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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!

Teaching yoga to children–and especially the little-littles–requires some laying down of the law. Rules are key to keeping order (or at least some semblance of order) in class.

The challenge is to keep the class fun and welcoming, while also having some stringent boundaries to keep the kittens reined in.

How can you walk that fine line?

By making your rules into games and challenges.

In other words, putting the constructs into a structure the kids are not just willing–but even eager–to hold on to.

A very popular and time-tested example would be “when the hand goes up, the mouth goes shut.” And you start by teaching this rule not in the heat of the moment, but simply making a game where the kids can talk or sing or make animal noises, and each time you raise your hand, they get quiet. Be sure to provide positive reinforcement to the children who really do a great job of it.

Another example might be to say that the ground around their mats is quick sand, as a method to keep kids on their mats. And then, if they do go off their mats (on purpose…falling doesn’t count), they have to go into child’s pose, “stuck in the sand” until you pull them out.

Just like everything in the practice, keep it fun and your kids will be eager to play along.

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

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