By Karen Borta, CBS 11 NewsBy Karen Borta

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Many turn to yoga to help relax and get into shape. But some practitioners say the benefits of yoga also extend to children, and many youngsters seem to agree.

Their instructor is Taylor Yoss. She loves teaching yoga, but she won’t be found leading adult classes: She only teaches yoga to children. Her class is called “Yogees, Yoga 4 Kids.” She said teaching yoga to kids has its challenges.

“A yoga class for kids has to be engaging for the entire 45 minutes,” Yoss said. “They almost have to think they’re not really doing yoga.”

So Yoss incorporates story time into her sessions by having her Yogees act out scenes from the books she reads during class. It’s exercise that doesn’t really seem like exercise, Yoss said.

“This is helping them lengthen their muscles and strengthen their arms and work on balance and flexibility, and all in a way that they don’t necessarily know what they’re doing,” says Yoss.

Perhaps the best part: Most of the kids enrolled seem to enjoy it.

“It’s really awesome because I like the butterfly pose,” said four-year-old Isabella Bassman, who has been taking the class since last year.

Zoe Golden’s favorite part: “When you do the cat pose, and it’s really relaxing when you bend down like that,” she says.

Yoss says relaxation is an important skill for children to learn, and they get that through yoga.

“We know it helps them stay focused, and we know from (watching) today, kids have a very hard time staying focused, working on their balance and flexibility. All those things; strength, balance, and flexibility? It’s not just about our bodies, it’s about our mental attitude as well,” Yoss said.

“Yogees, Yoga 4 Kids” is taught in several locations around Dallas. For more information, click here.

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