A funny hat is a tonic.
A funny hat keeps the little ones concentrating on YOU!
This is important when teaching yoga to children; something that I’ve given up doing as it is truly one of the most exhausting occupations I’ve ever, ever done. Which is why I no longer do it. In fact, when I did my practical exam, I told Cathy (my instructor) that the class would last 40-45 minutes. I planned for 40-45 minutes. In the event, 35 minutes and the class was over. It took me two days to recover! I guess one solution is not to have one’s own grandchild and great-niece in the class.
What do you find teaching yoga to kids? Small bodies rolling themselves up in the yoga mat. Random legs and arms making quite fierce (albeit ‘accidental’) contact with the body on the neighbouring mat. Small bodies making really rude sound effects for various asana.
And these are just the beginning. Kids are not like adults, they don’t follow instructions unless they feel like it and it is essential to add sound effects, always. Roar like a lion, bark like a dog, meow like a cat and make camel noises that resemble breaking wind, loudly.
“Close your eyes” is generally translated as “open your eyes wide” and “open your eyes” is also translated as “open your eyes”.
One thing I learned is not to ask rhetorical questions in a class because you’ll always get an answer, and it won’t be an answer your anticipated. Another thing I learned is that five children in a class is good, anything over that and you’re treading on thin ice – call it critical mass – and it does vary.
Class is a wonderful time to extend adventures into reality – Treasure Island, Jungle escapades and a Circus outing – all with actions and sound effects!
Although you can’t see it in the photograph, there is a small button on the top of my funny, shiny hat and that is the magic button. That magic button saved my bacon on more than one occasion … focus on the magic button draws the attention back to the practice and (sometimes) order reigns.
And then you get the feedback – “I want to do yoga everyday”
“I think yoga is my best friend”
“I feel happy when I’m in yoga class”. Does this make it worthwhile? Yes, if you have the strength and stamina to keep on teaching. For me the feedback was wonderful but my health couldn’t stand the pace!
Yoga for children is a course for would-be teachers and covers a great deal of territory. Much of the material is useful for adult classes and now that I have given up teaching children I still use many of the techniques I learned while participating in the course.
Peace and love to all and especially to those brave enough to take up teaching yoga to children.