Whether you’re a mother, a teacher, a child care professional, or you simply love working with children, sharing this ancient practice at a young age can be a rewarding gift for both yourself, and the young ones you are connected to. Growing up in our current fast-paced world, many children suffer higher levels of stress, anxiety, and self esteem issues. Introducing the practices of Yoga & Meditation early in life can offer long-term benefits, and instill a deeper sense of calm, awareness, and confidence in our kids.
What does teaching Yoga to children look like?
As you can imagine, it’s very different from an adult Yoga class! While there are goals to each activity, keeping a sense of silliness and play is important in keeping little ones engaged. By incorporating song and dance, body mindfulness, and basic breathing techniques through kid-friendly activities, we offer the opportunity to teach children how to step into mindfulness and self-awareness. Here’s a few of our favorite practices:
- Quiet coloring – beginning class with this quiet practice allows kiddos to settle in and focus their attention.
- Incorporate simple chanting or singing! Try guiding your class of kids through a simple clap-along chant, or sing along to a kid-friendly Yoga playlist. With music, we support connection of mind and body.
- Rubbing hands – Creating friction between the palms helps regulate the parasympathetic nervous system, drawing children’s attention back to the present.
- Your favorite animal – Ask your kids to reenact their favorite furry friend! This activity connects a childs’ mind and body. The rest of the class can also act along!
- Feather breathing – While on their backs, kids use their breath to keep a feather afloat, often requiring them to fully focus on their breath.
- Basic asana – Safe, accessible postures for children can include options like Child’s Pose, Seated Forward Fold, or Star Pose, or even Savasana.
What are the benefits of sharing this practice with little ones?
Aside from bringing an abundance of joy, Yoga is known to regulate anxiety, balance emotions, and increase self-esteem in children. It acts as a starting point for body awareness and mindfulness, and strengthens memory and concentration. Physically, it can support strength and flexibility, just like in adults.
Through simple movement and activity, we are able to support presence, and we already begin the work of mindfulness, setting little ones up for increased peace, confidence, and self-awareness.
While many Yoga Teachers complete a multi-day training on how to teach Yoga to children, attending one of our Workshops is a perfect way to dip your toes into sharing this beneficial practice with young ones. If sharing Yoga with Children calls to you, check out our Workshop schedule here!