Month: June 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

Teaching Yoga for Kids Ideas

Congratulations on taking the first steps toward changing kids lives in such a positive way! The benefits of yoga for kids are huge and Go Go Yoga Kids: Empower Kids for Life Through Yoga wants to help you plan and be prepared to teach yoga to kids. Be sure to read our previous post on ideas on where to find places to teach yoga to kids.

Setting Up Your First Yoga Classes for Kids:kids yoga class

When you are just starting out teaching kids yoga at a new location, it is good to offer a 6-8 week session. This is good for several reasons.

  • It doesn’t commit parents, the director, or yourself to a long term commitment.
  • This gives kids an opportunity to try something new, learn new skills, and recognize the benefits of yoga. They will become so hooked on yoga and will want to continue learning more after that first session!
  • It gives you, as the instructor, the opportunity to step back and evaluate how things went. What would you change for next time? Did the age groups work well? Evaluating after each class helps you improve, change, and build on what you have learned.

Stay tuned for the book release of Go Go Yoga Kids: Empower Kids for Life Through Yoga. This comple resource will have everything needed to know to go and start your kids yoga classes! In the meantime, for even more  yoga  games, tips and lesson plans sign up for our newsletter.

Mirror Mirror! More Fun Games to Practice Yoga Poses

Need fun new yoga games to play with kids? Sign up for our mailing list to receive 12 Bonus Yoga Games for Kids!

Mirror Mirror GameMirror Mirror is a fun yoga game that allows kids to practice yoga poses and take turns being the leader. I love this game for several reasons. First as a teacher and mom I know that kids learn best by doing as opposed to telling them about something or just showing them.

A lot of times adults get into the habit of just telling kids how they should do something without really giving them the opportunity to just do it  all by themselves.  With Mirror Mirror, one child gets to be the leader and their partner needs to follow them exactly. The leader needs to move very very slowly so their partner can keep up. It is almost as if you are looking into a mirror and seeing the movements happen at the same time.

I like to have the partners begin facing one another and model how slow they will move such as raising one hand and then the other, rolling their neck or looking up at the ceiling. Once they have that mastered they can begin moving slowing into cat/cow stretches, Warrior 1 or other poses that allow them to still face one another so they can keep track of what is happening.

By letting kids take a turn being in charge and making decisions on what poses they are going to do, allows a deeper level of understanding. It is the simple act of doing, rather than telling. Be sure to jump in and play along too. That makes it even extra special. How often do children get to lead and have adults follow?

For more fun yoga games to play with children check out Go Go Yoga Kids Games.

Sign up for our mailing list to receive 12 Bonus Yoga Games for Kids!

Its Opposite Yoga Day! Yoga Games for Kids

Yoga Pose OppositeAlthough the official Opposite Day has been declared on January 25, kids love to celebrate Opposite Day anytime. A fun way to do that is with the Opposite Yoga Pose Game.

Kids love this yoga game and it really stretches their minds as they think creatively and move their bodies in different ways. Kids don’t necessarily need to have an understanding of all the yoga poses to be able to play. Use my favorite Yoga Pose cards to help this game be even more successful and fun for kids.

How to play Opposite Yoga Poses:

Have the kids pick a card with a yoga pose on it. They then try to come up with the opposite yoga pose for it. For example, Down Dog Pose could be Boat Pose. Or Frog Pose would become Happy Baby Pose and  the opposite of Mountain Pose is a Headstand.

How many more can you think of? It is okay if the children do not know the name of the poses they are making. Just show them the card and see what they come up with. It is the simple act of moving their bodies in creative and different ways that will produce many benefits.

Want more fun and creative yoga games to play with kids? Sign up for our Go Go Yoga Kids newsletter and receive your free copy of 12 Easy to Play Yoga Games for Kids.

In the meantime check out Go Go Yoga Kids Games right here.

Where to Teach Yoga for Kids

Go Go Yoga Kids: Empower Kids for Life Through Yoga wants to help you plan and teach yoga to kids. I am so excited to share with you creative lessons and games that kids will love. Stay tuned to Go Go Yoga Kids!kids yoga class

The kids yoga teaching opportunities are definitely out there and will take a little effort, but the benefit for you (and the kids!) is lifelong. The following are a few of the places that offer yoga for kids or can be contacted about leading classes or workshops.

