I would like to share my experiences when got to teach yoga to kids In a summer camp.
Teaching yoga to kids is a little challenging as sustaining their attention involved is a bit difficult. Even if you have experience in teaching adults it’s very different when you apply the same to kids.
The first thing done was to approach their parents to whom I could describe the benefits of yoga asanas, only then do they understand how important it’s for their kids.
Now to prepare myself for how the class syllabus should be, I had to adjust my plan accordingly with kid-friendly games and postures designed relating to nature. All the movements connected to birds, animals, trees, mountains etc which made it easy for them to understand and relate and remember.
My class always started with a long breathing exercise relating their tummy with a balloon inflating and deflating as and when inhaling and exhaling, so they found it funny. Each day I tried preparing the same things differently to keep their interest and develop new skills that push them forward. I found that repetition of postures is very important to develop a sense of mastery. They actually tend to copy movements that they see you doing and can’t follow the cueing. Also, kids find it more interesting to do yoga asanas either outside in nature or on a carpeted floor where I could introduce and entertain them with games involving postures.
As teachers, we have to prepare our minds and let go of our expectations about what it means to be a good yoga student, need to understand that every kid is different and especially when they are of different age groups. Kids tend to perform well when they are appreciated and encouraged and given attention.
I included some games like passing the parcel wherein when the music stops, the one with the parcel opens up and takes a chit which states a posture to show. Another was a statue game, where the kids dance to the music and each time the music is put off, were asked to show some random posture.
Kids enjoy dynamic movements so I tried arranging patterns of flow of postures and repeated it 3 to 5 times after which they get tired and at the end, they were ready for savasana-guided meditation.
The class was for 15 days and was fun-filled and I could also get recharged along with them. Initially, I had thought that kids might feel bored, but when the class was designed with fun-filling activities, the environment changed.
On the final day of the class, I prepared small audio for them to perform.
Sajitha Ajith – Rehab Yoga Master Trainer & Educator