“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”Dalai Lama
There is a plethora of benefits when kids start learning yoga. It not only teaches them about their body, but about their minds as well. Once they see what their minds and bodies are capable of, their self confidence soars. Just seeing their smiling faces after a nice long Savasana is amazing! Here is a list of just some of the benefits of yoga for kids:
- Improved Focus in and out of school.
- Mind-body connection.
- Improved self confidence.
- Breathing and calming/coping skills.
- Kindness to self and others.
- Working in groups to attain similar goals.
- Better sleep.
- Eases growing pains.
- Regulates appetite.
I started teaching kid’s yoga in September of 2018. I have always been intrigued by it. My kids loved to watch yoga videos on Youtube and they always tried to jump in every time I was on my mat.
Last year I started researching and doing my homework, and I realized it was a virtually untapped resource in a lot of communities. There are so many after school programs and sports for kids to join, but nothing that is relaxing, non competitive, and just plain fun.
I looked into tons of programs that offered training for teachers, and finally found the right fit for my life and my schedule. It also offered the biggest support network of teachers, and had the most amazing content for children. I took my training and became a certified children’s yoga instructor. BEST DECISION EVER!
Once a week I started teaching yoga at a local gym. My classes weren’t huge, but I gathered a few loyal little yogis. We did yoga once a week for six months, and I can’t express how proud and astonished I was of these little kids. They ranged in age from four years old to eight years old. They became my little yoga family.
The first few classes were a struggle to find our flow. But, after a few weeks, we found it and things were great. These kids loved it! I taught them how to meditate and calm their minds. I taught them how to find a mind-body connection. I taught them that they have control over their thoughts and emotions, and that their bodies are capable of amazing things.
We learned the meaning of some Sanskrit words and yoga lingo such as:
Namaste: I bow to the Divine in you.
Pranayama: Control of breath.
Asana: Yoga postures or poses.
We started every class with a simple Mantra. We would sit in meditation and touch each fingertip and say, “Peace Begins With Me”. It centered and calmed the kids and got them focused for class.
I think the most inspiring part was hearing one of the young ladies say that she wanted to be a yoga teacher when she grew up. It brought a tear to my eye that these little kids actually looked up to me and thought I was COOL!
Of course my kids weren’t as into it once I became the teacher. I was just boring old mom, but they still joined in and had some fun. We all learned and grew together over that six month period.
I am currently taking a break from the weekly classes, but am offering my services at a local farm summer camp that my children are attending. There, I teach a short fifteen minute session compared to my usual hour long classes. It is still amazing to witness the joy after these kids step off their yoga mats.
I plan on starting after school classes again this fall, and I hope to inspire and help some more kids along the way. I also plan on completing more training in the near future to help children with special needs. I believe that all kids can benefit from this great opportunity to grow and learn through yoga.
If anyone is interested in learning more about kid’s yoga, the program I took my training through, or to just get inspired, please visit my website http://namasteyoungyoga.massageplanet.com/