My suitcase is at the front door and I’m heading out for a Kids Yoga Teacher Certification in New Orleans tomorrow. Though it is the 7th time I’ve taught this 95 hour program, I’m as excited as the first time. I’ve been learning some new training techniques and I can’t wait to try them.
One that’s on the forefront for this course is putting the needs of the participants before the needs of the activity.
As a trainer, this concept is realized by changing some of the typical rules of training, for instance, we don’t always cover every square inch of the manuals. Rather, we make sure learners thoroughly grasp each idea and concept and stay engaged. If I see anyone’s eyes glaze over, I’m not doing my job, even if I am covering the manuals!
The same is true of kids yoga.
Some of the rules of yoga go out the window. Imagine a five year old playing basketball. The rules of basketball state the basketball net is supposed to be 10 feet high. Now if rules were rules, that five year old would think basketball was the worst game ever because they could never get the ball in.
So we lower the net so a five year old can have fun playing. We break the rules.
Why? Because we put the needs of the participant ahead of the needs of the activity.
One problem many adult yoga teachers come across when they teach kids yoga is that alignment takes a back seat to engagement. For a yoga teacher from a strict alignment background (think Iyengar or Bikram), this feels like torture.
Alignment is important but does not always meet the needs of the learner. To meet the needs of kids:
- we may choose a pose, like a standing forward bend, simply because someone mentioned an Elephant in our story. The standing forward bend may not normally go next in a sequencing protocol, but any pose works in a play based kids yoga class
- we may play Yoga tag and not check alignment because they’re not “It” anymore
- we may make noise in a yoga pose, when we are supposed to be breathing deeply.
We put the needs of the participant ahead of the needs of the activity.
This is one method of an effective kids yoga teacher. It’s also a mark of a good training too. So for all those joining me on Friday in New Orleans be ready for lots of interactive activities that make learning fun.
For those of you teaching kids yoga, in what ways do you put the needs of kids before the needs of yoga?
Kids Yoga Teacher Summer Certification
Complete your 95 Hour Certificate with Young Yoga Master’s Yoga Alliance Registered Children’s Yoga School training. Check out our upcoming schedule here:
Adult Yoga Retreat
Looking for a great Yoga Get Away to deepen your own practice of Adult yoga?
I’ll be teaching at this yoga retreat for adults with a host of other wonderful teachers and musicians. Come give yourself a weekend that will deepen your personal practice. See my upcoming adult yoga schedule here.