Above: artwork by the kids in my class
Yoga class doesn’t always have to be like a “class”. Cultivating the 8 limbs of yoga can also be approached in the spirit of a playground or a party! On the one hand, as an ashtanga student, I believe that following an ancient parampara and traditional methodology is definitive to learning yoga. On the other hand, as I have discovered through the experience of teaching yoga for kids and families, it is also essential to be able to connect the points of yoga in new and exciting ways for different ages at different stages.
Kids are generally more flexible than their elders but less focused. They require a higher energy level to engage their active and positive participation. I did the Rainbow Yoga Training for Kids & Families, which brings games and imaginative activities into the practice. We dance. We tell stories that incorporate the asanas. We make up yoga plays. We mirror each other and do obstacle courses. We draw and paint the asanas. In this way, yoga practice becomes more like a bridge between the inner and outer worlds of self-study and self-expression, personal development and group development. It’s a bonding experience that can actually benefit all ages. By the end, everybody is more ready to relax!
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