As a teacher and a parent myself, I understand that more than anything that we want to help set our children up for success. We want our children to be prepared and confident at school, sports, activities, and at home.
We desire for our children to be in a collaborative, creative, calm and supported classroom environment. That is the kind of classroom I strive to provide for my students and you can be sure that is the kind of environment I want my own children in.
The good news is that we can help our own children and students be successful in their experiences. By incorporating easy breathing exercises, mindfulness, and simple stress-reducing yoga poses into brain breaks, kids will become more focused and attentive. That will then help our children to develop greater empathy toward one another and feel more confident and successful themselves.
Kids Need Brain Breaks
Yoga for kids is becoming more common throughout schools, clubs,and activities. With only a few moments each day, you can help kids achieve the benefits that yoga provides. These can be done at home, school, camps, or clubs.
I am a firm believer that children need active brain breaks throughout the day to learn best. Research has shown that students learn best by taking a break or moving their bodies every 15 minutes. Sadly, recess and physical education times are already being reduced in schools, which takes away the active movement that children need.
When using yoga with children, it does not need to be in a structured class with objectives and benchmarks. You are simply allowing the children to move their bodies in good and healthy ways. It doesn’t need to take long and can subtly be incorporated into what you are already doing.
Favorite Kids Yoga Brain Breaks:
Pick a Card Any Card:
When children are waiting for the next activity or standing in line, fan out the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards and select one child to pick a card. Everyone then practices the pose. This is perfect to use during a transition time when you only have a few moments.
Let it Go:
Practice fun breathing exercises. These techniques reduce stress and improve focus before tests, transition times, or during an activity that you know will require concentration and focus.
Waiting quietly in line for the next activity can definitely be a challenge for children. Make the time pass quickly by selecting a balance pose from the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards. The children will then hold that balance pose while counting by 5’s or 10’s. I also like to have them count to 10 in another language.
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!
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
Take a peek at some of the show’s highlights below:
How do children benefit from practicing yoga?
What ages can children begin yoga?
How it adult yoga different than kids yoga?
What are some ways of introducing mindfulness and yoga at home? It doesn’t need to take long. It is really about introducing children to some exercises and helping them discover how they feel and when they could use them. Establishing routines: Poses/stretches you can do in the AM and in the Evening Settling down.
How to model mindfulness yourself
What ages can children begin yoga? Yoga is a lifelong practice. There is no so such thing as yoga perfection. By introducing yoga to toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged kids you are setting them up for lifelong skills.