It began when my son started to take notice of my home practice. At first he was only interested in my yoga mat and insisted on helping me roll and unroll it on the livingroom floor. Then he started to invent his own yoga poses. From downward dog and three-legged dog, he went on to create two-legged dog (one hand, one foot) and one-legged dog (his attempt at a one-handed handstand). Sandwich pose, in which he lies on his back and pulls his straight-ish legs towards his chest, is another favorite.
As his interest grew, my interest in learning how to nurture and encourage his playful explorations also grew.
I took a Kids Yoga Teacher Training where I gained access to teaching resources and a generous community of Kids Yoga teachers. For my son’s 5th birthday we threw a yoga-themed birthday party and I got my first taste of teaching a large group of kids. They loved it!
Since then, I’ve gone on to teach at an elementary school to kids from junior kindergarten all the way up to grade 6 as part of their regular physical education curriculum. I`ve also run a weekly lunch hour Yoga Club for grade 6 students and safely taken them from relaxation techniques to handstands.
While children certainly benefit from a vigorous yoga practice that supports healthy growing bodies (by building strong muscles and bones, increasing flexibility and circulation, and improving balance and coordination), the breathing and relaxation techniques introduced in Kids Yoga are incredible tools for healthy growing minds.
Just as adults can feel stressed and overstimulated by the demands of their lives, so can kids. By teaching our children to use their breath to calm their minds and clear their heads, we equip them with powerful tools for life.
I’m available to bring Kids Yoga to the special little people in your life. Contact me to arrange a visit to your home, school, daycare, or community group. I’m happy to tailor my class plan to any theme and will work with you to ensure that it’s an experience the kids will absolutely love.
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Photos by Erin Bidlake