When formulizing the kids yoga class, the biggest concern is how to manage the different energy levels of the participating kids and make them comfortable, so that they can have fun while improving their health and personality? What points we must keep in consideration to make the kids yoga class more appealing and engaging?
Kids have an inherent nature of shifting moods. Sometimes they are so enthusiastic to handle the certain pauses in a pose, while the other day they feel so tired to even try, their spontaneous nature makes it difficult to coordinate or balance. While respecting the spirit in each child and appreciating the creativity in each of them it is also necessary to help them gain the physical and mental health benefits of yoga. It is the duty of every kids yoga classes instructor to make sure that each child is provided with a session that makes them feel safe, stimulates and encourages them, fosters relaxation, and imbibe kindness and calmness in them.
Guidelines to create a fun kids yoga class
Breathing and energizing
Start with breathing poses. Be creative with introducing kids to different types like deep breath, peace breath, balloon breath, etc. Following this start with a sun salutation and energizing yoga poses. The freeze flow techniques, ladder climbing, yoga ball rolling, and simple stretching fire the brain connections and warms up the body.
Standing and balancing sequences
Once the body is warmed up you can move forward to standing yoga poses and body balancing asanas. This stimulates the blood flow and energy in the body develops awareness and coordination. It ensures the safety and readiness for the forward bending, back bending, and twisting poses.
Flexibility in the lessons
Creativity and flexibility in the teaching sessions is the key to engaging kids yoga class. Kids are not like adults; they are not quiet or focused when they enter the class. They usually don’t follow the sequence. It is not necessary that the class flow and sequence will go as per the pre-decided schedule. But it is completely ok. Always remain open to adapting the energy of the day. Be ready to make changes according to the requirement of the day.
Don’t treat them like adults
A kid’s tiny structure and ever-wandering mind are very different from an adult’s. There may be a possibility that they are just attending the sessions as their parents have enrolled them. Be patient, compassionate and try to highlight something positive in their practice. Unlike the self-motivating adult kids need encouragement to continue the tasks.
Rewards and Positive feedback
Just saying “good job” is not going to help in the case of kids yoga class. You have to take extra effort. Giving high fives, sharing a happy dance on little achievements, saying words like “Amazing! You are a superhero!”, gives a more promising impact than just showing a thumbs up. Allow yourself to be creative with feedbacks, giving certificates of appreciation, or some lollipops once in a while after completion of a weeklong workshop.
Bring out the kid within you
Playfulness is the key. A kids yoga class should not comprise of just practicing yoga. It must include elements like dance, drama, games such as the musical chair, dress-ups, and more. Be innovative with the ideas like yoga-inspired dance choreography steps. Keep it friendly, playful, and have fun!
Take it easy
A basic introduction to the asanas with safety assured is the main goal of teaching yoga to kids. Don’t look out for perfection. Alignment is secondary. Once a kid understands the basic structure of a yoga pose like a tree pose or mountain pose, it is enough. As they keep on practicing, they will begin to learn about alignment in adulthood. Making them feel strong with the Bow pose, feeling of flying with crow pose, being brave with the warrior pose is the main goal of kids yoga class.
Kids have an honest, intuitive nature which we adults lose during the process of growing up. We are more focused on the future, still resenting about the past, completely ignoring to live and enjoy the present moment. Kids are not like that. They are happy in their space, not afraid of falling or failing. Embrace your kid yogis and their way of loving, living, and accepting the flaws & imperfections within. Grow along with them and your kids yoga class session will prove to be fun for not only the little ones but also for you.