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 enjoy the moments that we 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.
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.
How to Use Mantras in Kids Yoga Classes
Try a few yoga poses with children. As they are holding each pose, ask them what muscles they feel working and also how does it make them feel.
This practice involves mindfulness since it is not only what they feel working in their body, but how the pose makes them feel, i.e. strong, brave, or peaceful. For example, Warrior 1 Pose may make them feel strong, but Child’s Pose may make them feel safe.
Then you can teach them a simple phrase, which they can remember in a stressful moment or a time of unease. Effective mantras for kids could be: “I am thankful,” “I am loved,” “I am safe,” or “Let it go,” which is also a great one for adults.
Conclusion: A Winning Combination
It is no secret that many children learn best when they are moving. As a school teacher and children’s yoga instructor, I understand that when movement and affirmations are tied together, it can be a powerful way to help children learn.
Combining mantras with yoga poses has several benefits:
It helps children focus and concentrate;
It helps them learn to respect their bodies and one another;
It helps them quiet their minds and connect with each other; and
Most importantly, mantras help them create inner confidence as children, which can help shape a person’s whole life.
Are you ready to learn more about teaching yoga to children? Our popular online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training includes everything you need to know to successfully learn how to teach yoga to children online and in person. Perfect for home, school and studio.
Fa la la la la! The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! It’s time for Black Friday!
I hope that you are starting to feel some of the anticipation and excitement of the approaching holidays as well. I am so excited for our Black Friday Blitz! An extra bonus is that you do not have to leave your home or stand in line to get in on this deal!
For a limited time you will receive 30% off our online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Trainings. Use code GOGOTEACHERTRAINING at checkout.
That means you get your Kids Yoga & Mindfulness training and certification, lesson plans, lifetime access to the training and personalized support for a steal! This is an amazing deal and our comprehensive and complete kids yoga training
If you have ever even thought for a moment about teaching yoga to children… then this is your voice saying “yes…this is the time!”
Yes, it is true! Now I know you are thinking…what an incredible deal and I really do want to begin making a difference with kids, but this is a busy time for me right now.
I totally get that! The best news is that you can begin this training anytime you want right from the comfort of your couch or bed (my preference!). I guarantee that within a week of just starting our Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training, you will be making a positive difference in the lives of the children you love and care about!
This training is right for you if you are a:
New Kids Yoga Teacher looking to get started on this amazing journey and need guidance and expertise on how kids yoga really works
Established Kids Yoga Teacher looking to deepen your expertise on what truly works for teaching yoga to children
School Teacher, Counselor, Teacher Assistant looking for ways to easily include yoga and mindfulness in your classroom that takes only moments to implement and truly makes a difference in your classroom climate
Preschool, Day Care Instructor, or Early Childhood Educator looking to add yoga and mindfulness to your transition and circle time.
Counselor, Case Worker, or Health Care Professional wanting tools to help children self-regulate and provide social-emotional learning
Parent, Grandparent, or Family Member looking for fun, educational yoga ideas for social and emotional learning for the kids you love and care about
Self-starter who works with children and wants to give them the skills they will have for life through yoga and mindfulness.
When you enroll you also receive access to our all new Live Kids Yoga Class Examples from beginning to end!This alone is worth the price.
I remember when I first started teaching yoga to children. All I wanted to see was actual teaching and kids yoga in action! Now you can view an early childhood class, a school-age class, and an engaging tween & teen yoga class.
After thousands of kids yoga classes, I have completely cracked the code on exactly what works for teaching yoga and mindfulness to children. I am so excited to share these secrets with you that have worked for me time and time again.
Don’t just take my word for it! Listen to just a few our recent Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training Graduates:
“I am so thankful I found Go Go Yoga for Kids while searching for ideas to help deal with my difficult group of 4th grade students. I was so excited to take the Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training. I learned how kids yoga looks different than adult yoga and how to best teach to that. I also learned that props are great when working with kids. I have shared this new passion for yoga with my students and colleagues.” Nicole C.
“This teacher training was exactly what I needed! I wanted to increase my knowledge and confidence to best assist children in our ever-changing and increasingly difficult world. The training was very beneficial and kept my attention throughout. It is easy to follow and put into action! Lynnea J.
“I now have more confidence and tools to teach kids with actual lesson plans and ideas. I have been away from the classroom for a number of years, so this was a great refresher on classroom management and planning. I now have the training in teaching and yoga and this training helped me to have the confidence to just get out there and DO IT! ” Alicia B.
“Miss Sara, I can’t wait to do the “sleeping pose” again.” That is what I hear time and time again at the end of our Kids Yoga Classes.
Savasana often becomes the children’s favorite part of yoga class, which I think is incredible since it is the part of the class where they are not doing a thing.
