By Anjana Chennagiri, Pretzel Kids teacher and blog contributor
If you’re a children’s yoga instructor, you already know that the COVID-19 pandemic has made teaching yoga, well, challenging.
Don’t worry, though. Teaching engaging, fun kids yoga classes online is totally doable! You can even reach more students than ever before through the magic of the Internet!
To take advantage of this great opportunity, we’ve put together this primer on how to teach kids yoga online. Whether you’re a newly certified yoga teacher wanting to teach online yoga or transitioning to teaching virtual yoga, you’ll definitely want to learn how to keep children’s online yoga classes engaging, valuable and fun!
Are you ready to make the most of your online yoga classes? Let’s dig in!
Make a teaching plan for your livestream yoga classes
Having a teaching plan or a yoga lesson mapped-out beforehand ensures a successful online yoga class. Read below for some tips for kids participating in remote learning:
Design your online yoga lesson plan
Know what you are going to teach ahead of time. It could be a particular theme, transitions or the format of your online yoga classes. Just make sure you have your lesson plans written out and printed before the start of your digital classes. Given the time limits and short attention spans of children, especially online, it helps to keep things organized. So, plan to teach children the things that are really important, like yoga poses for kids, stretches, and breathing.
Adapt your yoga lesson for virtual yoga classes
Your lesson plans should be online-friendly and designed for remote learners taking classes Zoom or Skype. So try to include activities and yoga poses that will keep kids moving and out of the chat rooms! Try games like a scavenger hunt, where kids can bring objects from around the house and show it to others online. Or, ask the children to make up their own yoga poses and teach them to the rest of the class!
Practice your yoga lesson for digital classes
If it’s your first time teaching an kids’ online yoga class, it can be a bit overwhelming. Practicing helps you to make last-minute changes and make you become a more confident kids yoga teacher. So, perhaps offer to teach a kids yoga class to children in your parent network for a trial run, or even try recording your own practice online to review!
Spotlight and Highlight Your Children’s Virtual Yoga Classes
Once you are ready with your yoga lesson plans, it is time to face the screen.
First: get familiar with your virtual platforms, like Google, Skype or Zoom. Make sure all the technical aspects are taken care of when you set up your online yoga classes.
Online platforms like Zoom allow speakers to spotlight themselves. Use that feature to hold the focus on you. And, stay away from your own distractions. For example, mute your device notifications or any other technical notifications.
Also, highlight yourself on the screen by wearing a bright colored shirt or using a cute stuffed toy to keep the children focused on you! Getting creative with your space with great lighting, or props like plants or fun colorful decor can help draw kids’ attention towards you.
What Size Class is Best for Your Livestream Yoga Classes?
Small group classes work best for kids yoga online. This allows you to get to know the children and interact for more of an in-person experience. You can also give them an opportunity to speak at the right time, share their ideas and even be leaders.
Yet, bigger can also be better. If you have a large class, for example, you have less room for interaction. But, you can take this opportunity to stick with your teaching plan and keep going in more of a follow-along way. For large classes, setting the ground rules before your class is important to keep things under control.
Regardless of the size of your virtual yoga, take a few minutes to set expectations for the class. Keep your verbal instructions to a minimum and use easy to follow words. Once you begin the class, hand gestures like “give me a thumbs up if you hear me” or “thumbs up if you can see me ok?” work well.
One more tip: Use a lot of space and make big movements for yoga poses to help kids follow you easily!
Your Attitude is Everything When Teaching Kids Yoga Online
A great class experience depends on your attitude.
Start by believing in yourself. As a kids yoga teacher, the way you present yourself – your voice, your energy and enthusiasm – will set a tone for your children’s virtual yoga classes.
Bring your smile, sense of humor and positive self to the mat. Your energy permeates, even through a computer screen!
Of course, things may not go exactly as planned (like someone’s dog walks into the frame, someone forgets to mute, etc.) and that’s okay. Teaching digital classes can be just as challenging as taking an online yoga certification course! Just go with the flow.
The important thing to remember is this: kids are learning and so are you. Like we always like to say: “Keep Calm and Carry On!”
About Anjana: Anjana is a trained and certified Pretzel Kids® yoga teacher, a former preschool teacher, a fitness enthusiast and a believer in holistic living. She has a decade of experience working with kids and is passionate about teaching kids about healthful and joyful living. When she is not teaching kids yoga classes, Anjana loves to help busy working moms unwind and stretch through her group or private beginner yoga sessions. Anjana lives with her husband and two daughters and you can learn more about her here.