I understand. I am right with you! You love yoga. You enjoy kids. What could be so different about teaching yoga to children compared to taking or leading an adult yoga class? There are definitely similarities between the two with breathing exercises, poses and ending with rest and relaxation, but that is where similarities end. Kids yoga is busy. We are moving, breathing, and interacting with one another pretty much the entire time.
Read on for three important things to keep in mind while introducing yoga to children.
Here are just a few secrets about teaching yoga to children:
Kids Yoga is Not Adult Yoga
Kids are obviously not adults, and they will not behave like adults. As obvious as this may seem, I really want you to understand. Kids are not going to follow every pose in a structured Vinyasa flow type adult class. Kids are busy, spontaneous, and they love engaging with one another. My kids yoga lesson plans always contain 9 proven and important components. That may seem like a lot, but this keeps the kids active, engaged, learning, and in the moment.
Ease Up on the Alignment
Don’t take this the wrong way. Above all, be safe but not picky. Demonstrate the pose yourself or with yoga pose cards. But be aware that if you spend a majority of time making sure Venya has a complete 90 degrees with their leg in Warrior 1 or that Dylan’s Plank Pose includes a perfectly flat back, you will lose the attention and enthusiasm of the kids. Yoga is a continued practice. Children, like adults, will continue to learn and grow with the poses and their practice.
Yoga is a Life-Long Journey
There is a reason that yoga is referred to as a practice. There is no such thing as perfection in yoga. By introducing yoga to children you are helping to give them the skills they will have for life.
I know you can do this. Are you wondering how you can even begin? If you are ready to dip your toes into learning about how to teach yoga to children, then I recommend Go Go Yoga for Kids: A Complete Guide to Yoga with Children. This book covers in great detail about the important 9 components of a successful kids yoga class. It will completely prepare you to teach successful and memorable kids yoga classes.
If you are ready to dive in deeper with your learning, our online Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Training is the perfect place to find out everything you need to know about teaching yoga and mindfulness to children complete with teaching videos, guides, class management, lesson plans, yoga pose cards and much more. Learn more here.
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It was such a pleasure to be invited to lead a Kids Yoga and Mindfulness in the Preschool Classroom workshop for early childhood educators about yoga for preschoolers in the Dallas, Texas area.
Our 2.5 hour teacher workshop included tips and resources for teachers to be able to implement right away into their classrooms this school year.
Here are just a few of the topics we covered:
- Breathing and calming exercises that truly work with this young age group
- How to utilize movement and yoga during classroom transition times
- The best yoga poses for these young growing bodies
- Incorporating yoga and mindfulness into existing preschool themes
- Classroom yoga games and mindfulness exercises
- The best read aloud books for this early childhood age group
- How to bring about stillness and relaxation within the classroom
These Texas teachers were engaged, enthusiastic, and ready to bring mindfulness into yoga for preschoolers.
All attendees received a copy of Go Go Yoga for Kids: Yoga Lessons for Children and The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards.
If you liked this, you may enjoy learning about our Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Online Teacher Training.
Learn more here.
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When I would hear about making time for self care and what makes me happy, a little voice in my head would say; well that sounds a little selfish.
Who was I a busy mom of 3, a school teacher, and kids yoga instructor to be taking time out for myself? I had kids to raise, educate, and inspire. I have things to do. All the time.
Over time, that voice has quieted. I have found that by taking moments for simple things such as sunrise yoga, taking a walk after dinner, and reading aloud to my son at night while our puppy lies between us; brings me joy.
Through this time, I have reaffirmed how much I truly desire to help others discover the joy and techniques of how to teach yoga to children. That makes me happy. We never stop learning and we can definitely learn from one another. That is why I started an online community of others who desire the same. Together we can make a difference.
Want to be a part of our Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Training community? Join our free private Facebook Group here.
Look at some of our products which have helped others like you find joy teaching yoga to children.
I had the honor to guest post over at Mindful Teachers.
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 learn to enjoy the moment they 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.
Continue reading here.
How many physical activities can your child be a part of that allows them to progress and move at their own rate? Yoga is a life long practice. The sooner children learn poses and breathing exercises, the longer they will be able to reap the benefits.