Two minutes. I learnt about this in my training but I wasn’t prepared for the reality. Kids can hardly sustain two minutes in savasana. They were so excited to finally relax! Yet some of them almost immediately started to fidget upon lying down.
It was one of my favourite parts of our first Kids Yoga class last month. Seeing their peaceful faces, eyes closed for that short amount of time… and then they were up, ready to finish their drawings!
Not having children of my own, I took a step way out of my comfort zone to guide and look after this group of young people. And their questions! The moment we closed the door, it started. My mummy does yoga. Are we going to do boat? Is there a dinosaur pose? I can do dog!
Teaching kids required quick thinking and adaptability on my behalf. Working as a team that day we discovered ways to share, talk and move together. It was an amazing experience!
Part of our vision has always included kids and sharing yoga with them. Meeting young people in class, their parents shared how they were dealing with anxiety, stress, lack of self-confidence. It broke my heart knowing what these beautiful beings were already experiencing. And so started Mala Kids.
I bet you are curious what we actually do in a kids yoga class. I was too! Here’s five things you most likely didn’t know about kids yoga.
1 – Parents get time for themselves
Once your child is calm on their mat, ready for class, it’s time for you to leave! While we look after your child, you get 30 minutes to yourself. Have coffee (we have so many great neighbours who can help with that!), browse the shops, read a book, go for a walk. While your child experiences valuable time on their own, you also have a moment for self-care and time for yourself.
2 – Kids learn all the same things adults do
In class, we teach the kids breathing to energise and breathing to calm. We practice asana (postures) – some you will even be familiar with! Downward dog, warrior 1 and cobra all make an appearance. How about Flower? A seated balance posture that the kids effortlessly get into, it can take a bit of manoeuvring for us adults!
3 – Kids also need to learn tools for relaxation, stress relief and building resilience
It’s not only adults who get stressed. Kids also need to learn techniques to relax mentally and physically and deal with stressful events. Yoga combines active movement with relaxation. And research is showing that this combination can trigger a deeper relaxation response than only relaxation practices. Yoga can also help to increase self-compassion and self-awareness, tools we can all use to help deal with stress.
4 – Yoga can help your child to sleep
Ever been to an evening class and had the best sleep of your week that night? Kids too can experience periods of decreased sleep quality. Yoga helps this by tiring the body and mind and increasing relaxation. The calming breathing techniques that children learn in class can also be practiced before bedtime to help fall sleep. Studies are showing that a regular yoga practice can improve sleep quality by decreasing sleep onset time, increasing total sleep time and reducing the number of awakenings.
5 – It’s not all singing and dancing
Yes we play in class – it’s so important for everyone to play! Class also allows time to explore creativity and develop motor skills. Kids also create a sense of identity and cultivate positive body image.
If you and your child are ready, we’d love for you to join our Mala Kids program 🙂
We create a fun and inclusive environment for your child to learn mindfulness, movement and social emotional learning. Course dates are always online.
And if you have any other ideas, we’d love to here from you! Leave a comment below to let us know – what would you like your child to learn at yoga?