(The image is the cover of a book which is a good purchase, if you like yoga and want your kids to learn it. It is also quite an exciting support for yoga teachers who wish to teach kids. )
To teach kids yoga you need to be ultra creative, a bit child-like yourself, and totally mad about yoga to understand that kids can do fantastic poses with yoga and that you have to be ahead of yourself to be able to keep pace, with the little ones.
When I started teaching yoga I was lucky that I also started teaching kids. I used to prepare stories, have moral debates, have a whole lot of games and yoga stuff planned around it. It was quite a large group, around ten or so. One kid from that batch even came for a satsang I held, and I was touched by her father's statement that she loves yoga. Jahnavi was also part of the group. Afterwards, as exams drew near, the kids will fall back, because the mothers thought studying was more important than yoga.(Thankfully, for Jahnavi, I never felt that way since I have very little regard for the Indian education system which stultifies a kid's natural talent. My daugther does not remember this part I guess-- children have selectivde memories:) But I can tell you that she has a yoga practice and is rather attached to it, without having it thrust down her throat. She loves it. And when I teach yoga for kids, I want them to love it too.
Why yoga for kids?
*It helps them grow taller -- this is what the Santa Cruz Institute book on yoga for kids says.
* It teaches them easy way to focus without stressing them out.
* Balancing poses can help shy kids extrovert, as well clean up any stuttering problems.
*A South Mumbai school had started the experiment on yoga for kids before exams and found that it did help kids with their exams.
* It boosts their immunity, so they can be disease free.
* It delays menstruation in girls and delays sexual maturity in boys so that their physical and mental maturity are synced. Due to better living conditions kids these days attain sexual maturity before their nervous system has learnt to cope with the problems and issues concerned with sexual maturity.
* Balancing poses improve memory, impulse control, and co-ordination of limbs and body-mind connections. These are gifts you want your kids to enjoy.Kids who are organised about their body and co-ordinated are less likely to seek outlets or easy gratifications through addictive substances.
* Pranayama practices help fight against addictive behavior patterns -- all of which are likely to be their when your kids enter the teens -- be it food, or dieting, or smoking, or drinking.