First Steps in Teaching Yoga to Kids

First Steps in Teaching Yoga to Kids

First Steps in How to Teach Yoga to Kids:

Discover how to teach a child yoga class with these simple steps.

How can I get started teaching yoga to children?

What are the best ways to teach yoga to different ages of kids?

Help! I need some mindfulness games that I can try at home with my child.

how to teach yoga to kids
photo cutesy of Sara J. Weis

Are you curious about how to handle the controversy of practicing yoga in schools? What about using the word Namaste?  My friend Catharine, over at Mindfulness Teachers, got to the bottom of these questions and many more in her interview. Find out the answers to these questions and much more on her First Steps to Teaching Yoga to Kids Series.

kids yoga books
Brand New! Go Go Yoga for Kids E-Store: Find all of your favorite Kids Yoga Lesson Plans and Resources. Receive your purchase immediately.

Kids yoga is a non-competitive activity that allows them to have fun and exist outside of the daily stresses of life. It helps children learn about themselves by being present and mindful in their bodies.

When I teach kids yoga, the emphasis is on creativity and having fun as they pretend to be a cat, tree, superhero, or wherever the poses and their imaginations lead them. While learning the yoga basics they are also discovering how the poses make them feel.

Through yoga, children will experience body awareness, empowerment, and ways to slow down and be in the moment, all in a safe and fun environment. Each new year and stage of development brings with it a unique excitement and challenge.

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How to Use Mantras and Moving Meditation with Kids

How to Use Mantras and Moving Meditation with Kids

We live in a fast-paced world and so do our children. How can we, as adults and teachers, help children connect with themselves and others and also  enjoy the moments that we are in?

What we think about ourselves can often impact how we develop.

  • If we feel we are inadequate, then we’ll behave like that.
  • If we believe we are special and loved, we will most likely behave as if we are special and loved.

This is one reason why affirmations and mantras can be an important tool to help children develop positive foundations on which to grow.  A positive self-belief system built in childhood will hopefully stay with a person throughout their life.

What are Mantras?

The word ‘mantra’ comes from Sanskrit, and is generally used to mean a special word or phrase that’s used in meditation. Some parents and teachers may be concerned that mantras conflict with their religious beliefs, but mantras don’t need to have a religious aspect or overtone.

You can think of mantras as a few positive words spoken to ourselves each day. This can make such a difference to our whole mind and heart.

Mantras are similar to affirmations, and over time they can help change the way we feel. Mantras are repeated over and over to ourselves out loud or silently. It’s a wonderful technique for kids to use to set themselves up for doing their best and feeling good about themselves and their efforts.

Providing different tools for children to practice mindfulness with mantras, breathing exercises, and yoga poses is one of my passions. 

As I developed the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards, I wanted to be sure to include all the important tools.

Each card shows a yoga pose and corresponding mantra. Each of the yoga poses involves a variety of muscles working and may make a person feel differently.  The accompanying affirmation for each pose is short and memorable.

kids yoga challenge pose cards
The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards

How to Use Mantras in Kids Yoga Classes

Try a few yoga poses with children. As they are holding each pose, ask them what muscles they feel working and also how does it make them feel.  

This practice involves mindfulness since it is not only what they feel working in their body, but how the pose makes them feel, i.e. strong, brave, or peaceful. For example, Warrior 1 Pose may make them feel strong, but Child’s Pose may make them feel safe.

mantras for children
Our popular online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training includes lesson plans and additional instructions on how to effectively use mantras with kids.

Then you can teach them a simple phrase, which they can remember in a stressful moment or a time of unease. Effective mantras for kids could be: “I am thankful,” “I am loved,” “I am safe,” or “Let it go,” which is also a great one for adults.

Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards
Each of The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards includes a Mantra with each yoga pose.
Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards
Kids love to Partner Yoga Poses! These partner poses are included in our Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards.

Conclusion: A Winning Combination

It is no secret that many children learn best when they are moving. As a school teacher and children’s yoga instructor, I understand that when movement and affirmations are tied together, it can be a powerful way to help children learn.  

Combining mantras with yoga poses has several benefits:

  • It helps children focus and concentrate;  
  • It helps them learn to respect their bodies and one another;  
  • It helps them quiet their minds and connect with each other; and
  • Most importantly, mantras help them create inner confidence as children, which can help shape a person’s whole life.

Are you ready to learn more about teaching yoga to children? Our popular online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training includes everything you need to know to successfully learn how to teach yoga to children online and in person. Perfect for home, school and studio.

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The Best of Kids Yoga

The Best of Kids Yoga

Happy New Year! It has been a wonderful year for Go Go Yoga for Kids. We have loved bringing the joy and fun of yoga to thousands of others through our Kids Yoga Lesson Plan Books, Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards, App, and most importantly our online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training. We have now certified over 3500 people from all over the world and are sharing the love and joy of kids yoga with others.

I have always loved reflecting on the year and thinking about how we can help even more others in the next year. I am also such a fan of “Year-End Reviews” and “Best of” Lists. So without much further ado…

Here are your Top Kids Yoga Favorite Posts from this year:

5. Kids Need Yoga! Don’t Miss These 7 Super Benefits of Yoga for Children

4. Simple Ways to Get Children to Listen (that you haven’t tried)

3. Mini Yoga Brain Breaks for Kids

kids yoga class
“The Light in Me Sees the Light in You. Namaste” at a recent kids yoga class

2. How to Create an Epic Kids Yoga Obstacle Course

1.The Top 5 Secrets to Teaching Yoga to Kids

yoga game
Children Love Practicing Their Poses with Yoga Games

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Announcing an Amazing Year with Go Go Yoga for Kids

Announcing an Amazing Year with Go Go Yoga for Kids

I know I am not alone is saying that we are ready to put this year to rest. 2020 has been challenging, but we must also think of the positives and the many blessings, growth and changes that have come from this year of uncertainty and change. 2020 has been an exciting year for Go Go Yoga for Kids! Thank you for being a part of it!

happy new year from Go Go Yoga for Kids

Highlights of Go Go Yoga for Kids in 2020

Our newest book Yoga Games & Activities for Children was released and immediately hit #1 New Release on Amazon.

