Oh my, is it November? Where has the time gone? Back an hour! I know that much. Have you all been playing nice? Yoga Teacher Training has taken me through the winds of fall into what feels like the descent into a cold, dark December. Are you with me when I plead, ‘Dear Hatha gods, send us some light!’
To which they reply, come on kids, it’s time to PLAY YOGA!
Yes, as part of our training we had a teaching kids yoga workshop, and it may have been one of the most exhaustingly fun days yet! Working with wee yogadorks is not just about meowing in cat pose, it takes some real patience, creativity and willingness to let go of all those boring grown-up rules. Thanks to our ringleader Shari Vilchez-Blatt, founder of Karma Kids Yoga, we were able dive into pure fun and exploration of yoga from a child’s perspective.
Because kids are natural yogis! We hear that all the time right? Are they? For this day of YTT 300, we were asked to revert back to our 6 year old selves to find out. What do you do with a bag full of tiny poofy pom poms? Why, scatter them all over the floor and ask all the ‘kids’ to try and pick them up with their toes of course! OR maybe use a straw to find out how many breaths it takes to blow them across the room! Fun! Essentially what we learned was to PLAY Yoga.
If you don’t already know, the yog is especially important for kids in creating a calm and balanced mind and body. Unfortunately, especially today, those little squirts can be stressed out too, so yoga class gives them an opportunity to let it all go and JUST BE KIDS. I mean, we get to, so why can’t they?
Sure it was a day full of fun and games, but there’s still much to be learned in working with kids. Here are a few helpful tips, and warnings:
5 Things To Know About Teaching Kids Yoga
- It is NOT Perfect. And they don’t care! Toss alignment and traditional asana out the window.
- YOU are not perfect, and they will let you know that. Kids are brutally honest, but you have yoga, and you won’t care 😉
- Get your improv hat on! Oh and your Energizer Bunny suit. You’re going to have to be on your toes and use your imagination, and it will be exhausting, but in a good way.
- Sing sing sing! The magic of music and stories help kids get engaged and stay focused.
- You will look like a total and utter goofball, and they will love you for it. You will love you for it.
Interested in teaching kidlets? Here are some suggested websites and resources for more info:
Books: Babar’s Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff, My Daddy Is a Pretzel by Baron Baptiste, Watch Me Do Yoga by Bobby Clennell
YD yoga school updates should come pretty regularly on Sundays, at the wrap of each week. Disclosure: Training is with YogaWorks, NYC (I am not being paid to say that, Paula Lynch rocks).
Thanks to everyone who’s donated any amount. I could still really use the support. If you appreciate YD please consider a donation. Thank you!
- YD Goes to Yoga School Week 10: Hatha Yoga Pradipika Peck of Pickled Peppers
- YD Goes to Yoga School Weeks 6-7: United We Headstand, Divided We Fall…and That’s OK!
great post, thank you! I have often wondered what it would be like to teach a yoga class to kids and exactly what the heck I would do if I did?? I’m inspired now to look into this a little more. Sounds like a chance to have a lot of fun and impact kids in a really positive way. Cheers.
Improv – absolutely! I teach 2-6 year-olds every Saturday morning. I always ask for an animal during our kiddo-asana practice, and last Saturday a 4 y/o boy threw out “Possum!” When in doubt, I ask the kids to show us how to be the animal they named. Little Nate said “Easy – just lay on your back and lift your arms and legs!” 🙂
Ok, you totally got me curious about teaching kids. Singing, acting like a big goof, improv….I can do that job! Thanks for the suggested reading…will check it out!
Great summary of kids yoga, especially your second point. If adults said what they were thinking when the teacher gives a hard pose, you’d have a kids yoga class. Kids have no filter!
Love this post! So true!!! Just last week the Alluem Kids blew pom poms across the room with a straw! Then we played Musical Mats. 🙂