By Faye Martins
There are a number of challenges inherent in teaching kids Yoga. Quite frankly, the challenges could be endless! These challenges could range from protests about stomachaches and sore arms to not having the correct clothing. There may also be a lack of Yoga mats or the room may be too hot or too cold. The challenges will be similar to the same kind of issues a teacher would run into trying to teach kids chemistry or how to avoid dangling modifiers, with a P.E. twist of course.
Some of these challenges may be averted with proper preparation. You may want to arrive ten minutes early in order to set the room up and adjust the temperature. You may also want to make sure there are enough Yoga mats for all the students. Additionally, it may be helpful to let the kids know that they will be practicing Yoga on a specific day and to bring their workout clothes to school with them.
As you commence a Yoga class with a group of kids you may hear, “This is dumb. This is boring. This is too hard. This is girls’ stuff.” One of the primary ways of overcoming the kids’ resistance to participating in a Yoga class is to make it fun and to earn their respect, both for the practice and for you as a teacher. Depending on the age of the children you are instructing, a brief introduction about Yoga’s many benefits may be in order. Teenagers’ curiosity will be piqued if you give them some background on how beneficial Yoga has proven to be over several thousand years. Teenagers will also be particularly impressed by the challenges of Ashtanga, Power, and Vinyasa Yoga. Once they succeed at successfully completing a challenging power Yoga routine, their resistance may come down a notch.
If you are teaching Yoga in a public school setting, it is important to keep in mind that there is a very strict division between church and state. The values and virtuous qualities that are espoused in Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras may still be taught to the children, just not in a spiritually demonstrative context. In other words, putting a statue of Ganesh in the front of the room may create more obstacles with the school administration than Ganesh is able to remove! If you are teaching Yoga in a private school or health facility, you may want to check with the administrators or the facility manager to find out what level of spiritual discussion is appropriate for that venue.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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