Kids yoga teaches the Eight Limbs of Yoga in an engaging way. A creatively sequenced class keeps kids involved and teaches them to release stress, listen, to have fun while exercising and to work well together.
I am an adult yoga teacher as well as a kids yoga teacher and here are some of the things I see happening with the little yogis when they take yoga class.
1. They Teach Themselves How to Breathe for Serenity.
While doing a breath work Pranayama lesson, the children quiet down, slow down, and just breathe. Discussing times to breathe at home (when you’re upset, or before bed) can help them to remember to practice on their own. For visual learners, parents or yoga teachers can also employ the use of a Hoberman sphere to help little yogis visualize an inhale and an exhale.
2. They Learn to be Friendly.
Oftentimes, games will require a partner, or to place your bounty on someone else’s mat and not your own. How great do they feel when they end up with glittery goodness because someone else gave it to them?
3. They Work on Balance and Proprioception (Knowing Where Their Body Parts Are in Relation to Other Body Parts).
Little ones have a hard time using their muscles for any sustained period of time, like in Plank Pose or Tree Pose. Teaching them how to use their bodies to move into poses helps their muscles to activate, and also helps them to understand how their bodies, limbs, etc., work in conjunction with each other.
4. Yoga Can Teach Kids Lessons About Mindfulness.
For example, teaching them to take off their shoes and socks and place them neatly to the side. Sitting quietly on your mat or coloring before class teaches mindfulness.
5. Yoga Also Teaches Respect for Oneself and Others.
It can be hard to sit in a big talking circle and wait your turn to have the Talking Stick, but the more often a little one does this, the better they are at respecting the process.
6. They LOVE Savasana, the Final Resting Pose.
One might think that little ones would be too energetic and squirmy to lay quietly for four or five minutes, and sometimes that is true. Most of the time, they are craving some quiet, relaxing time. Add a yogi-burrito by allowing them to wrap themselves up in their mat or towel and they are begging for it as soon as class starts!
Teaching yoga for kids is by far the most fun part of my day. I get to be silly, work on my imaginative and creative side, and laugh a lot. I’d love to hear from parents who have tried kids yoga for their little yogis–what do you love about it?