Yoga’s benefits include: stillness, balance, flexibility, focus, peace, grace, connection, health, and well-being. It pairs nicely with conflict resolution education. When teaching yoga to kids it can be challenging to keep their attention. Here are some ideas to make the experience postive for everyone.
Children will jump at the chance to assume the role of animals, trees, flowers, warriors. Your role is to step back and allow them to bark in the dog pose, hiss in the cobra, and meow in cat stretch. They can also recite the ABCs or 123s as they are holding poses. Sound is a great release for children and adds an auditory dimension to the physical experience of yoga.
As they perform the various animal and nature asanas, engage their minds to deepen their awareness. When they’re snakes, invite them to really imagine that they’re just a long spine with no arms and legs. Could you still run or climb a tree? In Tree Pose ask them to imagine being a giant oak, with roots growing out of the bottoms of their feet. Could you stay in the same position for 100 years? If you were to be chopped down, would that be OK? Would it hurt?
This helps to make a connection between the macrocosm of our environment and the microcosm of our bodies. The importance of reverence for all life and the principle of interdependence becomes apparent. Children begin to understand that we are all made of the same “stuff.” We’re just in different forms.
Source: Marsha Wenig Yoga for Kids www.yogajournal.com
CRE Calendar Usage: 3rd Edition