Now, grab your Kids Yoga Lesson Planning 101 Guide and jump right in!
Part 3: Sun Salutations for Kids & Connect With Breath
After you and your students have focused on their Breathing Exercises, you can begin Part 3 of your Kids Yoga class with Sun Salutations.
The Sun Salutation portion of a yoga class and is wonderful for warming up the whole body. It is also exciting because your kids yoga students are now ready to connect their breath with this movement.
Keep it Familiar
I like to keep
the Sun Salutations relatively similar for each class. Familiarity builds
confidence. Similar to adults, kids like to feel as if they are in control and
can really pay attention to their breath and movement during the Sun
Salutations if they are comfortable and familiar with the flow.
Sunrise to Sunset
I like to use the analogy of sunrise to sunset with I introduce Sun Salutations to kids. They breathe in and raise their hands above their heads for the sunrise and the dive forward on the exhale over their toes for the Sunset.
At the end of our Sun Salutations, we talk about how we feel stronger, lighter and more focused. This simple exercise is a wonderful way to get their bodies warm and ready for the next Active Movement portion of the class.
After the first part of your Kids Yoga Class which is The Welcome, the next portion involves helping your students slow down and become aware of their breath and how their bodies feel. This is not as easy as it sounds!
When I first started practicing yoga, I used to believe yoga was only about the movement and holding poses. I quickly learned that your breath is actually more important than the poses. If you can hold the pose, but aren’t taking the long deep breaths, then you are actually not doing yoga. It is the breathing that makes it yoga. On the other hand, you could lie in Child’s Pose and breathing for an entire yoga class and that would be yoga.
Breathing with purpose during yoga lets you hold the pose longer and feel stronger while holding it. In addition to this, breathing deeply and consciously helps to strengthen the nervous system, calm anxiety as well as settle into the class and be in the moment.
Kids, however, do not care about any of the above! Therefore it can be difficult to teach children to become aware of their breath. Kids are busy and wiggly, so it is important that you bring these breathing exercises to their level and interest.
Do not worry, we have you covered! There are several ways to practice mindful breathing in a yoga class, but the main goal is to make the children aware while slowing down their bodies and their breath. This is done through child-friendly breathing exercises.
Fall is in the air! One of the things that I truly love about living in the midwest is the change of seasons. I truly do appreciate the changing trees and landscape that each new season brings. As soon as you get tired of the heat, snow, or rain, then the season begins to magically transform into a new one.
I love incorporating the change of seasons with my kids yoga classes. Kids enjoy the seasonal themes with the poses, breathing exercises, and yoga games. By having a theme, it truly helps the children connect with and retain with what they are learning.
Get your free Kids Yoga Fall Fun Lesson Plan below. Learn many Fall themed yoga poses, find out how to play the fun yoga game “Wind in the Trees” as well as create spooky Down Dog Tunnels and partner poses.
For this kids yoga lesson plan, I use the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards. These pose cards provide a great visual for the yoga poses as well as the partner yoga poses.
Enjoy a few pictures of a recent Jump into Fall Kids Yoga Class that I led.
Look at these Happy Fall trees!
Check out our Partner Bats
Have you ever seen such a lovely Fall leaf? (Partner Pose)
It is much more fun to try to balance with a pumpkin on your head!
Interested in more kids yoga lesson plans? Our bestselling Go Go Yoga for Kids resources includes hundreds of kids yoga lesson plans, games, poses, mindfulness exercises and much more. Learn more.
“She is constantly disrupting the flow of the class.”
These are just a few of the statements that I hear from many of you time and time again. I hear you! I understand. Teaching children is all about how to keep kids interested, engaged, challenged, and motivated. This means they are not acting up and spoiling it for the other kids. I get that. I have been there!
After 20 years of teaching in the school classroom and leading thousands of kids yoga classes, I have a pretty good idea what works for keeping your class running seamlessly.
How to Keep Children Engaged in Yoga Class
Keep the Energy Level Varied
When I teach yoga to children, my lesson plans include activities for varied energy levels. That is a good thing! I promise! I like to begin my classes at a low energy level which means settling into class, focusing on our breath and being calm and mindful.
Next, I move into the next parts of my kids yoga lesson plans which include Active Movement, Themed Yoga Poses, Yoga Games, and Yoga Challenge which require a mid- to high-energy level. Finally, I like to bring the level back down with our Community Building, Mindfulness, Savasana. Kids do really well with this type of pacing in a yoga class and this helps quite a bit with any classroom management issues. If you want to know more about the exact breakdown of my Kids Yoga Lesson Plan, our bestselling Go Go Yoga for Kids: A Complete Guide to Yoga with Kidstakes you through the exact step by step lesson planning breakdown and no-fail formula.
Keep Things Moving
I cannot stress this one enough. There is a reason that there are 9 components in the Go Go Yoga for Kids yoga class plan. That may seem like a lot, but each component only lasts a few minutes each. Each part is done specifically with a purpose. It begins with welcoming the children to class, introducing the themed yoga poses, and community building. Each part is important to the overall structure and flow of class and this definitely helps engage students. Plus familiarity and routine help build confidence with kids. That is what we want…confident kids!
Continue moving forward. I know class management can be the number one challenge in working with kids, but always continue learning and revamping. By having a plan in the place will help you stay on track, but remember to be in the moment and have fun with the kids as well. Stick with it. Keep coming back and learning and growing. Just think of the difference you are making in the lives of the children you know and love.
Get ready for the holidays with these quick, fun and easy winter yoga poses you can do with your kids this season. Learn how to practice your Winter Breath during our breathwork exercises. Then go sledding, bake gingerbread cookies. decorate the tree, be like Santa and his reindeer, and finally become a melting icicle. All of this with yoga poses! Definitely lots of fun for kids of all ages.
Are you ready to learn how to teach yoga and mindfulness to children?
You are in the right place. Kids yoga lesson planning is my jam. After nearly 20 years of classroom teaching experience and preparing over a thousand kids yoga classes, I know a thing or two about creating engaging and effective lesson plans. Having a plan in place will help your class run seamlessly with a flow and a purpose.
I used to spend hours planning just one kids yoga class before I felt ready to teach it. For those of you who love going to adult yoga classes, you may be wondering, how hard can it be to plan a kids class? It seems like it should be easy enough. Teach the kids some poses, flow them together, and then everyone ends up on their backs in a peaceful bliss known as Savasana. That’s all you need to know, right?
Wrong. Well, not entirely wrong. Kids yoga and adult yoga are similar in that they both include breathing, practicing poses, and end with relaxation, but that is where the similarities stop.
Kids yoga is busy. We are moving, breathing, and interacting with one another pretty much the entire time. That’s why it would take me hours to plan a single kids yoga class. First, I needed an age-appropriate theme, creative breathing exercises (to make breathwork NOT boring), movement, games, challenges, and relevant mindfulness exercises. That was just the beginning!
Don’t forget that you also have to keep everyone engaged, on task, and having fun while practicing yoga and mindfulness. This was never an easy task.
I have cracked the code on the exact proven method of how to effectively teach yoga to children. With this step-by-step guide in place, your kids yoga classes will be fun, engaging, memorable, and effective.
And you can begin lesson-planning right from the comfort of lotus position, downward-facing dog, or your couch because it’s all online.