Month: March 2016

Ready. Set. Go GoYoga Kids Obstacle Course

I love creating new games to use in my Yoga Kids classes. Kids naturally love to play games, it gets them moving and leads to laughter and fun which helps build community. Games are also the perfect way to practice all of the fun yoga poses that the kids have been learning.

Yoga Obstacle Course: Kids LOVE this game and is one of my favorite ways to get kids moving! Use whatever objects you have available to make an obstacle course.

  • Hula hoops laid on the ground to do high knees through
  • Jump ropes laid parallel so kids can jump across them like a river
  • Cones to jump over or hop to
  • Yoga blocks for stepping stones

The ideas are endless for using creating different obstacles.    Place the objects in a large circle with a yoga mat and pose cards after each obstacle. The kids move around the obstacle course and perform the yoga poses that are shown on cards and hold for 5 breaths or 30 seconds. This is also fun to do to music.

Let’s Get Upside Down! How to Safely Teach Headstands For Yoga Kids

Inversions are the act of putting your heart above your head or going upside down.  Children find inversions like headstands exciting and thrilling but often their teachers are a little children yoga poseshesitant to include them into their yoga class lesson plans.

Headstands: I really like this simple order to teach and show kids how to do a headstand. I have also helped many kids achieve a tripod or headstand with the simple tip of placing your hands in front of your head to gain more leverage and balance.

  1. Place mat against the wall.
  2. Place the very top flat part of your head on your mat. The back of the head should be against the wall.
  3. Place your hands in front of your head so you are able to see all 10 fingers. This gives more space for balancing.
  4. Go into a Tripod pose first. Lift your legs slowly.
  5. Flex your feet so they are flat as if stamping the wall.
  6. Pull core tight and utilize the wall for support if needed.

Use the wall when teaching handstands as well. Many people don’t think about using a wall but knowing it is there if needed and having the extra support can build confidence. My own kids, who are not gymnastically inclined, loved kicking up into a handstand against the wall in our living room.

Remember that safety is crucial when teaching inversions. There will always be some students that will try to whip right into a headstand as soon as you say the word but you must be ready for that and have them watch first. Take the students through the pose step by step and allow them to see the proper technique so they can practice correctly and safely.

Yoga Isn’t for Grown-ups Anymore!

Girls Group airplane

It is harder than ever to be a kid in today’s world. Many kids’ schedules become quickly overloaded and as they are involved in multiple sports, music and other interests outside of school. Not only are there such demands on their time, but the pressure (not always on purpose) is  put on them to be successful with what they are spending their time on. Now toss in the quickly changing technology, social engagements and family time and you have kids that are constantly being bombarded from all directions.

Kids need an outlet. They need to get away from it all, be mindful, intentional and develop skills that will benefit them throughout their life. Yoga provides just that!

Yoga is a skill that can help benefit all kids, no matter what they are involved in and regardless of age or ability. The benefits of kids yoga are incredibly numerous. Not only does it promotes physical strength because kids learn to use their muscles in new ways and balance their bodies but it also helps kids become aware of not only their own body but the world around them. Yoga is a great skill to consider introducing kids to.

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