Updated: February 22, 2023
By Kim Bassan, Pretzel Kids content writer
There is only one rule in yoga for kids and we found what it is. Rule number one is that you gotta have fun!
Doing yoga with kids is nothing like traditional yoga classes and you need to prepare yourself for this! To help you out, we created a full list with everything you need to know in order to plan and be the best kids yoga teacher out there!
Here are our top 6 tips on how to teach yoga for kids.
Tip 1: Plan and Prepare Your Kids Yoga Class
We mentioned it before but, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. While classes can be spontaneous and creative, you should always come with a yoga class plan. Think of it as your map to the perfect destination! Just as you plan for your next vacation, there are some things to know before teaching children.
What should I know before teaching kids yoga?
You want to make sure you know how and where you are going to meet your students. Is it going to be after school? Online? Or maybe you’re going to teach classes at your house!
Whatever the case might be, make sure you have an action plan. You can start with figuring out exactly where to teach your kids yoga class. If the weather cooperates, perhaps you can do some sun salutations outside. If it’s cold and gloomy, practice kids yoga poses in the cozy indoors.
Some things you should always consider:
- Age Range
- Your yoga curriculum and lesson plan!
How to plan a kids yoga class? How to create a kids yoga class plan?
With yoga for kids, there’s only one rule: you gotta make it fun!
We know we said that children’s yoga classes are different from adult yoga classes, but they are the same in the fact that they all need some sort of structure. So, start with a fun activity or yoga games for kids, and then add in a breathing exercise to set the tone.
Make sure you have your yoga poses chosen and always, always, always end with savasana! (Kids LOVE savasana – who doesn’t?!)
Tip 2: Have a Backup Plan for Your Yoga Class
While you can plan and prepare for hours and hours, always prepare for the unexpected! Kids are spontaneous and you should be too! Make sure you interact with the kiddos during the class and read the energy in the room. If there’s a shy child or someone with disabilities, always be inclusive.
How to Teach Yoga for Kids with Disabilities
Teaching kids with disabilities requires patience and understanding of their circumstances and abilities. You might even consider teaching chair yoga as all kids seem to love this. In fact, there are many fun chair yoga poses you can teach!
Remember: Yoga is for everyone and everyone is welcome in a yoga class. Learning how to teach yoga for kids with special needs not only will broaden your market outreach but also teach you a thing or two about becoming the best yoga teacher that you can..
Tip 3: Be Playful!
First and foremost, your class should be playful! While mindfulness and breathing exercises are beneficial, children have a lot of energy and we are here to help them destress while having fun!
So, be silly and goofy. Have fun!
Teach Yoga Outdoors
If the sun is out you can likely do yoga outside! There is nothing better than being outdoors in the fresh air. This can also improve your mental health and increase your overall well-being.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you teach yoga outside:
- Plan the best time for the ideal temperature and bring plenty of water!
- Pick a shady area to avoid sunburn.
- Make sure the area is clear from any danger such as animals, rocks and sticks.
- Embrace the natural sound of mother nature!
What Yoga Themes Do Children Like Best?
Yoga is relaxing but kids aren’t always so calm – and that’s ok! That is why we have spent hours trying to figure out the best way to teach yoga classes for children!
Want to know what works? Themes. This encourages them to join the yoga adventure. Some of the best themes are:
- Animals. This lets them move like a bear, jump like a bunny – you get the drift. For some awesome ideas for introducing animal poses, check out these Animal Pose cards!
- Holidays. If it’s almost Christmas, Halloween or Thanksgiving, make sure you incorporate the holiday spirit into your classes.
- Nature. Let nature come to life with a sea theme, safari theme, Rainforest theme and more. If you are doing yoga outside, then let nature dictate the sounds and movements. Act like a tree, pick up the leaves and spread light like the sun! Have fun with your imagination.
Just remember to embrace your inner child and allow your playful side to shine!
Tip 4: Incorporate Creative Props
You can definitely incorporate some blocks and straps in a playful way, but the goal with kids yoga is to…you know it – have fun! So use props in a creative way! Build block forts and imagine your yoga mat is a magical mat that will fly you all the way to yoga-land! And then, when you get to yoga-land, you can play all your favorite yoga songs and tell beautiful yoga stories.
How to use yoga songs for kids in class?
Humans love music. From birth, parents use music to calm children and destress. As a kids yoga teacher, you can take advantage of this and incorporate music to dance along, warm-up or calm down. There is a time and place for every tune, so heavy metal should probably stay off of your playlist. But silly music is a big plus!
What are the best yoga books for kids?
Mindfulness is a buzzword and there’s a good reason for it. Mindfulness has proven to be beneficial for people from all walks of life and movement is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness! A good way to incorporate mindfulness into a youth class is by storytelling. For example, reading books about mindfulness can help the kids relax and move into a peaceful state. To get started, here are some of the best books on mindfulness for kids.
Tip 5: Connect with Parents
If you notice a child doesn’t want to participate or enjoys a particular activity, share it with their parents! At the end of the day, yoga is fun but also an educational experience. This is the time to plant healthy habits for the young generation.
In addition, by connecting with parents and guardians, you earn their trust, respect and who knows – maybe those adults will also become your private yoga clients!
Tip 6: Be Ready to Experience a Different Kind of Yoga Class
Teaching yoga for kids is a gift.
If you are a fitness instructor, parent, educator or literally anyone who wants to help children, teaching yoga for kids is a great opportunity. It can be intimidating, but it’ll bring you so much confidence, joy and contentment. Providing kids with physical and mental health tools is the best compensation.
Maybe it’s time you become a registered children’s yoga instructor!
Which yoga for kids training should I take?
We’re so happy you are asking this. The market is overflowing with teacher training programs, so how do you determine which is the best children’s yoga teacher training? Luckily, we’re here to help with our top kid’s yoga teacher training courses.
Just remember: You can crunch all the numbers and spend hours going back and forth, but at the end of the day, you need to follow your heart. And we hope your heart will guide you to us! The Pretzel Kids Method course covers everything from the business aspects of teaching kids yoga to how to structure and create lesson plans!
How to teach yoga for toddlers
There is no specific age to start practicing yoga. Yet, we think you can teach yoga to toddlers on up to teens!
Anxiety among the younger generation has been spiking ever since the global pandemic and yoga brings a sense of calm to the littlest yogis. To learn more about how to teach yoga to toddlers, check out this story with loads of tips and tricks!
The Benefits of Yoga for Kids
We cannot stress this enough but, the benefits of yoga for kids go beyond physical activity! But if you want to be seen as the know-it-all, professional kids yoga teacher, here are some of the benefits of yoga for children that you can discuss with parents:
- Yoga helps manage anxiety and stress
- It helps promote good, quality sleep
- It helps enhance strength and flexibility
- Mindful movement helps with balance and coordination
- Yoga helps to boost self-esteem
- Asana helps improve focus
With all of these advantages, what else is left to say?
Kim Bassan is a content writer at Pretzel Kids. She’s also a yoga teacher and a communication and publishing student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Kim is originally from Israel but moved to Canada with her family and little puppy Moana. In her free time, she’s busy hiking or doing downward-facing dog with Moana!