These two questions came in from readers about certification for teaching kids yoga:
I am wanting to know the best yoga courses to do to learn to teach Children and adolescents. I have already done over 300 hours of a full-time advanced diploma in yoga teaching here in Australia, but would love to bring yoga into schools in the future.
I would appreciate your advice. I like the idea of combing yoga with art, music, story telling and thinks like that.
Rebecca Atlas, Australia.
and this question:
I am interested in workshops that could certify me to be able to teach yoga to children. I am a certified Kindergarten teacher with my Masters in Early childhood education and I love yoga and attend weekly classes.
Since Sept. I have incorporated yoga into my classroom for the children, and I see them more relaxed and able to concentrate better on math and reading assignments.
If you could tell me how I can get started to begin my training I would appreciate it.
Karen McQuade, USA
Children’s Yoga Certification – Part 1
These two inquiries from readers of ‘ Teaching Kids Yoga’ open up the topic of getting certified as a children’s yoga teacher. They help to show the different backgrounds of people wanting to learn to teach kids yoga. One question is from an advanced level yoga teacher, the other from a school teacher with a Masters degree.
My teacher training courses are a mix of people like Rebecca and Karen. School teachers and Yoga teachers attend as well as those with Early Childhood Education Diplomas (ECE’s) and then there are the parents. Last course I had three women who work with children in specialized fields like language development and anxiety disorders. Some were PhD’s using the tools in a professional capacity and others just want to learn some yoga tools to help their kids.
So when it comes to the question of getting certified as a kids yoga teacher I am always hesitant to open this can of worms by saying that only certain people should be allowed to teach kids yoga. Next post I’ll get into how and why there are no standard regulations for teaching kids yoga. But for now, here are some steps that could help you get the experience you need to teach kids.
Kids Yoga Certification is Filling Your Toolbox
When working with kids you need a whole toolbox of training to draw from. Whether it was writing a doctorate or attending years of yoga classes all these add to your toolbox.
Do lots of Yoga
So in terms of adding to your toolbox, let’s start with the basics. Do lots of yoga yourself.
Personally, I began with three years taking yoga classes attending three times a week before I took the yoga teacher training course. I took that many classes because I loved how I felt doing yoga so much. I became a yoga teacher because I wanted to make a career change, and that was what my teacher said I had to do if I wanted to teach. I was more of a rule follower back then!
Develop a Vision of the Teacher You Want to Be
Meanwhile, I experienced a powerful transformation for eight years studying under my mentor and teacher, Tulshi Sen. While he doesn’t teach yoga poses, he taught me the philosophy and reality of yoga and meditation. This was the key for me to develop a vision and a direction for myself as a teacher.
Specialize in Children’s Yoga
For a few years I worked part time as a supply staff in a daycare. This was great on-the-job training. In 2003, I took 30 hours of training with Shakta Kaur Khalsa. I still use many of the songs and games from both these sources in my classes.
Kids yoga became a study and a practice. For a long time I got every book on kids’ yoga I came across. If a book had one tool for me, I put it in my toolbox, and was happy.
Eventually You Develop Your own Style and Curriculum
Then after eight years of teaching kids yoga I developed a program that put together the best of all these influences. This is the Kids Yoga Teacher Certification that has grown into a 95 Hour Registered Children’s Yoga School. This training is offered in many cities across Canada and I am hosted by others who bring me into their city.
This is just the beginning of the answer to the question of Kids Yoga Teacher Certification.
Registration is now open for my next Kids Yoga Teacher Training! I invite everyone to join me for this course to build your skills and fill up that toolbox. Details here.