How to teach yoga to kids

These days, parents are making their children all sorts of fancy things like ballet, piano and singing. I don’t know about you, but I feel that children should be children. They should be allowed to sing and dance and shout as they please, not follow some professional courses that stress them out.

Having this sort of mentality, I have always scoffed at the idea of yoga for kids. I mean, how do you make the kids hold still long enough for their asanas?

Well, it seems like the approach for teaching yoga to kids should be highly tailored to their needs.

For children below the age of 7, the focus should be more on getting them excited about yoga. That means a lot of movement and imagination in the class. The good thing is that yoga has such great postures with origins from animal poses, such as the Cobra, Downward-facing Dog, Fish and Crow. The best yoga classes for kids create stories around these postures, or encourage children to make animal noises as they explore these poses.

Another great tip is to talk to children at their level. Use simple words that they understand. For example, instead of saying “asanas”, use words like “poses” or “postures”, or simply “please do this” and demonstrate the pose to your kids instead. However, this does not mean talking down to the kids. Children have an innate intelligence, and sometimes ask some great questions in class. Welcome their questions, and answer them patiently, and let them co-create their classes.

Incidentally, yoga is also a great activity for a parent to do with their kids. Children love to see their parents getting down on their fours (literally getting down to the child’s level!) and doing all sorts of funny poses with them. Do the practice with love and do it often, and children will come to associate yoga with a great time with papa or mummy.

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