Monday, March 27, 2006

The Truth about Options for Yoga Teachers, Part 5


By Paul Jerard

Kids Yoga: You really have to be connected to a children’s day care center, private school, or public school, to have large numbers of kids joining your Yoga classes. This may not be the case everywhere, but it reflects the feedback I get from Yoga teachers worldwide.

It is also true for our wellness center in North Providence, RI. Our Kids Yoga class started small but now has a regular following of 20 students per class. To be honest, I brought Yoga into the children’s martial arts classes by integrating Vinyasa Yoga with their regular warm-ups.

The result was children who shed fat, became a bit more muscular, and demonstrated more strength and positive attitudes than ever before. The parents are ecstatic about the results now, but wondered what I was up to, when children in Jujitsu or Karate classes were engaged in Yoga training, as part of the curriculum. The benefits to children who learn Yoga are endless.

This is a non-competitive atmosphere, where a kid can just be a kid. Children, who regularly participate in Yoga classes, do not have to put pressure on themselves, and can learn many life skills, such as enhanced self-appreciation.

If you are going to teach children, make sure you are prepared for them to be your biggest challenge. It is all about keeping their attention span, therefore, split your Yoga class into segments. Classes have to be fun, and you should only address four components such as: posture, breathing, relaxation, and meditation. Keep it simple, and don’t go off into a lecture that will put them to sleep. Kids do not come to Hatha Yoga classes to learn the finer points of Bhakti Yoga.

Always praise each child who participates, as this does help their self-esteem. Many times, Kids Yoga class is similar to a carnival, where every child wins a prize. In this case, always point out the children who try. This atmosphere will create children who follow the best examples; then, praise those children who try to copy. This is a win-win situation for every child in your Yoga class.

If you do not have patience, please do not consider teaching Yoga to children. Teaching a Kids Yoga class is not for every Yoga instructor. You have to be creative, an entertainer, and a guide to become a kids Yoga instructor.

After all, Kids Yoga classes contain aspects of Yoga that many adults have lost track of - from a very silly Lion face, to an extremely serious meditation. When you are giving Yoga instruction to a class full of children, your mind must be as flexible as your body.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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1 comment:

Nil said...

I appreciate your efforts of propogating this precious knowledge of yoga. I am student of yoga & trying to learn more about it everyday. I am happy to find someone who is imparting this precious knowledge to small kids.best, Nil