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Challenges for Kids
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Forum Posts: 102
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June 17, 2005 - 12:38 pm
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Children learning Yoga, are less familiar with their limits, than adults. How do you give children safe challenges in a Yoga class, when most children are so flexibile?

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June 17, 2005 - 8:47 pm
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To many children, Yoga is another game. That's fine, but explain to children that Yoga and stretching should not be painful.

This is pretty basic and children definitely understand pain. The difference between slight discomfort and pushing to pain should be thoroughly explained.

If they are good at balancing, ask them to close their eyes. Always make sure they are supervised, when practicing Yoga.

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October 18, 2006 - 7:58 am
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Namaskar Fellow Yoga Teachers,

The following are Yoga teacher challenges. Please help.

What are the best games for children in a Yoga class? How do you keep a child's attention on Yoga for an extended time? How long should a "Kids Yoga" class be?

Namaste, Raku

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October 19, 2006 - 7:32 am
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Namaskar Raku,

There are many good games for kids Yoga, but you can get children to sit in lines like they are on an imaginary rollercoaster.

You are at the imaginary head seat, and they are behind you. I alow a safe distance between me and the children, but they hang onto each other and laugh.

Every Yoga posture you roll into they must copy. You can simulate the movement of a rollercoaster or hold a Yoga posture for a few seconds. This is a great warm up, but sometimes they do not want to stop.

45 to 50 minutes for a kids Yoga class is enough. You can rarely capture their attention longer.

Break up your class with 3 "mini-Yoga classes." Each mini-class should focus on a particular point and be 10 -12 minutes in length. Allow for Yoga games in between.

Lastly, do not expect your lesson plan to run flawlessly. Children ask questions, so be patient, and do not worry, if everything on the list is not covered, in your kids Yoga class.

Shanti,

Paul

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January 2, 2007 - 1:13 pm
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Time for an honest discussion. ADD and ADHD do exist. These kids have transfats blocking their brains! :twisted: A high Omega 3 diet and a smack across the bottom would help them see reality. :P

Ds anyone really think that Yoga will really help kids with ADDD and ADHD? Is this just putting a lot of pressure on Yoga teachers to magically improve these kids? Don't you think the parents should be practicing, instead of dumping their problems on Yoga teachers?

Be honest.

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January 2, 2007 - 3:37 pm
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Namaste Yogi,

I sincerely hope you are not teaching Yoga to children. <img src=" title="Laughing" />

You bring up many interesting points, but you left your diplomatic skills on hold today. Yoga is not a miracle cure for anything, but it will help.

An enhanced omega 3 diet will also help. I was talking to Paul before Christmas; and he mentioned Smart Balance has a peanut butter with flax seed oil. This would stop one of the most common ways children take in transfats.

Yoga teachers who work with children have the patience to be up to the task.

Happy New Year,

Om Shanti,

Tomako

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November 3, 2007 - 10:49 pm
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Quote:
By Yardley Moore

It might seem rather strange that Yoga for kids is becoming more and more popular, but remember that Yoga has been practised for many thousands of years and has a proven track record of bringing benefits both physical and mental. It seems only logical that, as adults, we should pass these benefits on to our children.

We read daily about youngsters becoming stressed and anxious because of pressures within the education system (exams, extra curricular activities, competition, etc) and also social and peer pressures. If your children seem to be suffering in this way then Kids yoga might just provide one way of easing the tension. Breathing and visualization techniques will teach them how to develop powers of concentration and focus, as well as relaxation and increased self-control.

Yoga for kids is often taught in schools, usually at lunchtimes or after school clubs. Dance studios incorporate yoga into their routines and even daycare centers and pre-schools often have some element of Yoga in their program. Essentially, kids Yoga is FUN and very important to youngsters whose bodies are going through a very difficult stage of development.

In pre-school, yoga for kids is specially designed and adapted to:

1. Teach about body awareness.
2. Develop increased flexibility.
3. Acquire good listening skills.
4. Promote self control.
5. Increase powers of observation.
6. Develop language skills.
7. Increase coordination skills.
8. Promote cooperation with others.

It's quite a list, isn't it? But they are vital skills that all youngsters need to learn if they are to grow up healthy and with a balanced outlook on life. Kids Yoga also teaches youngsters about:

1. The environment.
2. Nature.
3. How to use and develop their imagination.

So, you're probably wondering how all this is achieved? Well, yoga for kids involves lots of moving, singing, playing and mime or imitating things. In other words, it's a FUN activity!

