Lots of people have been asking me what they need to know before they start doing yoga with kids. I know it seems like there’s a lot to learn first, and maybe you even need to be certified first. So, that stuff might be important if you’re working with a lot of kids in a big setting, but if you are working with your own kids, or you’re in a classroom and doing this with your students, then you can start after you know a few things.
Be relaxed. When you work with kids doing yoga it is important for you to be relaxed. Remember, the kids might be stressed, anxious, feeling weird about doing yoga for the first time. It will really help them if you’re relaxed and you act like you know what you’re doing. Even if you don’t.
Pay attention to the kids. They will start to act funny if something’s too hard for them, too unusual (remember, we don’t like to go out of our box to quickly), or they just don’t like it. We don’t like to do weird things, and we really don’t like people to make fun of us…so we try to avoid that when we can. Make sure you pay attention to how your kids are acting.
Have no expetations. One thing that can ruin yoga for kids is if we think it’s made us disappoint you or our friends, but especially you. I know we can be difficult sometimes (at least I can), but we still want to please you and want you to be proud of us. If we feel like we are letting you down we will immediately stop doing yoga with you, and you’ll have a really tough time getting us to start again.
As you can see, it’s really easy to start doing yoga with kids. Acceptance and fun will make it easy for us to want to do yoga with you. Don’t worry about injuries unless you’re doing advanced or difficult yoga techniques. But if you’re going to do something that could injure someone, you’re probably already familiar with yoga, and if not, you will need to talk to someone who is.
Just remember, we like to have fun, and we like to have fun with grown ups. If you keep yoga with kids fun, kids will keep doing it!