Featured Today - Sarah Mills● Calm for Kids Trainer ● Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher for children and adults ● School Teacher
Q. What’s your favourite quote?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”- Dr Seuss
Q. Why did you want to teach yoga to children?
I wanted to teach yoga to kids because I enjoyed yoga so much myself. As a primary school teacher, I was curious to know how I could pass on the benefits I’d felt to children. I had become more aware of issues around children’s mental health and wanted to see first hand if yoga would give kids tools to help. I was also keen to introduce an activity that didn’t involve screens and which fostered connection and interaction on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level.
Q; How did your training prepare you to teach yoga to children?
I found teaching yoga to children requires a more creative approach than teaching to adults. To make it accessible, it is important to engage children’s imagination by using stories game, play and music. On the Calm For Kids course, there were many opportunities to develop this creative approach whilst still retaining the integrity and power of yoga. I was also able to link what I learned to topics on the school curriculum and create lessons around those themes.
Q. How are you using your training now?
I’ve run yoga classes and after-school clubs and I’ve just returned from 3 months in Peru where I taught yoga classes in Spanish to children aged from 4 – 12. They responded well and engaged with the classes and I had great feedback from the other teachers and volunteers in the school. They found my approach to teaching yoga really useful and have since integrated it into their classrooms. I’m also loving being on the training team of Calm For Kids and sharing my experience as a school teacher and children’s yoga teacher with others.
Q. Do you have any class management tips for gathering attention?
● Clapping a rhythm and kids have to copy
● Raise your hand and let children copy
● Have a call and response rhyme ie – “When I say Hocus Pocus, you say Let’s Focus.”
Q. What’s one piece of advice you would give to kids yoga teachers starting out?
From the beginning make your expectations of how you expect children and young people to behave in your class. Draw up a yoga class agreement together and then you can refer back to it when needed.