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In 2010, I wrote about How to Start a Kids Yoga Program at a School. Well, things have changed in schools and in Yoga in the past few years and it’s time to give this article an update with new information that may be helpful for you to bring yoga into your school.
First of all, I usually recommend that new kids yoga teachers, who are not school teachers, look for yoga classes outside of schools. Why? Because most schools don’t have a budget to pay for a regular yoga teacher. There are still a few creative ideas to help you get into the school anyway. Take a look in Part Two of this post coming out during the week.
For those who are school teachers and are trained in kids yoga, here are a few ideas for you. Yoga in the classroom tends to lead to a happier day for both students and teachers.
For School Teachers who are Also Kids Yoga Teachers
How Well Do You Know Your School System?
The first thing to do is to get to know your school curriculum and its vernacular. Each schools system has its own language. Google Search your city name and “education,” “Ministry,” or “Board” until you find the official government website.
Here are a few examples from the Ontario, Canada Ministry of Education that relate to bringing yoga into schools:
Physical Education Curriculum and Yoga
Curriculum in my area is divided into “Strands” (see what I mean about vernacular!). There are three strands in Grades 1 – 8, and four in high school. Look at how yoga can fulfill these Strands and incorporate it into your classes.
Yoga for Daily Physical Activity (DPA) and Lets Move
In Ontario there is also a requirement for 20 minutes of DPA. In other places there are different programs that you can tap into like the Let’s Move Program. A vigorous yoga practice, dancing, and sun salutations can work up a sweat and fulfill these initiatives.
Tie Ins for Yoga and the School Curriculum
The meditative practice of yoga makes it great to tie yoga in WHILE you are fulfilling another part of the Curriculum. It’s what our resident school teacher/yoga teacher, Janet Wiilams, calls a Two for One. Here are some examples of how yoga can be tied in with the school curriculum:
- Character Development Initiative,
- Silent Reading (reading Yoga books and doing the movements),
- Set up a Yoga Station in your Room,
- Measuring angles of a yoga pose,
- learning about science and anatomy,
- and playing word games with the Yoga Alphabet
As Your Extra Curricular Work
Most teachers I meet explain that they are expected to lead one of the extra curricular activities in the school. It may be coaching a team, directing a play, or starting a yoga club. The yoga club gives you much more freedom to bring in the spiritual side of yoga because the kids are not required to do yoga, it is something they sign up for as a choice. Leading the Yoga Club is a big hit for extra curricular work.
There are so many ways a school teacher can bring yoga into the school and classroom.
Stay tuned for Part Two of this Series on Creative Ways to Get Kids Yoga into Schools:
How Yoga Teachers who are NOT School Teachers can bring yoga into schools.
Aruna Kathy Humphrys
The Yoga Literacy Kids Yoga Training is part of the 95 Hour Yoga Alliance Registered Children’s Yoga School. Don’t miss out on the top quality training. Its like no other!
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