  • Parks and Recreation programs in your local area
  • Sports and Wellness centers, such as YMCA’s or other health clubs
  • Library programs
  • After school programs
  • Homeschool and co-op groups
  • Preschools
  • Daycares
  • Fairs/Festivals or other children’s events
  • Yoga studios
  • Churches
  • Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts
  • 4-H clubs

When I first wanted to teach yoga for kids, I started looking for locations to offer classes. I began with places where I already had a connection. One was a local health club where I was a member and the other was a nearby preschool that I’d had experience with. I called and set up a time to meet with the director of the youth programs. I was prepared with what I was going to say and brought along samples of the lessons I would use.

Good kids yoga teachers are a special find, and word will travel fast that you are equipped and passionate about reaching all different types of children through yoga. You are in a position to positively influence kids through yoga and introduce them to many lifelong skills and benefits. Read more here about making a difference in kids’ lives through yoga.

Go Go Yoga Kids is here to help you with all of this. Stay connected for more ideas on connecting kids to yoga.

Make a Difference: Introduce and Teach Yoga for Kids!

summer-2014-kids-yoga-lauging-buddhaGo Go Yoga Kids is passionate about getting you equipped with how to introduce and teach yoga for kids!

You don’t need to have a kids yoga certification or hours and hours of training and research. If you have a heart for kids and yoga, then you can definitely positive influence and make a difference in kids’ lives through yoga.  The benefits for the kids (and you!) are life-long!

More good news for kids and yoga is the research on the benefits of yoga and children keep pouring in. Yoga for kids is on the move. Don’t miss it!

Go Go Yoga Kids: Empowering Kids Through Yoga will take you step by step in planning and implementing fabulous lesson plans and ideas to get kids excited about yoga.

In the meantime, sign up for our Go Go Yoga Kids newsletter for updates, free lesson plan ideas and games to with the kids in your life! We look forward to sharing lots of ideas with you!

 

3 Active Yoga Poses You Can Do With Your Kids

Plank Cristobel GoodWhen many people think of yoga they imagine standing very still, holding a pose, and attempting to breathe. That is yoga, yes, but yoga is also full of active movement and strength building!

Here are 3 easy Yoga Poses that you can do with your kids. Anywhere! Anytime!

Plank Challenge:

Holding Plank Pose can be a love/hate relationship. With regular practice endurance does build up and it can be a lot more tolerable. Plank Pose is truly the perfect exercise as  every muscle in your body is working and will get stronger including your arms, core, and legs.

Begin by making sure you and your children are holding that perfect Plank Pose. This means having a straight line from the top of your head and all the way down your back. I like to tell my yoga students to pretend they have an imaginary glass of water on their back and they do not want it to spill. Hands should be directly below the shoulders.

Begin by holding The Plank together for 15 seconds. Count and make it fun. Build up to 30 seconds and finally, work up to a minute. This will happen over time and will become easier with daily practice. I like to give tips such as squeezing everything tight on your body including your legs and stomach. This will make you feel lighter and be able to hold the pose longer. Remember to breathe!

Plank Challenges are a wonderful exercise to do with someone else as we are better and stronger together!

Down Dog Hover:

This is another great exercise that will work many muscles. Hold a Down Dog Pose, then bring your knees to a hover without touching the ground. Next, extend out to Plank Pose, hold and then find your way back to Down Dog. Repeat this several times and notice the difference in how your body feels each time.

Wheelbarrow Races: wheelbarrow races

Remember these from long ago? Kids love them it and it is certainly an exercise that has been forgotten over time. Is this exactly a yoga move? Not entirely, but it incorporates the Plank Pose and is lots of fun! Have your child go into Plank Pose. Hold their legs and start walking. If you want, attempt to switch positions. This exercise is sure to bring a few laughs.

Have fun with these yoga poses with your kids and being active together!

 

How to Calm Little Minds: Yoga For Kids

Adults aren’t the only ones who are stressed. Yoga can also be used to help anxious kids and achieve many healthy benefits in the process . Learn simple poses and ideas to introduce and practice yoga at home with your kids.

Yoga for kids is becoming increasingly popular. It is showing up in school classrooms, daycares, sports, in addition to yoga studios and other health clubs. The physical benefits of yoga are lifelong and include flexibility, strength, and coordination. Yoga is also recognized as a relaxation technique and used to help combat anxiety in kids as well as adults.

Here is what Today’s Parent had to say on helping to calm little minds while practicing yoga.