Kids Yoga can also help children with ADHD or any attention-deficit child. If you have a child like this, you'll have noticed how they enjoy (and need) lots of motor and sensory stimulus. The postures, poses and movement in Yoga can provide this stimulus and bring about a calm and confidence that sometimes appears quite miraculous. Postures such as the Warrior and Tree pose are extremely beneficial.

Like adults, children need to relax every so often. Kids Yoga often uses relaxing music and visualization techniques (sometimes 'guided' with a story) to encourage the child to focus on their breathing. Often, a session will end with the child being encouraged to share their experiences. Most importantly, the breathing focus will eventually allow the child to stay calm and in control in stressful situations, both in school and out.

It's never too early to start Yoga and Yoga for kids provides a holistic approach to developing rounded, healthy personalities. Whatever stage of development your son or daughter is at, kids Yoga is one of the best investments you can make in their education AND they will learn vital skills that will stay with them forever.

Yardley Moore invites you to discover more about the great benefits of Yoga by visiting https://www.YourYogaTips.com where you will find lots of information and advice for the Yoga enthusiast.

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May 18, 2008 - 6:18 pm
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Namaskar Everyone,

I just started a new kids Yoga class at the beginning of the year, but am unsure of how to handle some side issues.

1. What do you do if parents are dropping their kids of an hour early and picking them up an hour late?

2. What do I do about parents who refuse to pick up their children inside the studio? Some of the kids are told by their parents to meet them down on the street, but they leave the kids on the sidewalk for 15-60 minutes. This is an inner city neighborhood!

3. My adult students let me know that some of the kids are still out on the street downstairs. And I have kids there, when my adult classes start because their parents are late picking them up.

4. What do you do about parents who are a month or two behind in their payments?

I am starting to feel anxiety over a program that helps my community because of possible liability and other issues. Please let me know, if you have any experience with this.

Namaste,

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May 18, 2008 - 7:00 pm
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Namaskar Eartheart,

Sorry to tell you this, but you have to create rules in print and be prepared to tell rule breakers to leave. This is tough love. No child should leave the studio without their parent of guardian.

Leaving a child on the sidewalk is an unsafe situation puts a child at risk. If you know that a child under 14 is not being properly supevised, or is left alone, its important to protect the child's safety.

It only requires a few seconds for a child to go for a ride with a stranger, to run in front of a truck, or get into trouble. If anything gs wrong, who will the parents blame? You will face the judge for negligence. Don't let it happen!

People who don't bother to tell you why they are not paying, but still drop their kids off, need a note to go home or a phone call.

Om Shanti,

Priyah

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May 19, 2008 - 3:15 pm
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Namaskar Eartheart,

Priyah gave you solid advice. However, let's go over your points.

1. What do you do if parents are dropping their kids of an hour early and picking them up an hour late?

A: Lock the doors until 20 minutes before you firs class opens and let your students know about it. Make a rule that parents will be charged $2.00 per minute for every minute they are late. You can even give them a five minute grace periond. If you have to babysit, you can charge them a ransom.

2. What do I do about parents who refuse to pick up their children inside the studio? Some of the kids are told by their parents to meet them down on the street, but they leave the kids on the sidewalk for 15-60 minutes. This is an inner city neighborhood!

A: For all the reasons Priyah explained, you cannot afford to give a negligent parent a chance to pass the blame off on you. They will, and you will face court.

3. My adult students let me know that some of the kids are still out on the street downstairs. And I have kids there, when my adult classes start because their parents are late picking them up.

A: These negligent parents are disrupting your adult yoga classes. Maybe $5.00 per minute for being late is more fair. <img src=" title="Laughing" />

4. What do you do about parents who are a month or two behind in their payments?

A: Say goodbye! But here's another idea. You may want to develop a prepaid Yoga class card. Here's an example: 10 - Yoga class card, 1 per student, three month expiration begins on the day it is bought.

Om Shanti,

Parell

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May 20, 2008 - 5:49 pm
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Namaskar Parell and Priyah,

You are both very kind. I am very touched, by your help.

Both of you gave me fabulous ideas that will be implemented next week. I am typing up a policies pamphlet for my yoga studio this week. Really - We shouldn't have to make up rules that are just plain common sense, but it seems you always have somone who pushes the envelope to the limit.

Please accept my deepest thanks.

Om Shanti,

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June 30, 2008 - 11:04 pm
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Lots of great advice on this page for veteran teachers or those who just started teaching yoga to kids. Even if you don't believe a word on this thread, parents will break you in. After so many violations of common sense anyone will eventually make rules of conduct.

