Teaching Kids Yoga – How hard can it be?
Teaching children yoga is a tough task and more difficult than teaching adults yoga. Could you do it?
Printed in Om Yoga & Lifestyle Magazine (June 2015)
Teaching yoga to children is often portrayed as the soft option.
Perhaps this is due to the impression, many adult yogis have, that children’s yoga is not real yoga!
Is this true?
Young children can’t hold poses for any length of time; they don’t have great balance; they don’t have the ability to look inwards and most won’t develop body awareness for many years to come; they can’t sit at peace on their mat and they often can’t make it through a class without a toilet break!
Not ‘real’ yoga, if we allow our limiting minds to judge, but definitely not the soft option.
Teaching yoga based classes to children is a real challenge.
Around 50% of trained children’s yoga instructors never actually go on to teach with another 30% stopping within the first year. It’s daunting! Children are a tough audience. They won’t keep attending a class because it’s “good for them!” They want instant gratification and if they’re not getting it, they won’t be back.
One class does not fit all!
A 10 year old will not be physically or mentally challenged by the same class plan as a 5 year old. Most 10 year olds will not want to be seen in the same class as a 5 year old! To run successful classes each developmental stage has to be catered for.
So why bother?
When yoga is presented using a child’s language it awakens their incredible ability, enthusiasm and imagination. Yoga based classes can teach children about the power within themselves, physically and mentally.
It will give them a lifetime toolbox of techniques to self-calm, energise, be in the moment and accept – traits which can help navigate life’s challenges.
But why go to all that effort when there are ‘easier’ audiences?
Teaching yoga to children will open your heart and stimulate your inner child in a way that even the best yoga practice could take years to achieve.
You see life and yoga through fresh eyes – eyes that have not learned to judge and minds without barriers. You become one of the kids as you enter their world – a world where ego is left behind. It’s a great world and it’s so much fun!
So you’re up for the challenge? What next?
There are many children’s courses out there so choose one with a proven track record of running successful children’s classes. Does the training body still teach? Do they offer support after course certification?
Choose wisely as you’re not just changing your life but the life of every child you teach!
Veronica Greene founded Little Greene Yoga® and offers a Certified Children’s Teacher Training package (for 3-5yrs; 5-8yrs; 8-12yrs & Teens) www.LittleGreeneYoga.com