Welcome to our Kids Yoga Lesson Planning 101 Free Training! Throughout this training we have learned how to put together engaging, successful, fun, and memorable kids yoga classes. Now we will learn how to build community.
Get all caught up here with the Most Important Parts Every Kids Yoga Class Needs:
Building Community comes toward the end of your kids yoga class. Everyone has had fun, learned a lot, and now it is time to bring the energy level down a little.
As a teacher, I know that it can be tempting to skip or rush this portion of class if you are feeling short on time. I encourage you to really make time for this building community portion of class. It is a very important part for your students as well as for you, their teacher.
As you begin to bring your yoga class to a close, it is important
and beneficial to reflect on all that you have learned and accomplished during
class. It makes the students feel stronger and more united as a class.
This is personally one of my favorite parts of class as it ties everything
together. The children share what they have learned and what they have enjoyed.
I love hearing about their favorite parts and often times I am surprised. Many
times it is not what I think such as mastering a difficult pose, but instead it
might be how they felt or how they connected with another student and maybe
made a new friend.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to Build Community in your Kids Yoga Classes. Give them a try. They love it and it truly begins to bring your class to a close.
Try these five heart-opening yoga valentine poses with children this Valentine holiday. These heart-opening exercises are especially beneficial for kids and adults who spend the majority of their day slouched in desks at school and work or with their heads bent over screens and books.
These exercises take only minutes and will help improve posture and release back and neck tension as well as create openness in your body and mind.
Cat to Cow Pose: Begin on your hands and knees. Next round your back and tuck your chin into your chest as if you are a cat. Then look up, arch your back and open your chest into Cow Pose. This is a great way to strengthen your spine and begin to feel your heart opening.
Updog Pose: Lie on your tummy. Place the palms of your hands next to your shoulders and look up. Slowly straighten your arms and open your chest. It is okay to keep arms bent as well.
The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards available on Amazon include 40 Heart Opening Yoga Poses, Balance Poses, and Partner Poses.
Bridge or Wheel Pose: Kids love trying to get into Wheel Pose, but this huge heart opener is not easily accessible for all. For an easier but still effective heart opener, try Bridge Pose. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Rest your arms alongside your body, tuck your chin into your chest, and lift your back to create a bridge.
Camel Pose: Take this pose slowly and feel your heart open. Get on your knees, lean back slowly, and place your hands on your lower back or ankles. Tilt your head back, open your chest, and breathe.
Bow Pose: Lie on your tummy, bend your knees, and lift your chest. Reach your arms back toward your toes and hold onto your feet. Let your heart shine!
Although 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 and dog pose.
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 The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards to help this game be even more successful and fun for kids.
Have the child think of an 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.
The next child then selects a card and everyone demonstrates the opposite of.
Continue around the circle until everyone has had a turn.
**If the child cannot think of what an opposite yoga pose, he or she can make one up or the group can help them think of one.
How many more opposite yoga poses can you think of? It is okay if the children (or you) do not know the name of the poses they are making. Just make them up and have fun!
A helpful tip is to look at the pose card and see what they can come up with. This is a fun game that allows collaboration and teamwork within the group. It is the simple act of moving their bodies in creative and different ways that will produce many benefits.
Congratulations! You have made it to the main part of your yoga class where you can introduce and teach poses to your students. Kids enjoy learning new yoga poses and often get excited about adding new ones to their repertoire.
How to Teach Yoga Poses to Kids
When teaching yoga poses to kids, I have found it helpful to group the yoga poses together by a theme. It is also helpful to only introduce 4-6 yoga poses per class. This really gives children the opportunity to practice the yoga poses and remember them outside of class.
I have found that concentrating on fewer poses in class allows the children to truly focus, pay more attention to correct form and achieve success. They will feel themselves getting stronger, longer and more flexible as they become more comfortable with the poses. Your theme-related yoga poses are also a great way to differentiate and accommodate for the varying needs of your class.
How to Introduce the Yoga Poses
When introducing the yoga poses, it is important to be excited about the poses and build anticipation. This is a great technique and you will have the kids in the palm of your hand and so excited to learn what the next pose will be.
Gather the children in a circle
Have some sort of seasonal bag or prop (colorful gift bag, basket, stocking cap, sand pail) that you have placed the 4-5 pose card visuals. I use The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards.
Call on a child to come and “draw out” the next pose.
Everyone practices the pose. Discuss what parts of your body you feel working and getting stronger.
Call on another child to draw out the next pose and practice.
Continue in this format until all of the poses have been drawn.
I like to give the students a “test.” Since I am a teacher they find this highly interesting and engaging. I call out a pose that we have learned and the students must get into it as quickly as they can. For younger ages, it is fine to show the Kids Yoga Pose Card to help them find success.
How to Teach Yoga Poses to School-Aged, Tweens, and Teens
After learning and practicing the yoga poses with older students, we will flow the poses together. Our yoga mats are already placed in a circle and I then place the yoga pose cards (that we just learned) in the center in the center in the circle and also order that we will flow. The children really enjoy this and they feel very grown-up.
They are definitely not too grown-up, however, when the Yoga Flow ends and it is time to practice the poses with a Yoga Game! Kids never ever want to pass up a yoga game!
Stay tuned for our favorite Kids Yoga Games in our Kids Yoga Lesson Planning 101 coming up next!
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: