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Yoga for Kids: Building Self-Image (Part 2)

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Aug 17, 2007
There is plenty of competition to go around in this world. If you are a Yoga teacher, you should not encourage competition within a Kids Yoga class. This is not easily done. Each child wants praise, but this can be accomplished by making your Yoga class a nurturing event, where every child who participates, can feel a sense of self-worth.

This atmosphere, which is designed by the Yoga instructor, will develop a child's character "from the ground up." Each child is unique and special in his or her own way. Children have to be taught to appreciate themselves as they are. Self-worth cannot be calculated by the skill of one single activity, and Yoga is the sum of many different activities, within a given class.

When I first started teaching Yoga to children, I began to integrate Vinyasa Yoga into the warm-ups of our children's martial arts classes; some parents wondered why? Soon, some of the children, who had Attention Deficit Disorder, and other attention span problems, became more focused for the rest of the class. Still, other children, who regularly practiced Vinyasa Yoga warm-ups, started to develop a more pronounced muscular appearance. This may have been due to many factors, such as the cross training involved in practicing Vinyasa Yoga and martial arts, on a regular basis - while many other children, who attended these integrated classes, went home, did their homework, and slept better.

Eventually, we established a pure Kids Yoga class, and it was scheduled between two children's martial arts classes. The children were enthusiastic and the parents were, and still are, very supportive. In the above-mentioned examples, different children gained different benefits from learning Yoga.

As children continue to learn Yoga, they should also be taught to refrain from comparing themselves to other children in the Yoga class. This is not easy for a Yoga teacher to do, but can be accomplished by teaching children to accept themselves as they are, and that trying their best is really good enough.

Regular attendance to Kids Yoga classes is the key to getting rid of emotional baggage. Children must be taught to appreciate themselves in a positive way, and the study of Yoga can give any child self-empowerment. When children gather and participate in Yoga instruction on a steady basis, they also make new friends. The parents who send their children to study Yoga sincerely care.

Therefore, any child who learns Yoga is surrounded by children of "like-minded" parents. Yoga training for children is, in essence, a controlled atmosphere - even though the Yoga class setting is relaxed.

© Copyright 2006 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard is director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He's a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches that along with fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students who want to be a teacher.
http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org
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