The chimes rang outside our cabin door at 6:30 a.m. "I don't want to get up," I moaned, preparing to continue my sleep. "But I do, Mommy," came a tiny voice from the other bed. It was my 3-year-old daughter, Kelsey, already sitting up, eager to join me in a morning class during our week of yoga camp at Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville in Buckingham, VA.
Kelsey isn't the only member of the preschool set trying yoga and loving it. More kids than ever are taking to the ancient practice of uniting mind and body by performing poses -- at home, at school, and at the growing list of yoga studios offering kids' classes.
"The number of kids doing yoga has taken a leap and keeps expanding," says YogaKids video creator Marsha Wenig, who in recent years has trained hundreds of instructors to teach kids. "Yoga has gotten more mainstream, so parents feel comfortable encouraging it."
Add to that the appearance of yoga on popular TV shows like Dharma and Greg and in movies such as The Next Best Thing, in which Madonna plays a yoga teacher. "Children see music stars, actors, and sports figures practicing yoga and reaping the benefits," says Lisa Trivell, the East Hampton, NY-based author of I Can't Believe It's Yoga for Kids! and an instructor whose clients include celebrities such as Calvin Klein and Paul McCartney.