1.  When teaching children yoga, be friendly and firm.  In the words of the Dog Whisperer:  You are the Calm, Assertive, Pack Leader.

2.  When doing a yoga posture or exercise, children will breathe unconsciously no matter how much to tell them to breathe.  To encourage conscious breathing say something like, “Breathe so you can hear yourself and only yourself breathing”, or “Let’s take five big breaths together, inhale/exhale one, inhale/exhale two….”

3.  Story yoga works best when you remember the “glue”that holds it together: 1. step-by-step instructions, 2. Breath co-ordinated with yoga movement (ex. “breathe in as arms go up, breathe out down”).  3.  To ease transtions and encourage focus, end each pose/exercise with “Breathe in…(pause)…breathe out, and relax.’”

4.  Let most of the chatter go by, and keep teaching.  If there is a group restlessness, bring more large motor movement into the mix (ex. frog hops, monkey jumps for younger ones, downdog to plank and back for older ones.)

5.  Routine brings security. New material brings fresh interest. Use a combination of both in your class planning.  More routine from 2-6, more variety for 7 and up.

Shared by Shakta Kaur Khalsa.  Shakta has been teaching yoga and children for over 3 decades, is the author of several yoga books, mother of a teenager, happily married to Kartar for over 30 years, and oh yes–founder of the Radiant Child Yoga program, a teacher training program for keeping kids joyful, aware, strong, and beautiful. It works for us adult children too… View all posts by radiantchildyoga →