Teaching Yoga To Children

         

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Teaching yoga to children can be fun. It is much too difficult to make yoga easy for kids after you have taught yoga to adults though. Adult training incorporates a formatted style of yoga training and teaching. But for kids you need to make a yoga session not just interesting and fun but also easy and energetic at the same time. You have to make it seem like an exercise or a ‘play’ without making it seem like a gymnastic ‘performance’ or a hard-core yogic posture. You have to make children love yoga so that they take to it as a lovable activity or a game. This alone has kept me glued to the art of training among children.

It’s interesting when I was teaching a class of about five kids, I had a mixed bag with one obese child, one very thin, one flabby child and the other two flexible, intelligent, quick-learners and craving for more. It was a pleasure to teach the intelligent ones of course. But the obese child could not bend her leg fully in the Warrior Pose or could not touch her feet in the Plough pose or could not touch her toes in the Pashchimottana Asana. It became important that I let her do as much as she could without pushing for more and infact had to tell her to relax so that she stop feeling guilty about not being able to deliver more than others or more than she ought to. That’s the worst feeling as a student. The worst feeling one can develop towards something new you are going out there to learn. Its about how much her body would allow. Does that mean I bifurcate the class into very intelligent and less intelligent class? Well, no. I just keep decomplicate things for them.

Simply, I did teach the more intelligent ones separately while playing with them. So they even managed to do the Yoganidra Asana and the Hanuman Asana (the split) with ease. Making yoga fun is important, irrespective of what the background of the student is.

For kids, introducing them to different poses itself is such an important job done. A perfect day for youngsters would mean a workout consisting of the following poses:

• Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
• Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
• Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
• Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
• Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
• Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

     

    Among sitting postures the following basic asanas would be good

    • Torso Stretch (Bharadvajasana)
    • One-legged Forward Bend (Eik Pada Paschimottanasana)
    • Half Bound Lotus (Ardha Baddha Pada Paschimottanasana)
    • Hero Pose (Virasana)
    • Seated Mountain Pose (Parvatasana)
    • Cow Faced Pose (Gomukhasana)
    • Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

       

      Finally daily practice of the Shoulder Stand (Sarvanga Asana) is good enough to end with. Medically, children need to stay fit. Physical, mental and social well-being of a child is important and yoga helps keep this balance as the performance of these asanas keeps the biological changes in balance within a body. The sooner, the better!


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