Children’s Yoga

Children Yoga
February 2009

 “YogaMama with Children”
Four years ago I was asked to teach Yoga, in the after school Quest Program, at three grade schools.

YOU ARE AS YOUNG AS YOUR SPINE IS SUPPLE
I love to share and teach Yoga with this age group of 6 to 10 years olds because they will learn to have a supple spine before their spine gets stiff at the age of 12. This is my gift to share with them. The students are awesome and a joy to be with for an hour of Yoga. I am having the joy of sharing with them what I wish someone would have shared with me before I was 12 years old!! When they continue to do Yoga moves for their whole lifetime they have the possibility of remaining supple their whole life. By age 9, I notice some of their spines starting to get stiff. They can do some postures that I can’t do and I can do some that they can’t do.

PRACTICING THE ART OF STILLNESS
First, we all sit quietly in a circle and I introduce myself and say, “You can call me Ms. Thompson, Mrs. T., Ms. Yoga, Mrs. Y. and. . . .” then I let them have joy in saying the rest of my names that they have come up with for me….”Yoga Mama, Yoga Queen, Yoga Lady, Yoga Angel, and Yoga master.”

They introduce themselves and then we go over rules that they are so diligent about following and next the Yoga fun begins when they do the Crab then next is a Rest Period when they practice the “art of stillness” for 2 minutes while I share with them and they do a Complete Breath.

While they are quiet, I say, ” I will be with you from 1st through 4th grade and so you will learn from me what you need to know so you can be supple and healthy for your whole lifetime because I won’t be going to 5th grade with you.”

I continue, “During class, your parents don’t need you, your teachers don’t need you and this is your one hour of the week that you can learn to regenerate your body for your whole lifetime. Every night before getting into bed, it would be ideal to do the Child posture in order to stretch out your spine. The Child pose opens up and stretches their spine so that all their nerves have good access to their spinal cord. Yoga makes you flexible, coordinated, and strong while you use all of your 650 muscles.”

The children rise and they know that the next pose is the Child Posture. For the rest of the time the children request their favorite postures that they want to do. We do the 5,000 year old Yoga stretches that mimick animals, trees, and flowers.

ANIMAL SOUNDS
We have fun making the animal sounds with the postures….we howl and bark like a dog, meow like a cat, hiss like a cobra, roar like a lion and cluck like a chicken. We are quiet turtles, a dead bug and we blow wind in the palm trees. We sing rock-a-bye baby and the spider song as we do those postures. We have a laughing-time as we do the Bow and rock and roll like a boat.

CHILDREN’S COMMENTS
On 1.5.09 , I asked the Yoga students what they like about Yoga, and the following replied:

Dakota, age 6 and Zoe age 7, “It keeps your body healthy.”

Jazmine, age 9, “It’s good for your body.”

Daniel, age 9, “It makes you healthy and you actually get some time to relax and get some exercise.”

Sidney, age 6, “It opens up your spine so you get healthier than you are.”

Jamie, age 8, “It relaxes you. The shoulder stand feels good when you bend your spine back.”

Tania, age 6, “It helps you better to exercise.”

Laney, age 7, “When we do the Child, it opens your spine.”

Gabriel, age 8, “It keeps bones healthy.”

Trenton, age 9, “It brings peace.”