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Don’t lockdown the fun – mumbai guide

Of the many joys that the virus has robbed all of us of, one of the most heartbreaking things remains a whole year of childhood for school-going children. As playing games in the central public garden, chasing paper boats in the rain or even interacting with their peers becomes a physically distanced reality for kids, a Delhi-based duo is trying to shine a ray of hope in these bleak times.

The brainchild of gym instructor Ravi Chauhan, supported by certified yoga instructor Nikita Chauhan, online platform Virtually Fit for Kids has created a whole module of physical training activities that not only merges fun with fitness but also ensures the mental well-being of children.

What is unique about the project is that the activities — dance sessions, kickboxing or yoga — are not just restricted to the little ones, but also go the extra mile to involve parents, making each session super special.

Nikita Chauhan and Ravi Chauhan
Nikita Chauhan and Ravi Chauhan

Founder and kickboxing coach Ravi shares, “The lockdown is rough for children who haven’t had any physical activity or motivation. While many parents were hesitant at first, raising doubts about whether online physical fitness would be beneficial to their kids considering factors like screen fatigue, we have had a positive response so far.”

Nikita adds how the routines and workouts have been designed to work on mindfulness and posture. “When we realised that the Coronavirus wasn’t going away any time soon, getting children involved in physical activities, and helping them integrate the concept of fitness became important.”

Shedding light on one such recent activity, Yoga with your favourite toy, she shares how kids not only learned several yoga poses but also introduced themselves and their toys during the session to other participants. Another popular session was Kickboxing with Dad and I, where the children with their fathers transformed into ninjas to fight off alien forces by throwing kicks and punches.

Similarly, Yoga with Mom involved postures like holding hands and hugging to help them experience the security of touch in a world where it is increasingly becoming a form of danger. The dance sessions involve grooving to the tunes of pop songs. The recent Beiber Fever was a major hit among the attendees.

Emphasising how mindfulness also translates into other activities, Nikita shares, “We also held a class where the kids were asked to pay close attention to their breathing patterns and then draw them in waves on a sheet of paper. We also have an ongoing mindfulness challenge where every child has to do one mindful activity a day.”

These activities can range from hugging their mom, drawing a picture for their dad, watching a flower closely to listening to the sounds outside. “At a time when it is easier to recede into a shell and cut off from the rest of the world, our goal is to keep children engaged with their environment even while being at home,” she adds.

Attendees who are keen to learn postures like headstands or handstands are given one-on-one extra classes.

Log on to @virtually.fitkids on Instagram
Cost Rs 1105 for eight sessions

Key to being fit and healthy

£If you sense that your child is experiencing anxiety or a stiff neck, sit with them, hold their hand and take long breaths to calm them down.

£Engage your kid in one mindful activity a day.

£Draw your feelings together. Sketch things that make you happy.

£Use affirmations.

£Monitor the consumption of media. Avoid using words that strike fear or have negative connotations at home.

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