Being a Kids’ Yoga teacher is much more than having fun and teaching kids some poses. When I am teaching a class, I feel I am in a privileged position to bond with the kids and help them deal with many aspects of their lives. I like to teach my kids the importance of taking action in peace, respecting each other, being healthy, and always making the most of any situation.
Many times I give my students Om work, and yes (like school), when they hear about it they don’t act really thrilled. However, when I explain the “assignment,” they usually get excited. The assignments usually are things like: meditating at home, doing something nice for someone else, teaching their parents their favorite poses, or take a few deep breaths before taking a test.
Just like with every other thing we learn, if we don’t practice at home, it’s hard to really get good at it. Whenever my students get frustrated with a pose, I always tell them practice brings improvement, especially if they take it slow. I think it is also important for the kids to understand that everything we learn in a Kids’ Yoga class is useful in our everyday life too. Actually, yoga really starts to “kick in” when, after applying it in our daily routine, we begin seeing results and changes. That’s often when students understand how powerful yoga really is! When yoga starts to make sense in everyday life, kids begin to see it as a stress management tool.
Don’t think I have it easy! In order to teach kids about yoga, I have to do my Om work every day too. In my experience, the best way of teaching is to teach by example. If I tell my students how important it is to listen to others and they see me not doing it, then everything I say becomes worthless. That’s why I work very hard to get my Om work done: to meditate, to use pranayama techniques when I’m nervous about something, and to be mindful in everything I do. If I didn’t do all this, then how could I explain it to children?
In fact, I believe the time my students really understood how powerful meditation is was this one day when I arrived late to class due to an unexpected traffic jam. I was really overwound and my mind was all over the place. As they taught me in my Kids’ Yoga teacher training, I took advantage of the situation to teach.
I asked my students: “Don’t I seem to have a koo koo head today?” They all nodded at the same time with a giggle, and then I asked: “So, what do you think I should do to get focused and calm?” They weren’t really sure what to say. They mentioned taking a nap, eating ice cream…until one of my students suggested meditation, so we meditated. When we finished meditating, and I was back to normal, the effect and purpose of the meditation couldn’t have been clearer. In the end, I was thankful for that opportunity to give my students a real-life example of how to use kids’ relaxation techniques.
Something awesome that came out of the experience was my students could see, that in the end I am no different from them. I am a human being who might get sad, angry, anxious, or upset; and that I need to keep doing my Om work every day to be the best that I can be—just like them.
Luckily Kidding Around Yoga has one song to help with everything! The song “Om Work” is an easy and fun reminder of what to do if you are not sure how to practice yoga at home. It gives great info on the many aspects of yoga and even teaches about using kids’ relaxation techniques, health benefits, and just being peaceful. I just love doing my Om work to the beat of this song. What about you?
[mp3j track=”www.kiddingaroundyoga.com/mp3/samples/Om_Work_sample.mp3″ title=”Om Work”][wp_eStore_buy_now_button id=28]