You’ve probably been there before. You’ve prepared a fun and inspirational kids yoga class, to find out that it’s probably not going to work. Despite all the Ways Themed Lesson Plans can help in Kids Yoga, there are times I recommend you scrap your lesson plan for something even better!

A picture of a window with the words When to Throw Your Lesson Plan Out the Window in Kids Yoga

Ditch Your Lesson Plan When a Big Event Happens

Perhaps something happened in school and the kids are feeling sensitive to the event. I’ve taught kids yoga through tragedies like 911 and the time a classmate died in a drowning accident. The students need empathy and you need to be flexible enough to adapt your lesson plan to the important situations that arise and that need attention.

Modify Your Lesson Plan When It Doesn’t Feel Right

As a mindful and present teacher, you know when what you’ve prepared doesn’t feel right. Remember that the lesson plan was prepared before going into class. If you feel that the plan doesn’t align with the needs of the students, don’t use it. For instance, I often teach the same lesson in all my classes of the week. One class loved doing Sun Salutations and another would complain when I mentioned them. As long as we’re doing yoga, I’m going to change the plan to a different warm up because it’s hard to drag a class through a lesson they are not excited about.

A kids yoga teacher and kids around the paper sekleton they are creating, the teacher is engaged with the kids and ready to adjust her plan when needed.

A kids yoga teacher is engaged with the kids and ready to adjust her plan when needed.

Alter Your Lesson Plan When the Student Is Ready (or Not Ready)

You may realize as you begin teaching that the learners are not ready for your lesson. Or, you may find a class is more advanced than what you’ve prepared. For instance, I usually plan bundle rolls for a few minutes but in one class a few kids kept dropping their heads and banging them on the floor. They didn’t have the muscular strength to maintain the pose so I cut the plan short. Adjust your lesson plan or eliminate it entirely to reflect the level of the students.

Adjust Your Lesson Plan When Something Happens During Class

You can never predict what may happen as you’re teaching. Every circumstance is different. Emotions come up, something works really well and you want to build on it, or the kids start to go into other poses on their own. With experience, you’ll begin to know intuitively how to respond to any situation and whether to continue your lesson as planned. Go with the flow.

A teacher points to the row of children doing downward dog forming a tunnel after a child has bumped her head.

A children’s yoga teacher makes adjustments based on what is happening in the class telling which child to rest and which child to go.

Transform Your Lesson Plan When Inspiration Hits

Kids will say the sweetest things, and perhaps something they say or do will inspire you to create something new on the spot! Trust your creative instincts to make some things up along the way!

A great teacher comes in prepared, but is also able to put aside their plan to attune to the needs of the students. When you can do this, you and your learners will feel more connected, be fully present, and have a truly authentic yoga experience.

How often do you use a lesson plan and how often do you need to change it?  What happened?  How did you handle it?

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  1. As yoga teachers we need to be not just flexible in our bodies but also in our teaching methods as your article rightly points out. I recently taught yoga to kids in india. I found that is was best to have a rough idea of what I wanted to do but allow for spontanoues things to happen around it. So I would teach my plan a bit and then drift off for a bit according to the response of the kids and then go back to the plan and alternate like that getting a sort of balance between the two. It was made more difficult as they didn’t speak English but it was great fun, which for young children I think is the most important part.

    • David- your India yoga trip sounds like fun! I’m planning a trip to India in October, so I’ll check out your blog to see what you wrote. Thanks for leaving a comment.


  2. I always go with instincts, and I totally agree on changing lesson plans when a teacher feels that something is not right, or if the children are not gaining anything in the current outline of yoga class. A lesson plan needs not to be finite and absolute. Give yourself the freedom to veer away from conventions when necessary so that you will be able to give what’s best for the kids.