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Kids Yoga: Enhanced Goal Setting Techniques

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Aug 17, 2007
Have you ever noticed what a monumental task goal setting is for anyone? Some adults have no goals at all. So, why should we expect children to constructively set goals, in the age of attention disorders?

Parents know that children need the best possible "head start" in the extremely competitive world of academics, athletics, and later on, in business. Hatha Yoga classes, for children, offers them a chance to set their own goals, without a strict measurement of success.

Children do not have to worry about making the "next cut" in their Yoga class. There is no worry about reaching the next level, but every child wants to perform better in his or her next Yoga class. A little competitive drive is healthy for all of us, and children are naturally competitive by nature.

Keeping the above points in mind, Yoga teachers should design classes for children that contain "Yoga Games." Sure - parents are paying for Yoga classes, but how do you capture a child's imagination for 45 minutes?

Firstly, explain to parents what they should expect to see in a typical Kids Yoga class. If you are working with 45 minutes, you can easily split the class into three - fifteen minute segments. You could start with warm-ups, Sun Salutations, Vinyasa flow, or a standing sequence of Yoga postures.

Then, you could introduce a Yoga game. Games create a little friendly competition and, eventually, goal setting skills start to "take root."

Yoga card decks are good tools for children to learn postures. You could have them each randomly draw a card and perform the particular posture from the card deck. This is just one of many games that children will enjoy.

Kundalini Yoga is quite active; and although it is not a game, a Kundalini Yoga segment will change the pace of your class. This change of pace is what you need to hold a child's attention.

Finally, have them work off the floor - performing seated Yoga postures, table postures, other postures off the knees, prone postures, and finally, supine postures. At this point, children will look forward to meditation or relaxation.

This is just one example of a way to arrange your lesson plan for children who attend Yoga classes. Children of various age groups will look at Yoga class differently. As a general guideline, children who are four to seven years of age should work well together.

Older children from eight to twelve years of age will not be entertained by the behavior of younger children. Young teens will tend to be very serious, so they should also eventually have their own time, if Kids Yoga classes are full.

Lastly, do not run Yoga classes much longer than an academic class in elementary school. Forty-five minutes to an hour is fine, but after that, you will lose the attention of your youngest Yoga students.

Copyright 2007 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org
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