Funny thing - The most wreckless parents will be the first to take anyone to court. They're programmed to sue because of the get rich quick mentality. They see it as opportunity, just like winning the lottery. Just this morning I saw a young mother using her kid in a stroller as a human shield darting through inner city traffic. There is no crosswalk in the area she was in - not even close to one.

If her kid gets hit she will sue. Meanwhile she is aiming for cars and trucks with the stroller. Her kid must have nightmares about dodging traffic with mommy trying to push her into trucks. That is the kind of parent you are dealing with. Make sure parents pick up their kids in your studio. Don't count on common sense.

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July 1, 2008 - 3:03 pm
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Namaskar Gator,

Many times you have made me laugh. But I think you make many people angry. Your opinions are "fresh" in more ways than one. This thread is giving me the feeling that a child's greatest challenge is living with parents. In this respect, I must kindly disagree. Many parents are doing a wonderful job of raising their children. Why else would parents bring children to participate in yoga or any other constructive activity? Do not assume that every parent is from the same mold. You can write with cynical humor without generalizing about a group of people. Your students will appreciate your newly developed open-minded attitude. It is karma that attracts the people around us. When we are kind, it is no accident to be surrounded by kind people.

Jai,

A.S. Kumar

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July 1, 2008 - 4:51 pm
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All this aside. Kids don't have it easy. Many of them get shuffled from point A to point B while Mom and Dad are hustling to their second job or running errands. That is - if there is a dad. And if he contributes anything toward the kids. Those are two big ifs.

Make your yoga studio a warm environment because anyone who visits needs a break from all the stress and craziness. Kids just need to have fun learning and this will carry into other parts of their lives.

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July 2, 2008 - 11:46 am
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Namaskar,

Parell, you are right about kids not having it easy. Maybe we should emphsize ore often, that Yoga prepares children for the the challenges they commonly face. One of the things children need more of is laughter. Many Pre-teens stop laughing because it's not cool anymore. So they often sulk and create artificially bad posture to look more cool. :roll:

Yoga has a lot to offer children, pre-teens, and teens. If you have workshops that teach pre-teens to laugh again and give them some physical challenges, they will become happy adults. This is so important in our societies. Our children and grandchildren are what we leave behind.

Om Shanti,

Priyah

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February 8, 2009 - 12:27 pm
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There are challanges as well as healing benefits of yoga. I experienced that kids love to do Yoga. They are always excited and full of energy. Teaching yoga to kids is always an amazing experience.

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February 9, 2009 - 1:04 pm
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Namaskar Everyone,

Teaching yoga to kids is an amazing turn of events. When you are out on the town, it's amazing how often you meet your regular and past students. Then they tell you how much difference you made in their lives or the lives of a family. Many teachers don't see how they make a difference because they don't see or hear the feedback from students and their families. The benefits for children outweigh the challenges.

Om Shanti,

A.S. Kumar

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June 5, 2009 - 2:16 pm
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Namaskar Everyone:

Do you want to give kids a challenge in classes? Maybe you've tried vinyasa until you were blue in the face. Some kids with ADHD will not wear down even if they have run for miles to your yoga classes. So what do you do?

Give them balancing poses. Tat will make them concentrate, work hard and improve their sense of focus. You might want to give them Lord of the Dance Pose, but you can still find a moderate challenge that students of all levels can work on.

Make it into a yoga olympic contest. Give them Eagle Pose. You could call it the Eagle Challenge. It's great for stretching out their shoulders, calves, ankles, hips, and upper back. When they're in it, kids can picture themselves perched in the tree tops, looking down on the world below. Eagle is a very challenging and powerful asana, that requires a focused stillness, inner calm, and good drishti to hold the posture for extended amounts of time.

OM

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June 7, 2009 - 1:25 pm
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You may wonder if children can practice yoga safely. Of course they can! In fact, in many ways children may be more suitable for yoga . Children are often more flexible and physically active . Additionally, children learn new things very easily, as learning is a natural part of growing up.

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June 9, 2009 - 10:20 am
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Namaskar mivpl,

To some limited degree, I agree with you, but children need guidance and adult supevision when practicing yoga. Forcing into asanas can permanently injure a joint. A joint injury as a child can be a reminder for life.

Forcing dynamic pranayama methods such as Bhastrika or Kapalabhati can cause brain damage. How is a child to learn about kumbaka and time limits without supervision? Practicing dynamic pranayams for prolonged periods of time, until we faint, is proven to result in neuron damage within the brain.

Shanti,
Priyah

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