Teaching Yoga to Children Isn’t the Same As Babysitting!
I thought I would enjoy teaching children’s yoga because I liked kids. I was always a baby sitter growing up, I loved spending time with my friends kids and I also loved yoga. What a perfect combination.
I got a class at an after school program my friends kid’s school. At least I would know two of the kids in the class. And soon enough I had 15 kids signed up for the class.
The Illusion of a Quiet Kids Yoga Class Faded
Have you ever heard of a little yoga term called Maya? My illusion of the yoga class quickly shattered. The idea of a bunch of kids sitting quietly on their mats and feeling their inner wisdom did not happen, at least not that session. In fact I may have cried when I got home. I found out that 15 kids is way different from 2 or 3. I found out that adult yoga is way different than kids yoga. And I found out that “quiet” is a relative term.
That was about 10 years ago and I have managed to learn a few things since that time. But I will never forget that first yoga class. When about 5 parents said, “Johnny has trouble behaving in school so we signed him up for yoga.” or “Mary is always getting in trouble for talking so we thought yoga would help.” or “Bobby can’t sit still…yoga.” So many of the kids didn’t want to be there at all, there parents did. What to do about that?
Yoga probably would have helped these kids if I had the skills to teach them. However at that time my best asset was my desire to learn. After 8 weeks of struggling, dreading each class, and spending hours trying to develop lesson plans that would interest the kids, I quickly picked up a part-time job at one of the most highly recommended daycares in my area and started to learn some tools for classroom management and some of the basics of child development.
My next session was 100 times better!
But I am forever grateful for that first yoga for kids class for showing me what I needed to learn and giving me a challenge. That challenge felt like climbing Mount Everest when I first started, but the views from the peaks along the way have been spectacular. It has led to many more challenges and opportunities to feel alive.
What was teaching your first children’s yoga class like?
© Young Yoga Masters
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