Booty is Funnier than Butt: Teaching Kids Yoga
I’ve been told, or heard through that grapevine, that I’m probably not the first person thought of as a kids yoga teacher. I swear a lot. I have some tattoos. I laugh at the word “balls” at fairly inappropriate times. I make jokes about which child of mine is my favorite.
With my own kids, I break the rules. I don’t helicopter, I have expectations, and I cherish their stubborn, creative minds that continually challenge me, in good and bad ways. I bring that same vibe to kids yoga classes. Kids are kids, messy, beautiful, silly, stinky, and so very wise. We spend so much time as adults trying to get back into our bodies and be our authentic selves. Kids are already there. They are our teachers, on and off the mat.
I never expected to be a kids yoga teacher, either.
I see the challenges that school teacher face each day. Crowded classrooms. Teaching to tests. Behavioral issues. Administrative obstacles. Blame. Exhaustion. The last place I thought I would be was teaching children yoga. Yet, I’ve found a home in those precious 45-minute sessions. Kids have to deal with a lot of things we dismiss (I’m just as guilty with my own kids). Schedules out the wazoo, bullying, problems at home. If a yoga class is a safe space for adults, you bet your tookus it will be one for kids, at least under my watch.
Kids yoga is just like adult yoga, but with more weirdness and fun.
Adult yoga classes are non-judgmental spaces. When I teach adults, it isn’t to perfect a posture or memorize a flow. It is to create an experience to help process, reflect, gain insight, and release the burdens and the triumphs of the day. Sometimes, the class is just about movement, music, and breath. Kids are the same.
Parents Magazine reports five benefits of yoga for kids:
- Enhances Physical Flexibility
- Refines Balance and Coordination
- Develops Focus and Concentration
- Boosts Self-Esteem and Confidence
- Strengthens the Mind-Body Connection
I report that kids yoga also:
- Makes kids smile and laugh.
- Teaches grown-ups that “booty” is the king of all butt words.
- Shows kids they are similar to and different from each other.
- Permits kids to challenge themselves, safely.
- Is a safe space to practice all life skills: physical, mental, emotional, & social.
What happens when you bring your child to kids yoga is this: a supportive, fun, environment that reminds them at an early age to breathe, and that the one thing we can control when it is loud, or scary, or stressful, or fun… is our breath. I am responsible for bringing an energy into the classroom that makes each child feel safe, feel like they are a part of something bigger (like gorilla walking!), and that they matter. I challenge kids, whether to try crow pose or to “savasanate” the longest.
Allow your kid the space to breathe. Join us, if you’d like. Get ready for some crazy walking, dragon breathing, Jedi training kids yoga fun, too!