When I was going for my 200hr Teaching Training, I remember my daughter telling me that I had to teach kids yoga because she wanted to be in my class. Of course, my knee jerk reaction was "yes!". In reality I had no idea what to expect. We had covered Kids Yoga in the 200 hour training for I believe it was half a day, which was the norm and so much fun! It was all fun and games, reminded me of when I was a kid with the fun imagination and the carefree attitude. So as an adult, it's intimidating because kids are BRUTALLY honest, they will tell it like it is and pretty much no filter.
A couple months after I received my 200hr cert, I went for a Kids Yoga Teacher Training for 2-7 years old. I can say as both a teacher and a mother, it has helped me so much in seeing my own children differently, let alone someone else's child. The training was amazing, such an eye opener. After that, I went for the Tween/Teen Yoga Teacher Training, which was also another great weekend. The older the child, the different the need, but they all are looking for the same thing: security, safety, a place where they can just be themselves.
I remember my first kids yoga class and fell in love instantly with teaching children! It was a "Mommy and Me" class, we started off with breathing techniques and watched the kids eye up my Hoberman's sphere! Oh man I knew then I was going to have fun! I watched their eyes widen as the sphere got bigger, almost like they didn't want to mess up in case I was going to trick them. Then it was a high impact jumping Sun Salutation which I ALWAYS do with them, to show them I have just as much energy as they do...hysterical making them jump like frogs and make animal sounds. Yes, I make the younger kids make animal noises! They moo for cow pose, bark for downdog, howl for updog, clap loudly like seals in their warm-ups, and to see them smile or hear them giggle is like music to my ears!
Now, if you think my class is structured, you have another thing coming! I'm just blessed to know when to take great pictures of the activities in class. I let the kids pull the shots every time. I offer them a few games for their first time in my class, by the second or third class they are making requests or asking for another round. Within the schedule of class I always try to get them to listen to a song in stillness, sometimes they will even ask for another song to just chill out some more. Who knew right!? Kids wanting and ASKING to be still!
I recently took my Teacher Training for children and teens with special needs, which was absolutely fascinating. I'm even using some of the techniques at home when things get a little "outta hand" and I need my children to react properly to the situation. Allowing them to recognize what is really going on, how they should be reacting to the situation and figure out how they are going to handle it. Of course when it comes to my children, the knee jerk reaction WAS a timeout...NOT ANYMORE!
What truly amazes me, is that with this new path I'm leading in my life, I'm still learning and still getting those "AHA!" moments, more so now than ever before and it feels pretty awesome.