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When I teach yoga to children, every activity we do is an actual yoga activity and every activity serves a purpose. That may seem obvious, but so many kids’ teachers fluff up their routines with general movement (“Now let’s jump!”) or simple pantomime (“What does it look like when you brush your teeth?”), that they seem to lose sight of the fact that they are teaching an actual yoga class.
Yoga is an incredibly rich and dynamic practice and you want to make sure that your classes are at least 75-80% (or more!) real yoga. If you’ve taken my teacher training, or have been reading my tips for a while, you know that I never do stagnant poses with kids. Always yoga activities, always fun. Fun is really important! So when I say “real yoga”, I don’t mean that the kids are doing a straight-up vinyasa class, or are just holding a pose for a while and then changing to another pose. I mean that all activities center around actual yoga asana, meditation, or pranayama.
That being said, though I’m all about the fun, I never do anything just because it’s fun. Every activity must serve a purpose. If I’m doing partner pose, that means each partner is either facilitating or challenging the other partner’s pose. If I’m doing a creative exercise, that means each action involves pure yoga poses, not just frivolous pantomime or movement.
When you are coming up with your class plans, step back, look at each activity and ask “What purpose does this serve? What am I trying to teach?“. If the answer is “Wow, I’m not really sure!”, it’s time to change your plan.
And that’s the mini yogis minute tip of the week. Check back every week to learn something new!
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