Maybe you are not in the mood to listen to a long story, but if you are thinking about teaching Yoga to kids and becoming a great Kids Yoga teacher maybe this can help you to make up your mind and go for it! Being a Kids Yoga teacher is a blessing! At least for me. Whenever I have a bad day and I am in a lousy mood, I go to work and, contrary to what happens in other jobs, I come out happier and shining. It is blissful to share such nice moments with children, knowing that you are setting out an example, that you ARE being the change you want to see. Being a kids Yoga teacher fills my heart with deep joy and I bet it will fill your heart with joy, too!
So here is an insight on how I came across this awesome job and opportunity. It all started with a journey. I was looking for my secret garden here on earth, and I went to live for one year in the beautiful country of Panamá. I found myself in a luscious jungle with warm weather, surrounded by hummingbirds in the middle of traffic jams, and no money in my pocket! I needed a job fast, and just by chance I saw an ad to teach English to kids. I had never worked with children before, and actually I had never really had any type of contact with kids. But I said “why not?” and I just gave it a try. I remember after my first day, when I was walking back home, I was thinking “this is definitely the worst job I have ever had. I hate it. It’s unbearable!” But I really needed the money so I had to go back. One week later it hit me. My job was tons of fun! It was an extra shot of happiness and energy and it just made me smile all day long. For the first time in my life I had found something that brought joy to my heart!
I bet you are thinking “where does kids yoga fit into this?” This is how it fits… I started teaching Yoga to my kids randomly when we discussed the body parts, or when I needed them to release some tension. I found out that Yoga in the classroom was the most awesome behavior management tool. It also reduced their anxiety levels and allowed them to have fun and learn more. The most interesting thing was that they LOVED it! But it all really started with this one student.
He always came to class with his Taekwondo uniform and an incredible amount of energy. And there was no way to get him engaged in the lessons. I tried everything! Running around, playing around, he was just not interested. So I gave it a shot. I just challenged him by saying “oh yeah I bet you are great doing Taekwondo, right? But do you know how to stand up on your head, huh?” He was like “WHAT!?” And I was like “oh yeah because I can.” And he was like “no, I bet you can’t. SHOW it to me.” And we made a dea. If he behaved and paid attention I was going to show him how I did my headstand. Good thing I took the KAY training! Who knew headstands aren’t recommended for little ones? But allowing him to watch me? He did he behave. He even helped me clean up and organize everything, and when we were finished he was dying to see me in action. I showed it to him, and he loved it. One week later when I came back to the institute I had a mob of children saying, “when are we going to do yoga? Is it true you can do Yoga? Can we do Yoga today?” I was stunned! It became the best trick up my sleeve. But I had really no idea what I was doing, so I kept it short and simple and kept my students out of harm.
The institute owners were so impressed by the interest that the kids had with Yoga. They were begging me to teach Yoga classes there. But I just didn’t really know how to do it… what safety measures to take into consideration or how to put it all together. So I didn’t start teaching yet, but had a new objective in mind. Getting my kids yoga teacher certification. But where? I had never really heard about anything like this… not in Argentina nor in Panamá, not anywhere I had been. Fate really played a part in making this happen. I ended up going to amazing and beautiful Costa Rica for a few months, and one day, just by the art of magic, Facebook told me: “Hey do you want to become a kids yoga teacher? there is a kids yoga teacher training in the next town tomorrow.” I was like YEAH!!!!!!
I missed the registration, of course. It was too last minute, but I talked to this lady that said they were going to have a training next week in Lake Arenal. Why didn’t I join them there? That lady was Haris Harini Lender, AKA Momma KAY. And in one week, 3 buses, a boat and 11 hours later I was in a breathtaking mountain lodge filled with fireflies and crickets and in an unexpected transformational training. I had no idea what to expect, and I remember Haris opening the training with Every Little Cell and I just couldn’t believed it. It was truly magical. It’s hardcore. You sweat and dance and you have fun! There is no way to go around it. At first I remember I was all shy and quiet, and dorky, and by the end I was dancing, playing, giggling, and LOVING IT!
A few weeks later, I was buying my ticket back home, and before I even got on a plane I got a job proposal from a beach club saying “I’ve never heard of ANYTHING like this before, I want it!!!” And before I knew it I was dancing, playing, OMMing, chanting, imagining, relaxing, and enjoying Yoga with kids of all ages, in my country, with my people. And this is a story for another day, but now I can do all of this magic in my own language! Thanks to Kidding Around Yoga in Español, I can dance, play, OM, chant, imagine, relax and so much more with so many kids, families and friends who don’t speak English! This just keeps getting better and better. All of the stress management tools for kids, all the meditation techniques for kids, all the Yoga for kids, both in English and Spanish, both for the children and their families. It’s just so GREAT I can’t explain how I feel! And I bet this will happen to you too. That amazing moment in which, besides the noise, the ants in the pants, and all of that, you can share with your kids something that will help them cope with stress, anxiety, anguish and so many things throughout their lives. It’s priceless. I bet that you’ll have that feeling of joy in your heart. It’s what keeps me going and I just thank my students, fate and Haris for making this possible every day.