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the yogi parent or education as a new spirituality

IA few days ago, while I was taking my eldest son back to school after he had had braces fitted, I happened to come across a blue storefront in a small street in the northeast of Paris. that caught my attention: Le Souffle de Jourdain. Under the name of the establishment, housed in a former hammam, three keywords summed up its programmatic ambition: “Yoga”, “Parenting”, “Children’s activities”. In its own way, this place of “sharing and exchange”which offers at variable rates from “prenatal yoga”from “postnatal yoga with baby”from parent-child yogadraws the softened contours of a certain spirit of the times, where the position of the “dog upside down” has become a kind of new truism.

To say that yoga is in vogue today is an understatement. The Covid-19 epidemic, with its repeated confinements, has been accompanied by an explosion in the practice, seen as a good way to relieve stress without resorting to anxiolytics. A craze that is part of a longer-term trend: as underlined by a May 2021 study 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 their carpet under their arm, the new chic consists in knowing someone who does not do yoga.

Hard, hard, you say. Especially since the children came to swell this mass of converts. A few years ago, when I was taking my youngest son to the musical awakening, I remember being surprised when I saw a little boy adopting the lotus position on his own, and taking deep breaths, presumably to to calm down. While this child was old enough to play tag while screaming, he seemed on the contrary to be on the path to samadhi, that illumination promised to those who achieve total concentration of the mind. Faced with so much early wisdom, one would almost have wanted to show him the photos of mischievous children à la Doisneau, or even to write a mini-guide for him entitled “Les Bêtises pour les Dummies” (potentially marketed by Editions First).

benevolent ambition

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 commodified new age: Children’s Yoga. Practice while having fun, relax easily (The Book Courier), Yoga through play (Bordas), 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 practice.

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