Our bestselling Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards got a fun diverse refresh. These popular pose cards include 40 yoga poses, mantras for mindfulness & partner poses. They continually sell out on Amazon so we  also created a digital and printable set for extra ease.

We opened up our first Yoga for Kids Store where you can easily download all copies of our books & lesson plans.

Our popular Kids Yoga Pose Bingo Game was updated to include  more diversity of boys, girls and skin tones, caller cards as well as directions on how to play with kids.

We were excited to be part of a Virtual Summer Camp that proved that Kids Yoga CAN be taught virtually and is tons of fun!

Our first ever Free Kids Yoga Summer Games Series introduced thousands of children and adults to the fun, playfulness, and benefits that yoga can bring to all ages. It was so much fun that we have had requests to bring it back again next Summer! New games and lesson plans are currently in the works!

Go Go Yoga for Kids Online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training

Our popular online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training continues to grow and expand with expansions of how to teach virtually, full-length kids yoga class examples, even more lesson plans and the best management techniques for teaching children.

Thousands from all over the world have become certified in teaching yoga and mindfulness to children through Go Go Yoga for Kids. We are so thankful to all of our teachers!

If you have ever had a thought about how wonderful it would be to teach yoga to children, I would love to speak with you more. It is one of the best decisions that I have ever made and is one that continues to positively impact children for years to come. Contact me at sara@gogoyogakids.com and I would love to hear from you!

Now is the perfect time to help give children something that they truly need and will make a lifelong difference in their lives!

best of kids yoga

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Best Practices in Teaching Yoga to Kids

Best Practices in Teaching Yoga to Kids

“Yoga makes you feel good inside and out and it is also fun! It is form of active movement and exercise that really works with kids.” Sara J. Weis of Go Go Yoga for Kids

What are the best practices in teaching yoga to children? How has teaching yoga to children changed over the years? These are just a few questions and more that are answered. I was honored to be interviewed by Catharine Hannay of Mindful Teachers.

In this Mindful Teachers Q+A, Sara discusses what she’s learned from the coronavirus crisis, as well as from her 20+ years teaching kids.

stillness and savasana
Surprisingly, Stillness & Savasana often becomes a favorite part of their kids yoga class. Learn more about how to plan engaging, fun, and memorable kids yoga classes in our free Kids Yoga Lesson Planning 101 Training.

In an earlier post, you shared The Top Three Breathing Exercises for Anxious Kids. What are some additional ways parents and teachers can help kids handle uncertainty and anxiety?

We are in time of such uncertainty and change. It is important for kids and parents to recognize their feelings and understand that it is ok to not always be ok. Take a moment and recognize those undesirable feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, and depression and then move on.

Here are some easy ways to do that with your family:

  • Establish and build a new routines and schedules as quickly as possible. Our schedules are so now different now and even though the days feel the same, they are not. This can cause additional anxiety. 
    • Have children go to bed and wake up at the same time.
    • Create established learning/school time; and
    • Build in time for physical activity. Include simple mindfulness times, for example through a mindfulness game. 
  • Finally, practice and express gratitude daily. 
    • My family does this every night at dinner. We share what we are thankful for and why. This is simple, but effective, and takes the focus off our ourselves and our uncertainties.

Find out more here about my thoughts on some controversy of using the word Namaste and practicing yoga in schools as well as easy to make adaptations for children with mental and physical disabilities.

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We Need Yoga for Anxiety Now More Than Ever

We Need Yoga for Anxiety Now More Than Ever

We are currently living in a time of high uncertainty with news of the Coronavirus Pandemic and required social distancing. This is leaving us increasingly anxious about the unknown, the future, and these unprecedented times. As parents and caregivers, we need to be taking into account the children in our lives and how they are being affected as well with yoga for anxiety. 

In these times of stress and turmoil, we understandably cannot eliminate the anxiety, but we can help manage it in some positive ways. This includes modeling and helping the kids we love and care about.

We all need the physical and mental benefits that yoga for anxiety can bring. It doesn’t need to be an in-depth long practice, but just by some conscious breathing or calming poses can help make a positive difference in how you feel.

Simple Tips on Managing Stress & Anxiety With Kids

  1. Be intentional about slowing your breath. You can do this with children in fun kid-friendly ways. Here are our Top 3 Breathing Exercises for Anxious Kids.
  2. Practice a few grounding and centering yoga poses together as a family. Try these relaxing and centering ideas.
  3. Teach kids what they CAN control. They can control good hygiene, handwashing, and getting fresh air and exercise. This helps get those positive endorphins pumping through their bodies. It also helps them feel a little more in control. We love these Active Movement ideas; guaranteed to get hearts pumping and smiles on faces.
  4. Think outside yourself. Taking action and helping others is always a good anxiety decreaser and mood booster. Grab some extra groceries for someone who may be shut-in. Smile at others when you are out and about. Be kind. Be patient. Be thankful for all of the nurses, doctors and professionals who are doing all they can in this time of need.

It is okay to worry! Allow yourself time to acknowledge those feelings, but don’t let it consume you and steal your time and joy. Let’s all do our best to stay healthy, positive and unified in these unprecedented times.

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