Yoga for Children: Strategies and Benefits
The teaching of Yoga in children is a very different experience than the teaching of adults. It can even be daunting at first, but there are wonderful strategies for classes to be a success full of fun .
If you are the Yoga teacher, it is best that you breathe deeply before entering your class for the first time for children. Successful writer and teacher Susan Verde, author of the bestselling YO YOYOGA says:
There has to be a lot of conversation and games during classes. As a teacher, you need to be able to go with the flow of the moment and change things in the middle of the session. She suggests taking time before class to sit and meditate, focus on breathing as a way to deepen oneself, to connect with oneself, to cultivate the calm and kindness you will need during class. .
While preparation is the key to success in any facet of life, in Yoga classes it is important to cut your expectations a bit. Green suggests having a plan and an open mind. Creating a class appropriate for the age of your students with a good mix of games, breathing and postures, will help you as a teacher to feel more organized and confident. This means that you are prepared to throw your entire plan through the window, depending on the needs and energy of the children. You might find that something entirely different works much better. Than your original plan. It is not about perfection, but about practice, even for a teacher .
BENEFITS OF YOGA IN CHILDREN
They develop knowledge and body awareness.
They develop strength, balance, coordination, endurance and flexibility.
They improve body posture.
Increase concentration and memory.
Enhance your creativity and imagination.
They learn to breathe correctly.
They develop relaxation techniques releasing states of anxiety, tension and stress. Yoga practice helps calm the nervous system.
Increase your self-esteem and self-knowledge.
They learn to connect with their spirituality and reflect on certain situations.
They improve your metabolism.
They become aware of the care of their own bodies.
They understand how fundamental are respect, tolerance, nonviolence towards them and towards all the beings that inhabit the planet.
KEY ELEMENTS FOR THE YOGA SEQUENCE
Meditation : always start the practice with a little meditation, in this way we prepare the mind and body for the Yoga class. Disconnection and connection with oneself are key to the concentration of children.
Breathing : from the beginning of the practice of Yoga emphasis is placed on breathing. It is important to remind children to breathe only through the nose ( inhalation and exhalation ), and try to coordinate movement with breathing.
Postures : the postures must be performed " step by step ", so that they learn how to get to the Asanas and then to disarm them. For children who do Yoga it is not so important to demand the correct alignment of the posture, but enjoy doing it; It is better not to keep Asana for a long time so as not to tire them, with just a couple of breaths it is enough.
Relaxation : after having finished the Yoga sequence, it is vital to perform a relaxation, because with it the custom and need to relax your body and mind is also created in children.
And let's not forget the most important. Classes should be enjoyable and fun. If the child enjoys, Yoga will remain forever in his routine.
MORE INFORMATION in the manuals: “ I am Yoga ” by Susan Verde and “ Yoga for children ” by Macarena Kojakovic.