology and experience in mental health therapy with yoga, mindfulness, and meditation to provide a unique therapeutic experience for kids and teens. I utilize methods I learned while providing therapy with yoga techniques to teach kids and teens invaluable tools to manage stress, anxiety, social pressures, and other issues in a practical, tangible, and fun way.
Professional background aside, in my free time I love doing yoga, meditation, spending quality time with family and friends, catching up on the latest entertainment news, and bingeing on Netflix (you know you do it too!).
What’s Cool About Yoga for Children and Teens?
The reasons are endless. If you like yoga, think about why you do it. Stress relief? Flexibility? Relaxation? Health maintenance? Makes you calm? Feels good? I’m sure there are several reasons. But, the question is: does yoga hold these same benefits for children and teens too? YES! Introducing kids and teens to yoga at a young age has some serious, serious benefits.
I promise, I’m not making this up. Here’s what the research says:
Yoga Practitioner Survey, 2006
Yoga helps children to:
o better handle stress
o manage negative thoughts
o improve balance
o positively shift their mood
o feel more confident and have more courage
o calm their breathing
o regulate sleeping patterns
o boost energy levels
o improve body awareness
o enhance social relationships
o feel more creative and intuitive
o communicate more effectively
o learn compassion for self and others
o develop cultural awareness
Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research, 2007: “Children who practice yoga are better able to regulate their emotions, manage stress, and calm themselves. These children choose better foods to eat and engage in more physical activity than those who do not. Yoga leads to increased wellness by reducing anxiety and depression as well as the effects of trauma, and increasing sense of well-bring and self-esteem.
PubMed Health, 2008: Teens who attended yoga classes reported a 75% increase in well-being. They used the words “relaxed, calm, energized, more awake” to describe how they felt after class.
Molly Kenny, MS-CCC, Samarya Center, Seattle, WA: The physical act of balancing improves self-esteem in teens.
University of California, 2003: In a study on children, a Los Angeles school found that kids who had frequent yoga instruction led to a decrease in their discipline problems in school, since those kids felt more relaxed and were more respectful of their peers.
Randomized Control Trial in Germany, 2006: A yoga intervention for children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) resulted in better scores on an attention task, and lower parent ratings of their children’s ADHD symptoms.
Randomized Control Trial in India, 1997: School children were taught breathing techniques for 10 days. Results indicated an increase in 84% in their cognitive abilities.
How Does Yoga Differ from Other Sports and Activities?
Yoga differs from sports and regular exercise. Generally the pace of yoga is slower, and highlights static postures and fluid motions rather that the rapid, repetitive motions of, for example, kicking a ball in soccer. It is low impact, meaning it does not strain the body as much as traditional sports do, making it more appealing for the young ones. It also places significant emphasis on breath control and turning one’s attention inward. There is a huge meditation component in yoga. The health benefits of yoga are difficult to attain in traditional sports.
Rooh Kids Yoga
Rooh Kids Yoga includes a Mobile Enrichment Program in the Philadelphia area, where I am available to teach yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises to kids and teens (ages 4-13) at:
- elementary schools (in school and after school programs)
- high schools (in school and after school programs)
- summer camps
- athletic centers
- therapeutic settings
- places of worship
I bring all the mats, props, music, and equipment – your kids or students just need to show up ready to learn and grow! Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly programs are available to suit your school or center’s needs. We offer convenient and affordable classes in both an individual and group format.
Parent or center/school funded options, as well as short-term and long-term contracts are available. We can discuss which option works best for you.
I also offer individual and group classes at a private space in the Chestnut Hill, PA area. Private classes are great for: playgroups, mom and child groups, homeschooling groups of all ages, and many more. In addition, I do birthday parties, parents night out, sleepovers, etc. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Just Try It!
Yoga can be taught to children in a fun way in order for them to develop important skills in a non-judgmental, non-competitive, and relaxed environment. As surprising as it may sound, even at a young age, children often face numerous academic and social pressures at school and within extracurricular activities. Due to these tough stressors, they are vulnerable to self-criticism, losing self-confidence, anxiety, depression, lack of focus, and much more. Yoga and meditation are the perfect solutions: there is no judgment in yoga and meditation, and they bring more focus to the inner and outer selves. Yoga is also a great way for kids to learn trust, active communication, and become more culturally enriched! In short, YOGA IS GREAT FOR CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS!