This post is a free sneak peak at the Kids Yoga Teacher Training I offer at Young Yoga Masters. You can get many more tools like this by joining me for one of the upcoming fall courses. I’d love to see you there. Click here for full details.
An important part of the kids yoga teacher training is finding out what doesn’t work in kid’s yoga BEFORE you are with the kids. You’ve got to know age-appropriate poses, how to teach them, and how to time your classes. Too many hard-to-teach poses can lead to frustrated, injured, or tuned out kids.
“Hard” means “Time Consuming”
For instance, these three poses can be hard to teach to kids. Perhaps “hard” isn’t the best word, lengthy-to-teach may describe it better. It doesn’t mean I don’t teach them. It also doesn’t mean kids don’t like them. In fact I do teach them and kids do like them – a lot! Certain poses just require more time and energy.
I DO NOT recommend introducing all three of these poses in one class. Here’s why:
- Cat/Cow Pose: usually ends up being Downward Dog/Cow pose. Hard-to-teach because no matter what you say, about 25% of the class doesn’t get the part about keeping your knees on the floor. By the time you’ve helped the 15th child figure out the pose, the first children have been doing the pose for a long time or have tuned out.
- Wheel: The kids who can do wheel pose love it – and ask for it! So if kids ask for it, don’t give in right away. Often 50% of older kids can’t do it. Wheel pose takes a heap of arm and abdominal strength plus flexibility. This can’t be taught in one class. If you start off with wheel, you’ll have half the class watching on in awe, but unable to do it. Then they feel inadequate doing an alternate pose. Most pre-school kids can’t do wheel at all! If kids ask for wheel, start off teaching the poses that build up to wheel, like table, bow, and camel pose. Then offer up wheel to try at the end of class for a short time – the kid’s who can’t do wheel, after all those other poses, will be too tired to care.
- Donkey Kicks: kid’s love donkey kicks, but you’ve got to warn them about NOT FLIPPING OVER! Sometimes kids get so excited they really go for it. And then there’s the problem of KIDS GETTING KICKED. With Donkey Kicks the teacher must be up and walking around – to serve and protect.
Sometimes when we’ve been doing yoga for a while we forget which poses are beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Introduce yoga to kids with beginner poses, then sprinkle in the hard-to-teach poses. Those poses will feel much more satisfying when there aren’t too many.
Do you have any tricks for teaching these hard-to-teach poses?
Do you find any poses hard-to-teach?