Updated August 23, 2023
By Anjana Chennagiri, Pretzel Kids teacher and blog contributor
Yoga for kids is more popular than ever before.
In fact, with stress on the rise, there is a now a surge in demand for kids yoga and mindfulness classes in schools. This means that this is also a huge demand for great yoga teachers.
That said, teaching yoga for kids is fun and rewarding, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.
For starters, a skilled teacher will know how to teach yoga and meditation in a way kids can relate to. They will also understand how to make classes engaging so that, at the end of the class, children are left with some tools and practices to incorporate in their day-to-day lives.
Here are 7 ways to become a better yoga teacher for kids.
1. Show Up to Class with Passion and Enthusiasm
If you want to learn how to start teaching yoga to kids professionally, you are probably comfortable with the idea of working with kids.
Passion for working with kids and helping them lead happier, healthier lives is an important prerequisite to be successful in this field of work. So, when teaching your classes, bring your passion with you. Show that you care. Show your enthusiasm for working with children.
Children often pick up energy from their teachers, whom they look up to. Make sure you show up excited to be there and don’t forget your smile! This is the No. 1 thing if you want to be the best kids yoga teacher!
2. Practice What You Preach
Yoga is a way of living.
It teaches us how to live our day to day lives. Apart from the physical postures, yogic philosophy teaches us about beautiful values like love, friendship, honesty, truthfulness and so much more. It also teaches about healthy living, our connection with nature and about leading a more responsible life on this planet.
If you are a teacher, and you’re teaching kids about the benefits of yoga, it’s a good idea to practice what you preach.
So, check in with yourself each day to see how you are responding to everything happening around you. Make sure you get your own physical practice done for the day. Set some time aside for your meditation and breathing exercises.
Children look up to their teachers. So presenting them a better version of yourself sets a good example. Likewise, making healthy choices in your own daily life will make you a better teacher!
3. How to Start Teaching Yoga to Kids Professionally
Once you have embarked on the journey to become a kids yoga teacher, the first step is to earn yourself a kids yoga teacher certification from the best teacher training program.
Do you need a certification to teach kids yoga?
The good news is that, unlike adult teacher trainings, a children’s yoga certification course does not require you to do a whole 200 hours of training. It can be completed in a very short period of time and is more affordable. These training sessions can even be completed online from the comfort of your home!!
A comprehensive kid’s yoga teacher training will teach you the best practices and methodologies that help you succeed in the field. A certification also adds tremendous value if you want to teach at scale. It gives you credibility and confidence to a niche wider audience!
Get training and support
Once you choose a children’s yoga certification course and become a kids yoga teacher, make sure you find a support network. Facebook and other online platforms have plenty of teacher communities where you can get teaching tips and tricks.
Networking with peers can also open doors for new opportunities. For example, children’s yoga companies, like Pretzel Kids, offer ongoing resources – long after your online teacher training course is over!
This will give you much needed support, especially when you are just starting to teach and need expert advice.
4. Come Prepared
Come prepared to teach class – physically and mentally.
It’s important to do a quick check-in with yourself. Maybe practice some yoga poses and do some breathing exercises to help you feel more prepared. And, of course, make sure you have your yoga mat, yoga lesson plan and any other props you will be using for the day.
Plan for the appropriate age group
A children’s class is not one size fits all. Each age group has different abilities and attention spans. Preschoolers learn differently than elementary school children.
Understanding the age group of children you are working with helps you plan a better class!
A one time class versus a series
This is an important factor to consider when planning your classes. A one time class can be more casual and introductory in nature, whereas a series of classes can be more structured and planned.
A kids yoga session helps reinforce skills by repeating them in each consecutive class. For example, children can master the sun salutations by repeating them in each class versus just trying it for one time in a single class.
A series can also give you more autonomy and flexibility in lesson planning. You can introduce many aspects of yoga, like breathing techniques for kids and meditation. You can even build on physical postures slowly until they get used to the movements.
Invest in Props
Besides mats, there are some other fantastic props that will help you teach.
A simple breathing ball is a great tool to hold the attention of the class. Other props like yoga blocks, yoga dots, yoga puzzles, and even animal yoga cards and mindfulness printable activities from Pretzel Kids can add a fun element to your classes.
Have your class lesson plan and yoga curriculum ready
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of having a lesson plan! It takes the stress out of what to teach in every single class. And, it helps you be better prepared each time.
5. Get Creative and Make it Fun
At the end of the day, you will be working with kids. This means you must have ample ideas to make the sessions fun and engaging!
While yoga, mindfulness and meditation has numerous physical and emotional benefits, it has to be conveyed to children in a fun and kid-friendly manner. Kiddos have shorter attention spans and can easily get bored. So having them sit for a 5-minute breathing exercise can be a huge ask.
There are plenty of resources you can use to make yoga fun for kids. Having a lesson plan helps you be organized and plan ahead for your sessions. And, using themes in your lesson plans will help keep things interesting and fun. There are a vast number of themes you can incorporate in your classes. Some of our favs include themes like nature, animals, seasons, etc.
Kids learn better through play
Bring some playfulness into your classes! Add fun props, yoga games for kids, and puzzles to add extra challenges. Lastly, use the power of books to introduce the philosophy of yoga to young children in the form of stories. This is a great opportunity for you as a teacher to introduce important yogic values to the youngest of learners.
For some book ideas, here’s our list of the top 9 mindfulness books for kids!
6. Find Your Yoga Niche as a yoga teacher for kids
You are your own unique person. You have a certain teaching style, a way to connect with youth and a special way of teaching yoga. Find your uniqueness and your own voice.
You can also develop your own niche or speciality and grow in that area. Maybe you want to only work with teen athletes or teach yoga to babies and toddlers. Whatever it is, a niche helps you stay focused and grow consistently and sustainably.
7. Practice Patience
Last but not least, remind yourself of the old saying “Patience is a virtue.”
Working with children requires a lot of patience. There can be days where even the best planned class may not go as planned. Kids can be unpredictable and you may need to take a deep breath and allow things to go with the flow.
Are You Ready to be A Rockstar Kids Yoga Teacher?
Teaching yoga, meditation and mindfulness for children is rewarding work. It gives you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young children by helping them manage their physical and emotional health, and bring joy and happiness into their lives.
We hope you’ll consider teaching children, and if you want more tips, we’re here for you!