Who knew yoga classes for kids could be so much fun? I recently taught two at the Des Moines Art Center, as part of a special day of family activities. I knew I needed to over-prepare in case my young yogis got restless, but then that’s how I usually plan (over plan). Luckily, my plan worked out just as I expected. Our twenty-minute classes were just long enough to harness and keep their attention.
We started by taking a couple of breaths with the help of our Hoberman sphere. Each time our ball got big, so did our breath in, and while we slowly made our sphere smaller, we exhaled the air from our lungs. Then we moved to the asana part of class. We got into several poses, after one little yogi or yogini demonstrated it for us. These kid-demonstrated poses weren’t always the ones I’m familiar with. That kept things interesting!
When the little yogis got tired of the postures, we played a game from our M & M activity card deck. We played Walking Trees (think Red Light Green Light). I was terra, and they were a forest of yogis holding tree pose. Each time I faced them, they froze. When I turned my back to them, they could move forward. When I turned around to exclaim how the forest was moving closer to me, a ripple of giggles erupted.
Then we played Walk, Stop, Wiggle, Sit from our Foundation Deck. Think of the game Simon says–I was Simon, and the rest of the yogis had to listen closely and follow my commands of walk, stop, wiggle, and sit. When I said stop, they would stop, and so forth. They did well, and were even up to the challenge of mixing up the commands–when we did that they might sit when I said wiggle. Like that.
We ended our mini class with more yoga poses, more deep breaths, and then we ended with a short savasana or corpse pose. Anyone remember the game graveyard? My adult yoga classes typically end with a quiet and calm dismissal out of the studio and into the real world. This yoga class ended with the yogis hopping to their feet, and sprinting on to the next activity, giddy with excitement about their yoga practice. We love sharing yoga with humans of all ages–especially the littlest ones.
Phil Roeder perfectly photographed my view of my “class.” Thanks sharing the photos, Phil!