 

Sneaky (Subtle) Ways to Settle Kids Down

savasanaMaybe the word “sneaky” sounds too conniving and calculated, but after an energetic and fun-filled kids yoga class or a busy day out and about, there is nothing better than settling children into a state of relaxation or savasana. Anyone who has ever worked with or  been around kids for approximately 30 seconds, knows that quieting kids is not always an easy task to do. These tips work great with kids at home or in a kids yoga class!

Read on for some simple tips that can make that important last bit of a kids yoga class all the more refreshing and relaxing. This is the perfect time that children can reap the benefits of their yoga class after working and moving their bodies in such a good and healthy way.

  1. Turn the lights down low if possible.
  2. Play slow and  calming music.
  3. Have children begin to lie on their backs as slowly as possible while counting down from 10.
  4. Have them bring their knees to their chest give themselves a big hug. They love this!
  5. Allow the kids to lay however they feel most comfortable; on their back, stomach or curled into a ball.
  6. Use phrases like, “be as still as a statue, ” or “quiet as a mouse” to help give kids a mental picture of how to pose and act.
  7. Depending on the situation, lightly rub the children’s’ backs. It is amazing the calm it brings and how much they respond to this little touch.

Call it a success, if you get stillness for even 10 seconds from your class or child at first! Savasana is something to build on with kids. Over time the duration will lenghten. It really does become a favorite part of class or nightly routine at home as they get to lie there and “do nothing.” The act of being totally present brings about so many benefits for kids.

More Easy Ways to Do Yoga at Home with Your Kids

Parents are busy. Kids are busy. Here is how you can get your yoga workout in AND have fun making memories with your kids. Sounds like a win-win situation to me! If you want more easy ideas on getting your kids involved with yoga see here.

Partner Up

Lizard on a Rock 2There are many fun yoga poses that can be done with adults and children. Look here for fun Partner Pose ideas that can be done with your kids.

 

Watch a Video

Not feeling too creative or need some fresh ideas? Check out a You Tube video. There are some fun videos you can find related to kids yoga. While there Subscribe to Go Go Yoga Kids for updates. We will be up and running there soon!

Use a Story:

This is one of my favorite ways to practice yoga with kids. I love reading aloud to my kids and I know how important that is. By reading a story to them they will receive the benefits of reading aloud AND practicing yoga! Here are some of my favorite read alouds that allow  opportunities to try some yoga poses.

Feel like you have those ideas mastered or need some additional inspiration? For more ideas look at our post on even more ways to incorporate yoga, kids, and home.

Even MORE Benefits of Yoga for Kids!

triangleWhy should children practice yoga?  There are so many reasons to introduce kids to yoga and the benefits keep rolling in! Be sure to check out our previous Fab Four Benefits of Yoga for Kids. Here are even more that you don’t want to miss.


 1. Yoga Boosts Confidence

Yoga makes you feel good which increases confidence. I see this all the time in my kid yoga classes when a child is able to master a pose they have been working on or see their flexibility and balance improve, it is amazing what it does to their confidence. You can literally see them step out of the yoga class, standing up straighter and more self-assured. They are also more calm, poised, and self-assured in their abilities for not only in the next class but throughout their daily activities. The more you practice yoga, the better you feel.

2. Promotes Health and Stress Management

Yoga is a physical activity that releases happy endorphins. When you leave a yoga class you feel good inside and out, and you want to maintain that feeling.  Yoga also improves your digestive system with the twisting, moving, inverting, and holding poses. Breathing exercises also help calm kids which gives them the tools to use when they are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. Instead of kids logging more hours in front of a screen yoga promotes health and positive activity.

3. Builds Positive Peer and Social InteractionsHuman Knot. From above. Girls

Everyone is unique and special in their own way, and we all come from different places and backgrounds. No yoga pose looks the same from person to person, child or adult. With yoga, we celebrate and respect the differences as we try new postures and poses. Kids enjoy working with each other in partner and group poses and achieving success together. Yoga is also about encouraging one another and promoting acceptance, trust, kindness and empathy.

4. Sparks Creativity and Expression

Yoga Kids classes are fun and engaging as we move in and out of games, stories, and songs while learning new poses and practicing as a group. Often yoga kids classes are centered on a theme to help them learn about new places and concepts. Yoga also helps kids be free, creative, and express themselves. Not only is this fun, but yoga also encourages kids to use their imaginations to try new things in a safe environment and to not take themselves too seriously.

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