Under the guidance of a certified instructor, yoga classes for kids focus on building upon each child’s strengths while helping them ease stress and bolster self-esteem, cooperation, self-trust, and reverence for one’s inner world. These classes are for kids of all ages and typically use music, activities, and props to create a fun, interactive environment.
Children experience many benefits from participation in yoga classes including:
- Enhanced awareness of, and better control of, their body
- Greater ease connecting to other people and their surroundings
- Confidence and improved self-esteem/ self-efficacy
- Enhanced ability to focus and self-regulate behavior and emotion
- Improved physical skills such as balance, coordination, agility, sense of direction
- Ability to experience relaxation and learn how to access this state of being at any time
Children’s Yoga Teacher Qualifications
The standard credentials for a children’s yoga teacher is completion of a 200 hour Yoga Alliance approved teacher training plus educational or practical experience with children. (If your child has special needs, that is additional qualification/experience you’ll need to explore). Ideally, the instructor has obtained CEUs or certification in teaching yoga for children.
Before choosing a class for your child, ask questions about the teacher’s experience and certification. Also, observe a class and see the range of abilities being taught; trust your intuition about whether or not a class or a teacher is a good fit for your child. A children’s yoga teacher must be able to truly be present for a child just as they are, in the moment, and demonstrate acceptance that every child’s body does yoga differently. This empowers even the most ‘yoga clumsy’ child to gradually achieve a sense of fulfillment and self-efficacy that can carry from the yoga mat to other areas of the child’s life.
- “Therapeutic Effects of Yoga for Children: A Systematic Review of the Literature.” Pediatric Physical Therapy: Spring 2008 – Volume 20 – Issue 1 – pp 66-80 doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31815f1208. Accessed 2 Feb 2018: http://journals.lww.com/pedpt/Abstract/2008/01910/Therapeutic_Effects_of_Yoga_for_Children__A.10.aspx
- Rainbow Yoga Teacher Training Manual. (2017) © Rainbow Yoga. http://rainbowyogatraining.com/#
- Yoga Alliance Children’s Yoga Standards. Accessed 2 Feb 2018: https://www.yogaalliance.org/Credentialing/Standards/ChildrensStandards
- “Yoga Generates Huge Benefits for Children with Autism.” Posted by YogaInternational.com Accessed 2 Feb 2018: https://yogainternational.com/article/view/yoga-generates-huge-benefits-for-children-with-autism
- ChicagoTribune.com “Yoga offers benefits for people with special needs” posted 14 March 2012. Accessed 2 Feb 2018: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-x-yoga-for-special-needs-0314-20120314-story.html