Yoga is a tranquil form of exercise that promotes harmony of the body, spirit, and mind. Through a combination of stretching techniques and meditation, it provides a source of balance that is truly soothing. While this ancient practice has been a favorite of adults for thousands of years, it can be beneficial for children as well. However, instructors need to be prepared with a few tips for teaching kids yoga classes.
Be Aware of the Unique Needs of Young Students
There is no doubt that yoga can be helpful to children of all ages. It has been found to promote self esteem, boosting the confidence of young participants. They can also learn better control of their bodies and emotions. Improved flexibility and strength are more positive effects that come from yoga. This form of exercise is calming and reduces anxiety as well. However,instructors need to accept the needs of every child in their classroom and adjust their instruction accordingly.
Get Information from Parents
From the child on the autistic spectrum to a young person with attention deficit disorder, some students may present unique challenges. Instructors should be prepared to expect the unexpected when working with children. Gather information from parents concerning any health concerns or special needs. No instructor wants to be taken by surprise when a student has a serious asthma attack or allergic reaction. Being well-informed will be helpful in handling any situation. Emergency contact numbers for parents should be provided as well. If some parents prefer to be present during sessions, have an open door policy.
Use a Different Approach with Children
When it comes to teaching a yoga class, an hour is typical for adults, with intense concentration from start to finish. It is more challenging to hold a child’s attention, especially when it comes to a group of children during a yoga class. Instructors need to perform a warm-up activity that helps young students to focus and settle in for the class routine. Popular games like Simple Simon can be adapted with traditional poses simply to grab the students’ attention. Once children are centered, they can begin a typical routine. Pacing is essential for young students with shorter attention spans. Blend games and songs with instruction, making sure all are connected to the art of yoga. Breaking up activities can make it possible to keep children on task throughout the session. In many cases, your class will be an introduction to this ancient art. You need to be enthusiastic and creative to encourage involvement.
Children May Not be as Motivated as Adults
When teaching kids yoga classes, be aware that they come to class for different reasons. Some children are there because they want to be. Others have been forced by their parents to try it. You may even have a child or two that has been sent to your class as a punishment for out of control behavior. That being said, do not be surprised if some are more enthusiastic than others. Hopefully, time, patience, and an innovative approach will bring all young students into the yoga fold. Consider offering some type of healthy refreshment at the end of the session. Kids of all ages love to have a treat. A drink and a snack can go a long ways toward making children happy.