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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!

Two- and three-year-olds love to say “no.” It’s pretty much their favorite word…which is a particularly fun reality when teaching them yoga.

Let’s sit down and get still. No.

How about we play yoga basketball? You love yoga basketball. No.

Can you show me criss-cross? No.

Ugh! What do you do?

First thing…understand why very young children love to say no. First, is that they are imitating the adults around them…who are always saying no. Second, these kids are just coming into their own, discovering their role in the world, and trying to exert some control. “No” equals control.

There is hope.

When teaching your toddlers, limit the amount you use the word “no.” With all ages, in fact, best to word your feedback as “yes…but…” instead of “no.” By largely taking the word “no” out of your vocabulary, it will encourage them to do the same.

And since what they want is control, give it to them. But give it to them on your terms. Instead of asking “yes or no” questions (“Can you sit down in criss-cross?”), ask either-or questions (“Would you rather sit down in criss-cross or half-lotus?”). In answering, they will still feel as if they are in control, but only you really know who’s really calling the shots.

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

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