Yoga for kids….. the hottest trend in yoga! with more and more people getting information about yoga and it’s benefits they want their kids to join yoga classes as early as possible. They want their kids to do as many number of poses as possible. Yoga for kids is now part of almost all yoga schools world wide.
I am writing on the basis of my observation I have done for the last few years through numerous kids yoga sessions. Here are my observations which may help in understanding the physics, chemistry and Biology of kids yoga.
1. The easiest thing you can do with kids is to either make them cry or make them happy if you try to do something else it needs presence of mind and immense patience.
2. Kids do not understand yoga they are there because their parents brought them there. Explaining the deep philosophies of yoga, details of Chakras etc aren’t going to work.
3. No matter how much you try you cannot force them do yoga asanas. The only way through is do yoga yourself and show them that it’s super fun doing it.
4. For kids yoga postures are no different than playing on the ground. And seriously kids don’t care about alignment, posture etc. The only way to make them do perfectly is to offer them rewards as in points in any normal game.
5. The more questions you ask kids, the more interaction you have with each and every kid better the class will be. After a certain days in class kids start to interact with other kids. Start calling them with different names etc. It is the best time to involve each and every kid. Some kids get left out and they remain in back throughout the whole experience. Make sure you keep changing their position in the room everyday so that every one gets a chance to be more involved. It’s like giving every one a chance to score a goal in soccer.
6. Do not bring forward kids for the sake of pictures. Make kids believe that you are asking them to do yoga in front to give them gifts / chocolates. It will increase their will to do better.
7. Make fun of yourself as much as possible. Adults may hold their laugh but kids don’t. Doesn’t matter if you would have dance like a monkey… do that. It’s the best way to break the boredom and the best form of warm-up exercises.
8. Do not tell them what NOT to eat; tell them what are the thing they can eat only if they do Yoga. Like chocolates, of course!
9. Instead of explaining how to control breath while doing yoga use examples like how would you blow balloons on your birthday. Take deep breath do the required movement and blow ( to blow the balloon).
10. One more important thing. Instead of giving every kid a separate yoga mat use a big soft carpet kind of thing. It will give them enough room to move around, play around and still do yoga.
11. Yoga is not at all yoga for kids, it’s just fun with kids. Using accurate Sanskrit and english names isn’t going to help; Use Animal names with their voices..that helps! kids don’t remember asana names but what they do remember is their dogs and cats name.
12. The moment you show them that you are a teacher you got yourself in a big trouble better be Santa who organizes games and give gifts to a kids who love to make animal voices and copy their movements.
These are my personal observations and have no scientific basis but there is no scientific algorithm to make your kid like yoga either.
As per my style of saving the best for the end.
Never in your entire class mention the benefits of yoga asanas.. or the disease it is going to cure unless you want me to come over and stop kids from crying.
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