options for yoga teachersBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

It’s amazing how some people think that options for Yoga teachers are so limited. About Kids Yoga: You usually have to be connected to a children’s day care center, private school, or public school, to have large numbers of kids joining your classes. This may not be the case everywhere, but it reflects the feedback I get from Yoga teachers worldwide.

It was also true for our wellness center in North Providence, RI, back in 2005. Our kid’s class started small, but later had a regular following of 20 students per class. To be honest, I originally brought Yoga into the children’s martial arts classes by integrating Vinyasa with their regular warm-ups.

The result was children who shed fat, became a bit more muscular, and demonstrated more strength and positive attitudes than ever before. The parents were ecstatic about the results, but wondered what I was up to, when children in Jujitsu or Karate classes were engaged in Yoga training, as part of the curriculum. The benefits to children who learn Yogic techniques are endless.


This is a non-competitive atmosphere, where a kid can just be a kid. Children, who regularly participate in classes, do not have to put pressure on themselves, and can learn many life skills, such as enhanced self-appreciation.

If you are going to teach children, make sure you are prepared for them to be your biggest challenge. It is all about keeping their attention span, therefore, split your class into segments. Classes have to be fun, and you should only address four components such as: posture, breathing, relaxation, and meditation. Keep it simple, and do not go off into a lecture that will put them to sleep. Kids do not come to classes to learn the finer points of Bhakti.

Always praise each child who participates, as this does help their self-esteem. Many times, a kids class is similar to a carnival, where every child wins a prize. In this case, always point out the children who try. This atmosphere will create children who follow the best examples; then, praise those children who try to copy. This is a win-win situation for every child in your Yoga class.

If you do not have patience, please do not consider teaching Yoga to children. Teaching a children’s class is not for every Yoga instructor. You have to be creative, an entertainer, and a guide, to become a kids Yoga teacher.

After all, kid’s classes contain aspects of Yogic methodology that many adults have lost track of – from a very silly Lion face, to an extremely serious meditation. When you are giving Yoga instruction to a class full of children, your mind must be as flexible as your body.


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