The children begin class so eager, excited, and full of energy. After moving and working their bodies in such good and healthy ways, they are truly ready for rest and relaxation. I tell my students that their bodies deserve this rest and that taking this time helps them repair and build the muscles they just worked.
Please do not get the idea that I simply call out, “Everyone get into Savasana,” and that the kids readily roll onto their backs, shut their eyes, as they go into deep stillness. Instead, slowly get kids into Savasana.
Savasana comes at the end of your class after you have practiced breathing exercises, learned yoga poses, played yoga games, practiced balance, built community with one another, and are now ready for a bit of stillness, relaxation, and time for some mindfulness.
Yoga is about movement and poses and postures but it is also about being still and quiet and mindful in savasana. This is such an important skill to learn in our busy lives and especially a wonderful one to model with children
Here are a few ways to help promote stillness and mindfulness with kids.
Change the Mood
I like to begin to speak in quieter tones and if possible turn the lights down lower. It’s also easy to play calming music or nature sounds. This change in their surroundings signals to children that a change is coming. As you build this into the class flow, children begin to recognize the signs and signals leading to Savasana.
Be a Melting Ice Cube
As Savasna follows our Building Community component of class we are already seated in a circle. I like to challenge the kids to lie down as slowly as they can as if they are an ice cube melting into the ground. When they get down to the ground have them stretch out as long as they can with their toes pointed and their arms up overhead. See how long they can get by taking deep breaths.
Squeeze and Relax
While kids are lying down on their yoga mats preparing for savasana, I’ll sometimes have them squeeze a body part as hard as they can. Let’s say they squeeze their hands for a few seconds and then they relax it. Or also squeeze their shoulders up by their ears and then relax it. They’re actually able to physically feel the difference their body makes from holding it so tight and then relaxing.
Use Memorable Phrases
I challenge the children to stretch as “long as a pencil” or have them be “as still as a statue” or “as quiet as a mouse.” This gives the children a mental picture of how to pose and act.
I allow the children to lay however they feel comfortable. It could be on their backs, on their stomachs, curled up into a ball, but have a realistic expectation for how long the kids can lie still. 15 to 30 seconds is good for the preschool ages while older children can stay longer. The more they get used to Stillness and Savasana at the end of class, the longer they can stay still.
Bring Them Out Slowly
When it’s time to come out of this relaxation, I like to ask them to roll over on their side and use their arm as a pillow. Then they sit up and you can quietly lead them through a couple of big, deep, cleansing breaths while bringing arms up overhead, breathing in, and breathing out and placing your hands at heart center. We’ll do that a couple of times.
I like to give a few positive closing words that unite the class and set their path for the remainder of the day or the week. I also like to thank them for coming to yoga, taking care of their bodies, working together, and having fun.
We have listened to you! The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cardsare now available on Amazon.com and Amazon UK! This is very exciting news and could have never done it without your support!
The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cardswill challenge you and children with balance, flexibility, mindfulness, and more. This card deck includes 40 poses including partner poses, confidence building pose mantras, and fun games to play together using these cards.
I use the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards in every kids yoga class that I teach
The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards include:
40 progressive yoga poses including partner poses
Each pose includes an empowering mantra for mindfulness and meditation
All poses are rated from 1-5 stars based on difficulty (this makes it fun for the kids to learn and practice all poses)
Easy to follow poses to create many original yoga flows
Fun sturdy drawstring burlap bag for storage
PLUS Each card deck INCLUDES 15 Bonus Yoga Games to play using the yoga cards
Are you ready for a new and fun idea that will get kids to listen? The Listening Game is one of my favorite new mindfulness games to use in my kids yoga classes. This simple game works like magic in getting your student’s attention while helping them be quiet and mindful.
I have used this with kids ages 2-16 and it is amazing how it completely calms and focuses them.
This is also a good game to use as a teacher to transition from a loud large group activity to a more calming and mindful time.
This chime is also the perfect size for popping into my kids yoga bag to take to class or in my teacher bag to use at school.
What I Would Say to the Kids: How many of you think you are really good at listening? Children raise hands
Great! We are going to see what great listeners we can be and play The Listening Game!
Sit up nice in tall in your seat with your hands resting in your lap. Now I am going to play a chime. I want you to listen for as long as you can. When you do not hear the chime anymore than raise your hand. Are you ready?
Play the chime once. Notice when the children raise their hands when they cannot hear the chime anymore. They can also open their eyes.
Oh, you are such great listeners AND you look so relaxed!
Have the children take two or three rounds of breath together and then play again. A note from experience, remember to not overplay this game so it will not lose its effectiveness. 2-4 rounds is enough at one time.