IA few days ago, while taking my eldest son back to school after he had his braces fitted, I chanced upon a blue shopfront in a small street in the north-east of Paris that caught my attention: Le Souffle de Jourdain. Under the name of the establishment housed in a former hammam, three key words summed up its programmatic ambition: “Yoga”, “Parenthood”, “Children’s Activities”. In its own way, this place of “sharing and exchange”which offers variable rates from “prenatal yoga”from “postnatal yoga with baby”from parent-child yogadraws the softened contours of a certain zeitgeist where “the dog’s head position” has become a kind of new truism.
To say that yoga is all the rage today is an understatement. The Covid-19 epidemic, with its repeated lockdowns, has been accompanied by an explosion in the practice, seen as a good way to relieve stress without resorting to anti-anxiety drugs. A craze that is part of a long-term trend: as highlighted by a May 2021 survey conducted by the National Union of Yoga Teachers, the number of followers of this discipline of Indian origin has increased by 300% in ten years in France. In this context, where everyone now walks around with the carpet under their arm, the new chic is knowing someone who doesn’t do yoga.
Hard, hard, you say. Especially since the children came to swell in this mass of converts. A few years ago, when I took my youngest son to the musical awakening, I remember being surprised to see a little boy taking a lotus position on his own and taking deep breaths, presumably to calm down. While this child was old enough to play tag while screaming, on the contrary, he appeared to be on his way to samadhi, the illumination promised to those who attain total concentration of mind. Faced with so much precocious wisdom, one would almost have wanted to show him the pictures of mischievous children à la Doisneau, or even write him a mini-guide entitled “Les Bêtises pour les Dummies” (potentially marketed by Editions First).
But we have to face the facts: what clutters the shelves of bookstores today are rather the “disciplinary” guides to make your child, who has become the core target of a rapidly expanding offer, the fertile ground for this new age: Children’s yoga. Practice while having fun, relax easily (The Book Courier), Yoga through play (Borda’s), YogaKids (La Martiniere), Yoga for children to sleep well (Gallimard Youth), 100 yoga poses with baby (Nathan) etc. The list is endless and is also available in digital applications, DVDs or even card games. Even at school, your offspring practices.
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