A local yoga instructor is doing her part to promote healthy living for children. Donna Freeman is the author of the new book Once Upon a Pose and today she joins us in studio. She’s also brought along some kids.
We are talking about yoga and kids and how fun it can be. But you’re specifically looking at how to get yoga into schools.
Yes, yoga in schools is a really wonderful combination of bringing the health benefits and the intellectual and emotional training into the classroom. It’s just vital to bring it into the classroom these days. Kids need these skills.
Q: What’s some of the stuff you are able to do in the classroom?
You can use what we are doing today which is a whole lot of partner poses. Partner poses develop cooperation and team work and they get kids talking with one another and working together in a really unique way.
Another thing that is nice about a school is you can use what’s in a school, a desk and a chair, to do yoga. A lot of people don’t think of that because in their typical class, which is in a studio, and there is a mat and they aren’t sure how to adapt it to a school.
Q: What are some of the benefits for kids?
Increased focus, improved concentration, their creativity skyrockets, their impulse control is greater. As well, it reduces their stress so that they are in a mental and emotional place where they’re ready to learn.
Q: And you think you can use this in different subjects?
For sure. You can use yoga in a science classroom, mathematics classroom, language arts classroom, even in an art classroom. Y0u can incorporate yoga poses in all those subject areas.
Watch video for more …
When teaching children yoga you always need a number of yoga games at your disposal. Stimulating short term memory during a game helps teach this skill so it can be applied in school, work, and real-life situations. This game can easily take an entire class, is adaptable to any size group or time frame, and really gets everyone thinking.
Stand in a circle. The first person performs a pose of their choice. Everyone practices this pose and the second person adds another one. Everyone performs these two poses in order, then the third person adds a new, different pose to the chain. Continue on (working as a group to remember the order when necessary) until all students have had a chance to add a pose.
This is deceptively simple and definitely works the memory if you have a large class. With a small class, you may want to go around the circle twice. The teacher may have to prompt students who are having difficulty coming up with a new pose to add to the chain.
I often play this game when teaching the theme ‘The Pet Store’ where students choose animals that you would find at the pet store and we practice the associated pose. Be sure to download your FREE copy of this yoga adventure story and sign up for our fantastic newsletter.
Playing Add One definitely keeps the kids engaged and they are always eager to think of an animal or pose we haven’t yet suggested. Try it the next time you are teaching a class and let me know how it worked.