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Shana Meyersonweb mini yogis
Welcome to the “mini yogis minute” weekly yoga tips for teachers and parents looking to create a more fun, engaging, and effective practice for their children. Be sure to check out mini yogis teacher training for all the tricks of the trade!

If you work with young kids, you work with binkies and stuffies and any bold array of other security “friends” that kids drag around.

But what do you do when a child brings her fuzzy friend to class with her? And it appears to be permanently connected to her hand?

Well…You know the old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?”

Those are your choices.

You can either integrate the doll, stuffed animal or blanket into the class. Or you can insist on leaving it out. (Or, of course, a combination of both).

If integrated, it’s very easy to bring it into meditation and savasana. That’s pretty self-explanatory.

But if you decide to integrate it into the rest of the class, be sure of a few things:

1. Do not let the kid’s companion get in the way of the practice. For example, it is not okay for a child to remain holding onto  anything while placing weight on her hands. And it’s not okay to hold something when the hands are meant to be actively engaged in a pose in any way. Do not compromise the integrity of a posture to accommodate the toy.

2. Be careful about any game that might involve passing or sharing the child’s special friend. This might trigger a violent response as other children touch her personal treasure.

3. Keep the focus on the yoga, not the doll. When the kid is paying attention to her doll instead of (or more than) her practice, then it is in the way and must be removed.

And if you do go the “beat ‘em” way, don’t just ask the child to put the binkie aside. Among other things, it will act as an attention magnet and permanent distraction from the class.

Rather, have the animal “sit in a yoga pose” and watch nearby, so the child has the security of having it around, but you have the security of knowing your student is actually present.

And that’s the mini yogis minute tip of the week. Check back every week to learn something new!

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