I have been wanting to teach little kids yoga for years and Yesterday I had my very first 4 year old yoga client and now have a few more of them this week 🙂 . Yoga is great for kids to do !! It Helps build body awareness , relaxation and calmness , enhances flexibility and strength , helps with circulation and over all well being. I had so much fun teaching this little guy !! It was so perfect because right after teaching him I taught my transformational weekly healing yoga class for adults at up dog yoga in West hollywood and the theme was Inner child.
Children are so open , curious , dreamy and magical especially at this age . As life goes on with out this being properly nurtured we can loose this part of ourself and our inner child gets left behind in the past .
As many of you already know my company Rooted for life is all about creating a healthy foundation to grow from starting pre pregnancy , pregnancy , birth and after . Everything you eat , think, do and feel while pregnant goes into the developing baby . This time period from womb – the first year of life the root chakra is developing . I usually work with people from from fertility through the first year of life .
I wanted to work with the kids when they were a little older so I started writing (with my VERY talented writing partner Maeve Quinlan ) a line of inspirational children’s books that plant little seeds of consciousness in kids to grow from . They are in the works now and we are really excited to get them out there . At this time I also thought it would be awesome to teach my transformational healing yoga for kids . Being that I had taught prenatal yin and restorative yoga and breath work to their mommy’s through out their pregnancy I figured it would be an easy transition .
HOW TO TEACH YOUR KIDS YOGA –
Meditation– I start off having them sit in a cross legged seated position and have their hands in a Mudra where their thumb and index finger are touching in a circle . Then I have them close their eyes and count by moving their thumb – 1 is thumb to index , 2 is thumb to middle finger , 3 is thumb to ring finger and 4 is thumb to baby finger and then start over again and do a few times.
Poses – I use yoga cards for kids. My favorites are-” Yoga pretzel – Yoga cards for kids” by Tara Guber or “The kids yoga deck” by Annie Buckley. You can either pick 10 or so cards or let them pick them ( this takes longer ) and lay them out . On the card it tells you how to have them get in the pose and explains what it does for them and also gives you some questions to ask before of after the doing the pose . Make sure they do their 4 count breath in through the nose and out through the nose. Some of the names are tree, butterfly , airplane , flower … Let your inner child and imagination come out and play by making up a story about the pose. It is a great way to keep them engaged as at this age they can’t hold the pose for very long.
If they don’t know their left or right you can get stickers for each left and right hand and foot. Lucas is into super heroes so I got him superman and batman stickers . You can say left batman foot forward , it teaches them left and right .
Come up with a theme – I use themes from my children’s book such as” Turn your heart light on” ( about being kind , loving and compassionate), “Gratitude ” ( the art of being thankful ) “Put on your magic shoes”( teaching them about empathy), or “Be a mermaid” ( learn to go with the flow) . Yesterday when I taught Lucas it was “Namaste / The divine light (sunshine and sparkle with in)” . Kids are VERY impressionable so be prepared to have all the answers ! My little namaste talk about the light ended up being an hour long Q and A ! I started off talking about what namaste means- ” I bow to you and acknowledge your light with in ” . I told him we all have an inner light thats like sparkling sunshine , you have it , your mommy has it even your dog Lulu Flynn has it .
The conversation went like this – Lucas: Does so and so have it ? Me : yes ,everyone has the light with in . Does this boy that is mean to me have it? Me: Yes even him, the same light is in us all . Lucas: Is it God ? Me: Yes God , spirit , light its in us all . Lucas : God / the light is everywhere , even in the sky , the earth and on the moon . Me: 🙂 . Lucas :How can I make my light bigger ? Me: I think It’s pretty big already but being a kind and loving person really helps . Lucas : Lori , kind and loving are the same things . Me : 🙂 Busted by a 4 year old . Lucas :What if I eat my vegetables will that grow my light ? Me : YES huge !!!! !! Lucas : What about exercise ? Me : Also amazing for the light … this went on forever ..
This morning his mom called me saying he woke up doing his yoga poses , breathing and ate a healthy breakfast ” to feed his light”, then went to school and namasted the teacher and said,” I see your light” and then told her all about the light with in ….. Ok Soooooooooooooooooooo cute I can’t even stand it !!!!!