Introducing and teaching yoga to children is one of my favorite things to do. I love coming up with new and different ideas on how to actively and effectively engage children with yoga. I want them to learn, be engaged, and have fun. As I am fully aware, an adult yoga class is not like a kids yoga class. Adults do yoga for many different reasons including all of the mental and physical benefits. Kids on the other hand, will definitely receive these benefits, but in the beginning their main desire to learn and try some new things and above all to have fun!
Kids learn, and respond differently than adults and having an understanding of where children are coming from will give you an insight into how to reach them. I want more than anything for you to successfully introduce the wonderful world of yoga to children.
I know you have some pretty amazing ideas for introducing yoga and mindfulness to children! Nothing can be as disheartening as not the kids not responding or listening. Kids need yoga and mindfulness today. They need you!
Having a few techniques and strategies up your sleeve will help get and keep your students’ attention. Learn how to deal with a child that doesn’t listen.
Important Note:To help keep their effectiveness, please do not overuse one idea.
Use What You Have
Look around you! What in your surroundings do you have that you can use to your a
advantage to help get your students’ attention? I love utilizing the lights in my classroom and it works amazingly well to get everyone’s focused and ready for what we are doing next. A lot of times after a large group active movement or busy activity or game, I like to dim the lights which then automatically brings the energy back down. I also like to dim
the lights or turn them off for the beginning of our Building Community section of the class and definitely the Stillness and Savasana at the end.
I am also very fond of using the Whisper Technique. If you get quieter, they will get quieter as well. Try this. It really works with those younger ages.
Use Nonverbal Cues
Kids really respond well to nonverbal cues. It can be easy to tune out someone’s voice if you are hearing it for a long period of time. This is true for adults as well! Having a non-verbal cue that is age-appropriate is an easy and wonderful way to get your students’ attention. Raise your hands in a way such as peace fingers raised, hands in mudra, or hands-on head etc. when you want to get everyone’s attention. They will then follow suit when they see this action. I also love the fact that when children are doing something with their hands; they aren’t touching one another! This is a favorite way of how to deal with a child that doesn’t listen
My favorite! I love love love using props in my kids’ yoga classes to help get and keep students attention. Balls, puppets, scarves, bells, books, anything seasonal related and I am popping it into my kids’ yoga bag to take along to my classes. One item that I use every single class is The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards. I select 4-6 poses that we are going to work on in class and they provide a wonderful visual for practicing and for games.
Keep in mind that yoga props can be things that you have at home. Preschool-aged kids respond well to stuffed animals whispering in your ear about what you are doing next while older kids enjoy anything that they can use for balance practice such a beanbags or puff balls for breathing games.
Ready for more?! Our onlineKids Yoga and Mindfulness Online Teacher Training includes an entire training chapter focused completely on class management and how to deal with a child that doesn’t listen. After all, you have the amazing lesson plans and ideas so let’s be sure that the class is ready for them!
“Mother’s hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts, forever…” –Unknown
Celebrate Mother’s Day with these Family Fun Yoga Ideas!
Back to Back Breathing:
Back to Back Breathing is a wonderful and relaxing way to connect with your children. It also builds mindfulness. Sit tall in a comfortable position with legs crossed. Slowly rest your back gently against your partner’s back. Encourage your child to try to notice your breath. Is it shallow or deep? Fast or slow? Can they feel your back move as they breathe? This is a really sweet partner exercise for any age and feels so comforting to lean against another person like that.
Stand in a circle side by side and touch palms to help balance each other. Then take one foot and place it on our leg. Bring your branches (hands) up taller. Remember to switch legs. Notice how you are all stronger when you work together!
Legs Up the Wall:
Kids and adults both love this relaxing yoga pose! Scooch up close to a wall and lie flat on your back. Slowly raise your legs straight up against the wall which makes an L shape with your body. Keeping your legs together, flex your feet. Relax your arms to the side and keep your neck in a neutral and relaxed position. Close your eyes, and take a few moments and rest in this incredible restorative pose! This can also be done as Partner Legs Up the Wall Pose.
Toega is the perfect yoga game to play with all different ages. What exactly is Toega? It is yoga for your feet! Kids love this simple exercise and it is good for them as well. All you need are some colored pom pom balls and bare feet! It is fun and easy to play. Find out how to play here.
You can do this! I don’t want you to look at this as you should do, but instead, something that you can do! Think of it as Why Kids Need Yoga Now and what you can do to help introduce it to them. The good news is that it is easier to teach yoga to children now more than ever! There is something very satisfying about teaching children and helping to instill lifelong skills and benefits. I promise teaching yoga to children isn’t hard. We have a step by step proven format. It is something that you can do! I am here to help you.
Why You Should Teach Yoga to Kids
# 1. Kids Need Yoga Now
Our world is changing, and our kids face different challenges and commitments then they have in the past. There are many demands on kids’ time and pressure to do well and be successful at what they are involved in. This includes school, family, friends, sports, quickly changing technology, and other interests. That leaves us with kids who have a lot going on as they try to figure out a way to balance it all.
