Photo by Amanda Hirsch

Photo by Amanda Hirsch

As I have posted previously, teaching yoga to kids is very different than teaching adults. It is yoga play and typically proper alignment is not stressed. Once a session, however, I take out some props and teach my classes of kids between 5 and 11 some alignment. The kids love it when I bring out the yoga props and although I am speaking alignment, the idea that I am treating them like the adults makes this class special in their eyes. The props are like presents and the excitement is palpable.

Here is a list of poses that we do using different props:

3 lb Pilates Balls

1. Chair pose with chest press

2. Chair pose with chest press and side leg extensions

3. Partner seated twists – sitting back to back with legs crossed twist to one side to pass the ball and then twist to the other side to retrieve the ball.

4. Standing splits – press ball into the air, lift one leg back as you touch the ball to the floor.

5. Boat pose holding ball

6. Boat pose holding ball to one side and then twisting to the opposite side

7. Standing back to back with feet mat distance apart pass ball back and forth with forward bends between legs and then with a small back bends above head.

Wall

1. Chair pose against the wall

2. Warrior one with foot against the wall

3. Warrior three with foot pressing against the wall

4. Warrior three with finger tips touching the wall

5. Tree pose touching wall

6. Dancer pose facing and touching the wall

7. Half Moon with foot pressing against wall and the use of a block for hand

8. Handstand prep against the wall

9. Tripod headstand against the wall

10. Camel pose with hips against the wall

Blocks

1. Half Moon with foot pressing against the wall and the use of a block under hand

2. Feet up the wall with blocks on feet (avoid if the blocks are too heavy and use hardcover books)

I haven’t used blankets, bolsters or straps with the 5-7 year-olds but the 8-11 year-olds love to use blankets and bolsters during savasana. What I especially like about introducing the wall is that you see the kids take more risks with poses knowing the support is there. The kids all love to try handstands and they really open up in half moon.

We ended classes this week with a lot of giggles doing a group chair pose against the wall – one person starts against the wall and everyone else sits on each others laps. The kids are amazed that they can hold the weight of the entire class on their lap and the occasional falls upon trying to stand back up gets everyone laughing to savasana. I posted a while back about a great “life lesson” using chair pose against the wall. Check it out here.

Namaste.

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