August 12, 2011

The Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about teaching kids yoga

Kids yoga teachers are a special breed of yogis. They are amazingly patient and uber positive. They are playful and kind, funny and fun, and they are always flexible and always smiling.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that folks can be so awesomely awesome!

Don’t they know about the dark side of teaching yoga to kids? Am I the only one? Are their superhuman yogi powers impervious to the kids’ kryptonite?

The truly good ones are.

So for the rest of us, here it is, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about teaching yoga to kids:

  1. 45 minute classes can feel like a life time. Sometimes a yoga class can feel like the last 45 minutes of school before summer vacation. Eternal.
  2. Kids are loud. Even when they are trying to be quiet and still–they are still loud.
  3. Kids cry. You can see it happening. The child pauses, contemplates whether or not they should cry and then slowly, timidly at first, the tears begin to fall. And the moment attention is called to the crying kid–BRING ON THE WATER WORKS!!!!! Nothing makes a yogi feel worse that a crying kid. Believe me.
  4. Kids point out all your mistakes and flaws. There’s nothing like a kid to keep us humble. Forgot to wax your upper lip? They’ll remind you. Forgot to bring the bubbles you promised? They’ll call you out on it.
  5. Kids interrupt. They want to tell you about their classroom hamster or their new toy dinosaur at the exact same time you want to start teaching. Funny how that always happens.
  6. Kids toot in yoga.
  7. Kids like Spongebob Square Pants and Dora the Explorer and so should you!
  8. If kids aren’t having fun you’ll have a mutiny on your hands. You’ll be waving the white flag of surrender while they run wild through the studio.
  9. The saying, “the more the merrier” doesn’t necessarily apply to kids yoga. Sometimes more is scarier! Taking on more kids than you can handle can be incredibly overwhelming and send you running for the hills.
  10. Kids love, love, love yoga props. Schlepping feathers and fuzz balls, bubbles and bells, puppets and hula hoops makes us glorified prop sherpas. Trying to avoid draging bags full of toys from your car to class by declaring that “our imagination will be our prop of choice” rarely works.
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