Kids need to learn how to be able to work through these demands in healthy and responsible ways. Yoga is a skill that can benefit all kids no matter what activities they are involved in or what their interests and abilities are. Yoga meets everyone at any stage and provides incredible extrinsic and intrinsic benefits. Discover the Super 7 Benefits of Yoga for Children here.
Kids that practice yoga are getting stronger mentally and physically. They are healthy, strong, and more confident. Not only this, but it can help them in school, in their extracurricular activities and absolutely their day to day lives.
#2 It is Easier to Teach Yoga to Children Now More Than Ever
When I first started teaching yoga to children there were not a lot of resources available about the best ways to teach children yoga. Since children learn and respond differently than adults I knew yoga had to be taught in a different way than an adult class.
I used my background in Early Childhood and my Master’s Degree in Education as I reviewed and researched child development and the best ways that children learn. I had to figure it out and spent hours and hours researching, writing kids yoga lesson plans, trying them out with kids, and modifying to know exactly what works for teaching yoga to children.
I wanted these kids yoga lesson plans and classes to be engaging, beneficial, and memorable for kids.
Go Go Yoga for Kids prides itself on making yoga for children doable and FUN for the kids AND you to teach. I want you to succeed in teaching yoga to children.
I am excited to share 20+ years of teaching kids compiled for you into 6 hours in our online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training. I spent years figuring out what works and what doesn’t work for teaching kids yoga. I researched, tried, and tested during hundreds of kids yoga classes until I figured out what really worked! Stop wasting your time trying to piece random things into something that works.
I want to make this easy for you. I want you to be able to completely go into any kids environment (studios, camps, clubs, classes, at home) and confidently introduce children to yoga. I know you can give those children quality and inspiring classes. It is so exciting and truly makes such a positive difference.
#3 It is About Making a Difference
There is nothing like seeing the kids faces full of contentment at the end of Savasana. It is about watching the kids master a pose after working on it for weeks. It is about seeing a child take a few deep breaths before starting a test or before a soccer game. These kids are in tune with what their bodies need and that is so important. It is all about giving children the tools that they will have for life.
It was so much FUN to be invited LIVE on the I AM a Lovable Me Show. Take a look if you have children in your life that you love and care about and truly want to make a positive difference in their lives! There is so much goodness to share!
Listen and Discover on the Lovable Me Show:
Why kids need yoga NOW in our world today
The benefits of yoga for children
Secrets on getting kids started with yoga
How to introduce children to yoga and mindfulness in fun and engaging ways
Plus learn the shocking truth about what happens to all children after they turn 7
Our Earth is a beautiful place and should be recognized and celebrated, especially on April 22nd! What better way to do that then with some kids and yoga?! The following are simple Earth yoga poses that can be done at home, school, or a yoga class to help children take a few moments and appreciate our Mother Earth.
Breath: Begin by some simple breaths in your nose and out your mouth. Discuss taking in all of the good clean air that our Earth provides and exhaling all of the unclean and negativity.
Sun Salutations: Begin in Mountain pose with arms overhead and looking up between your hands. Then dive into a forward fold. Do this several times and try to get longer and taller each time. Breathe in on the way up and exhale as you move into your forward fold.
Tree Pose: Put a spin on this classic balance pose with arms extended overhead and try to close one or both eyes. Tree pose is also fun done as a group in a circle with hands on one another’s shoulders supporting one another. Raise your arms (branches) up as if lifting toward the sun.
Flower: Begin as a seed in child’s pose and slowly come into a kneeling pose as if you are an emerging flower. Extend your arms overhead as if they are petals waving in the breeze.
Bicycle: Be green and pretend to ride your bike to school or the park. Lie on your back and move your legs as if pedaling a bicycle.
Raindrop Partner Pose: Each partner lays on their back with their heads touching. With their arms at their sides, they raise their feet above their heads to touch to make a giant raindrop.
Get things hopping with Go Go Yoga for Kids and these Spring yoga themes, poses, games and lesson plans below!
Get your FREE complete Easter Egg Kids Yoga Lesson Plan with all of the Spring yoga poses, games and activities.
Begin with Bunny Breath: Kids love this calming and fun breathing exercise. Pretend to be a bunny as you take short quick sniffs through your nose.
Pretend to Be a Flower: Next get kids moving while pretending to be a seed in the ground ready to bloom into a flower. Does your flower grow quickly or slowly?
Learn some Easter and Spring Yoga Poses: Select 3-5 yoga poses for each yoga session. I like my yoga poses to correspond with our yoga theme. Your Spring Theme Yoga Poses are included in the lesson plan.
Play a Yoga Game: After learning and practicing the Spring Yoga Poses, it is time to practice the poses and work on some balance exercises that are given in the lesson plan. If the children are up for a challenge, try Raindrop Partner Pose. You can find this partner pose and 39 additional poses with the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards.
Circle Showcase: Bring your kids yoga class to a close by having a Spring Yoga Show with the children showing off their favorite yoga pose.
Time for Rest: After the Spring Yoga Show it is time for Stillness and Savasana. Have the children gently curl up as if they are a bunny in their nest or hold. See if they can notice the rise and fall of their breath. It is so very relaxing and calming.