Yoga’s practical application can be understood as the integration of body, breath and mind. It encompasses a physical practice of postures and stretches, the use of breath to calm and center, as well as an awareness in the mind of what one is feeling and thinking.
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment by paying attention and being aware of what one is doing and how one is feeling as he or she is doing it. Mindfulness enriches the quality of our life and our relationships while allowing us to cultivate kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others.
Regular participation in yoga & mindfulness programs allows children to:
- More easily focus their attention
- Identify and release stress
- Expand their self-awareness by identifying their emotions and improving their ability to express themselves
- Increase self-confidence and self-discipline
- Appreciate stillness and peacefulness and to think and behave compassionately
- Gain physical benefits of improved flexibility, circulatory and cardiovascular health, strength building, and improved physical coordination.
The best part is that all of this happens in a non-competitive setting and while having a good time!
Yoga Child offers nationally recognized programs and is a registered children’s yoga school with the Yoga Alliance, the largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community.
The Yoga Child curriculum has been specifically designed to meet children at their specific stage of life, both developmentally and emotionally. We draw from the basic tenets of yoga and mindfulness and employ a thematic approach that provides each student with an improved physical and emotional understanding of his or herself.
Included in our classes are:
- fundamental yoga postures;
- yoga games;
- relaxation methods;
- mindfulness & breathing practices;
- attention centering techniques;
- basic anatomy;
- yoga literature, yoga journaling, music & songs where appropriate; and
- lessons for taking mindfulness off the mat and into our everyday lives.
Our program curriculum was created by Yoga Child’s founder and award winning author of children’s mindfulness books, Gail Silver. Even a decade after its inception, Gail continues to train all of the Yoga Child teaching staff and is the lead trainer of all Yoga Child teacher trainings.
At this age level, students can enjoy fanciful yoga themes inspired by seasons and imaginary travels to rainforests, beaches, farms, zoos and even outer space. A typical yoga class will begin with a yoga game, followed by magical meditations, a yoga journey employing asana instruction, a yoga based story or song, a quiet game, a lesson in mindfulness, a guided rest and time for sharing.
This age group will learn yoga through introspective themes and practical life concepts such as establishing balance, creating strength, building endurance and expanding self awareness. A typical class begins with a discussion of the theme, followed by breathing and mindfulness techniques, asana instruction, guided rest, and literature or journaling.
We can help you create the space. Many of our programs take place right in your classroom with students seated at their desks. For our “On-The-Mat” classes, we’ve held class in auditoriums, libraries, gymnasiums and unused classrooms. For Pre-school classes, all we need is a carpeted area and you and your students.
As much as we love meeting and working with every child we can, one day classes for kids are not the recommended way to introduce your students to the layers and benefits of what we offer. Learning yoga and mindfulness can be compared to learning a new language. Each week we build upon our teachings, giving students the opportunity to reflect upon what they’ve learned in the spaces in between. One day events still require hours of administrative work (contracts, invoices, provision of release forms and clearances, emails back and forth, etc.). When we work with you for the duration of the year these costs are amortized over the year. When we come for just one day these costs substantially elevate our otherwise reasonable hourly rates. So the short answer is, “Yes, if we have a teacher available, we will do a one day event, but please consider a longer run if you can.” It will be better for everyone.
Don’t let this be a deterrent. There are ways to raise money and Yoga Child can help with this. We can help you with the language on your grant requests or on crowd sourcing and fundraising campaigns. We’re also getting to work on some fundraising of our own for The Mindful School Project and our Kids in Care program, so that we can come to some sites partially funded. While we don’t work for free, we hope to help support our program for sites in need when we are able.