By Sangeetha Saran
Teaching Yoga to children can be a challenging but an extremely rewarding experience. Yoga classes for children are often filled with a lot of laughter, plenty of fun and a little bit of frustration sprinkled here and there. If you plan on teaching Yoga to young students, there are a few things that you should be ready for.
1. Children have short attention spans
Holding the attention of a child for longer than five to ten minutes at a time can be quite difficult. Breaking the session down into smaller segments can help keep kids interested.
2. Children will have a hard time remembering the names of poses
Even when translated into English, Yoga poses have difficult names for children to remember. While some names will be very easy for kids to retain, it is important to have patience.
3. Children are more flexible than you think
Most children will have no problem at all performing poses. In fact, many can easily perform even some of the more advanced poses with perfection. Kids have yet to develop the fears that adults have about inversions, headstands and splits.
4. Warming up and cooling down are just as important for kids as they are for adults
Do not forget the importance of warming up and cooling down. Just be careful to ensure that the warm up does not require the kids to expend all of their energy.
5. Props can make the session more enjoyable
Kids love Yoga props because they see them as toys. Incorporate them into the routine whenever possible. This will make classes more enjoyable for them and when they go home, they are proud to show their elders how to use them.
6. Being creative and open with your practice can help keep children attentive
While it is important to teach kids the traditions of Yoga and what the practice is all about, it may be beneficial to also incorporate separate creative poses as well. If you can relate the pose to a child’s favorite character from a book or movie, it will likely grab their attention.
7. Choosing simple poses will minimize the risk of injury
While children can be extremely flexible, it is important not to test their limits too much. Even with direction, they may wind up injuring themselves by practicing some of the advanced poses.
8. Patience is a virtue
While children can be some of the most pleasurable students to work with, there will most certainly be times when they will test your patience. Expect them to misbehave and not follow directions from time to time.
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