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Other Than Drugs

there is a disturbing trend these days towards the use of medication such as ritalin to keep kids with behavior problems in line. In this age of fixing all our woes with a little pill, we must question whether there are other, non-chemical, options to explore.

These problems don't just lie with children, they also lie with adults seeing an increase of stress-management problems in their daily lives. People need to learn to slow down and relax, though that is easy to say and harder to do.

One means to both exercise and relax is yoga. Through a combination of stretching and breathing exercises one can both tone their body and find peace of mind at the same time.

"But I don't have the time and isn't yoga what people do to themselves so they can be human pretzels? I could never do that!"

This mentality is part of the problem. A small amount of time each day devoted to a simple yoga routine pays off in untold ways. Yoga is as difficult as you want it to be. It can resemble anything from simple stretching (remember high school p.e. warm-ups?) to a complex, exhausting work out. With daily practice, anyone can work themselves up to the latter. As with any activity, though, you have to begin with the basics.

One way to help both yourself and your children is to do yoga together. By doing yoga after a nice morning shower one loosens their body up and gets their mind focussed for the day ahead. The routine of yoga and the physical and mental exercise is good for children, too. Even children need to learn to both recognize their stress and anxiety levels and work towards managing them. If parents don't teach such a valuable lesson to their children, who will? A doctor's prescription?

Doing yoga with your children has the added benefit of spending a bit of extra time with them. As well, you are working towards setting your children on a healthy, stress-manageable path.

There are many ways to get started with yoga. One possibility is enrolling in beginner's classes to get the routine and philosophy of yoga down. Another is to purchase one of the growing number of beginner's books out there. The creators of Yoga Journal have put out an excellent text called Yoga Journal's Yoga Basics which runs through both breathing techniques and a highly visual guide to the stretching routines. Check out your local bookstore to see what else is out there.

Yoga Online

Yoga Postures Step by Step
This site has an animated explanations of many positions. Very useful resources.

Yoga Paths
An Overview Of Different Schools and Traditions

Yoga Resources

Yoga Site
Information on publications, teachers, etc.

Yoga Journal
Information about the magazine.

Yoga Central
Products and information related to yoga.

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