Surprise Benefits of Teaching Yoga for Kids
By Heidi Nechman, Pretzel Kids teacher and contributing writer
Considering becoming a yoga teacher for kids but still have some hesitations?
I encourage you to take the leap and start teaching yoga to kids!
If you are like me, you probably want to help the children in your community. But here’s a big secret: when you teach yoga for kids, YOU learn even more than they do. Read on to learn the surprise benefits of teaching yoga for kids!
What are the Benefits of Yoga for Kids?
For starters, teaching yoga to kids benefits the kids and YOU, the TEACHER!
Benefits for Children
Yoga can help kids with anxiety, concentrating in school and emotional regulation. Children’s yoga classes include breathing techniques that help kids with the rest of their lives. Learning these techniques in a fun environment will allow them to practice them before they need them. This means that while in school, on the playground, playing sports or elsewhere – children will recall a calming breathing technique and be able to tap right into this. .
When you teach yoga, you help youth find a healthy, non-competitive hobby, give them a tool for better sleep and increase their understanding of the world around them.
There are many environments where kids can learn to practice yoga and each has its own benefits. Take a look:
Yoga in Schools
Yoga in schools reaches more kids and gives them skills they need to be successful in school.
Classes at Community Centers
This also allows you to teach kids from many different backgrounds, which just makes the class more fun. Everyone learns a little more than just yoga!
Online Yoga Classes
You can teach yoga to kids around the world and to kids who live in remote areas!
Kids Classes at a Yoga Studio
Kids are excited to try the same yoga and meditation that their parents practice. Why not give this a try and approach your local yoga studio owner today? Kids will love taking classes at their mom or dad’s studio – with YOU!
Yoga Birthday Parties
This is a great way to create a fun and festive party that will also introduce yoga to children who may not have experienced it
Benefits of Yoga for Teachers
Many adults understand the benefits of yoga for themselves – a huge reduction in anxiety. But did you know that teaching yoga to kids multiplies those benefits? Read below to find out how, from my point of view.
I started teaching kids for so many reasons. Here are some of those:
- I wanted to help the kids around me (I have helped kids in my community and around the world!)
- I wanted to expand my yoga business (I did)!
- I wanted a steady income stream (check!)
- I thought it would be fun to teach children yoga (definitely!)
I have been teaching kids yoga for two years and have realized so many SURPRISE benefits. Here are some of the wonderful perks:
- Teaching yoga takes my practice in another direction.
- I experience freedom.
- I get an immediate emotional boost.
- I feel strong, flexible and I get in some cardio, too!
- I feel centered and experience a new kind of meditation.
- I feel young again.
You Will Find New Ways to Experience Yoga Poses
You have probably been practicing asana for a long time. You know the cues, the best way to do each pose, the things to avoid…. But have you ever described those poses in kids terms?
This new approach helps you look at the postures in a completely different way – and maybe learn about yourself, too!
For example, when I explain how to get into Tadasana to kids, I cue them to imagine they are a big, strong, tall mountain. Sometimes we play with being a big pile of boulders vs. a strong, tall mountain. When I enter Tadasana in my own practice, I now feel even more expansive and grounded than ever!
Teaching Yoga for Kids Makes You Feel Free!
If you love yoga and want to take your practice deeper by becoming a yoga teacher, you may still feel nervous about being in front of people. If this sounds like you – try teaching kids!
Kids will not judge your pose or your teaching style. Children do not care if you need notes, if you mess up, or if you fall down laughing in the middle of a tree pose. Set your teaching free by teaching kids!
Some of my favorite classes are when we explore balance and try to knock ourselves off balance by shifting our gaze or moving quickly. Falling, talking, laughing is all ok in a youth class!
Teaching Kids Makes You Happy!
No matter what happens while you’re on the way to your class, you will feel happy at the end of it.
Laughing children are infectious and you not only give the kids an emotional boost, but YOU get one too. Every class gives me something to smile about. It could be a silly pose that a child makes up, or a funny story about what happened at school or even just a giggle. I always end class on a high note!
There are so many benefits of doing yoga with kids. Even if your own kids are grown ups or you don’t have children, you can still work with other kiddos!
You’ll Have a Stronger, Flexible Body
Yoga incorporates active warm-ups, sun salutations and restful savasana. So, when teaching kids, you will get in your cardio workout, become stronger and increase your flexibility. This is all in small doses, so you can do it!
You may wind up a little out of breath after warming up, but then you can have the class slow down, and then feel and listen to their heart beating! Kids also will want to show off their flexibility, but they do not care if you are not flexible or not. They will be impressed with your strength and balance, and they think it’s fun to fall.
In all cases, you can teach the students that yoga is a practice and not about perfection. As they learn, so will you!
Teaching Yoga is a form of Meditation
When teaching, you do not think of lists, bills or sequences for your next class. You do not question yourself. You are totally present.
So, if you have wanted to start a meditation practice, but have struggled….just teach kids yoga!
You’ll Get to Play Like a Kid Again!
Children’s yoga is full of movement, imagination and even GAMES! So, unleash your inner child and play while teaching. When was the last time you let loose in freeze dance?
Not only can you play, but you can tap into your other talents and incorporate those into your sessions. For example, try adding in journaling, art, meditation or even travel! In one of my favorite classes, we pretend we travel to a different place each class. I learn so many fun facts and get silly with the kids. We have a blast!
Learning from the kids you teach may just be the BEST benefit of teaching yoga to kids.
Become a Pretzel Kids Yoga Teacher
It is so easy to become a Pretzel Kids Yoga teacher! I taught yoga prior to becoming a Pretzel Kids teacher, but I struggled with themes, sequencing and how to adapt for different ages. After a short online course and becoming part of the Pretzel Kids Teacher Association, my confidence skyrocketed and the time I spent on lesson plans nose-dived. #winning!
If you are wondering how to take advantage of this program, check this out. If you are still wondering if it is right for you, learn about the top secrets for yoga teachers right here.
Take the Leap: Learn to Teach Kids Yoga!
If you are thinking about becoming a kids yoga teacher, I encourage you to take the leap. As much as you will help the kids, you will help yourself even more! Who can ask for a better job than that?
About Heidi: Heidi Nechtman is a Pretzel Kids teacher in Tempe, Arizona. She’s passionate about sharing yoga with those that may not have access to it. Kids are one of those groups! She teaches littles, tweens and teens — and with lots of fun. You can learn more about Heidi here.