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Why We Love Teaching Yoga to Children!
Why I (Betsy)started teaching yoga to kids...
I started teaching yoga to kids out of sheer desperation (notice my answer is a bit different than Sarah's; but, I think that is what helps us work so well together;)).... I was a mom DESPERATE to help my 3-year old with her anxiety (pictured in the pig-tails) .
A 3-year old with anxiety? It surprised me too. It also broke my heart. From a young age, Gracie has suffered from multiple medical conditions impacting her daily life. I'm sure this contributes to her anxiety; actually, it would be more surprising if it didn't. My husband and I had no idea what to do when she started having panic attacks at age 3 and we didn't even know that's what they were at first.
At that time, I was already a yoga teacher, understood the benefits of yoga, had experienced them myself, and started to wonder if yoga was something that could help Gracie. I started to research, completed trainings in order to teach yoga/mindfulness to children, family yoga, and started teaching BIG YOGI/little yogi classes. Gracie came to every class and still loves coming to our yoga classes. She still uses breathing and meditation exercises daily and I have been amazed at how much it has helped her. She still battles anxiety but, yoga enables her to work through those anxious feelings.
Even though Sarah is now the creative mind behind all of the kids classes and camps at AHH Yoga, I love assisting the classes and watching how much fun they are for the kids and how much they learn! I am extremely grateful that I fell into teaching yoga to kids and all the lessons the kids have taught ME through the years.
Why I (Sarah) started teaching yoga to kids…
Ever since I can remember, I knew one of my passions was working with young children. I'm constantly amazed by their curiosity, creativity, and ability to absorb every piece of information around them....like little sponges:)
Soon after I started teaching in traditional academic environments, I realized how important it was to help young children navigate their emotions. It quickly became clear to me that this was just as important as academics. Outside my classroom, I had personally discovered the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of yoga and considered ways to include it within my curriculum. Upon seeing the benefits of teaching yoga to my preschool students, I knew I had to share this gem with more than just my class!
After completing the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Ahh Yoga, I decided to enhance my education through Rainbow Yoga. This training focuses on yoga for children and has taught me how to be creative, engaging, and insure plenty of fun while designing my yoga classes. Rainbow Yoga was the perfect match for my teaching style! I now use Rainbow Yoga as the model for my classes in order to insure that I include something for every child: yoga poses, fun break (i.e. yoga game, breathing game), quiet time (i.e. breathing, meditation, guided imagery, listening to music).
What are the benefits of yoga for children?
I have found that no other form of exercise offers such a wide range of movements and benefits. In kid's yoga classes, we focus on flexibility, coordination, balance, and posture. Yoga for children not only exercises their body, it also exercises their mind and strengthens the breath.
Children's yoga includes interaction with the yoga teacher and other little yogis in the class, something not generally found in a traditional adult yoga class. Children’s yoga focuses on both verbal and non-verbal skills communication, fostering important social skills. It also helps children build inner strength and teaches them how to relax and reduce stress.
I’ve been so fortunate to teach Preschool Yoga, Big Yogi/Little Yogi, Tween and Family Yoga classes at Ahh Yoga. It has given me such joy to see little yogis connecting with their peers, parents/family members, and community. I have included one of my favorite classes below! I hope you enjoy! And, hopefully, we get to see you all at the studio soon! We miss our little yogis!
We missed yoga camp so much this year!