It’s so wonderful to be part of sharing Strala Yoga for kids in more than 30,000 schools, through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and a newer program called BOKS. Through these foundations, the program resources are freely available to schools all around North America, in exchange for the schools – and teachers – adopting new standards, and new ways of being themselves. There’s something really big I’ve learned here along the way, and it’s something we share now in our Strala Kids Yoga Teacher Training.
This all works so much better when it’s not just teachers telling kids what to do and instead involves teachers influencing kids through their own way of being, and how they are in their own lives. As a small example – no more soda machines in the teachers’ lounges! I think this aspect of what we’re all doing – centering on how we are, and how easily and peacefully we’re able to move in our lives – is a very powerful starting point.
How you are is what influences kids the most
Much more than specific yoga sequences or techniques. These are useful too, but they follow behind How you are, how you connect with yourself and everyone, and how you share with who’s around you. Without first giving attention to how we are, techniques are just things we do to each other. Even with really good intentions, it leads to an imbalance in relationships that we all can feel. As adults, maybe we’re used to it a lot of the time. But kids can feel it, and it’s not the best kind of feeling we can give.
Maybe it’s not surprising that in traditional medicine this imbalance – doing something To someone – is avoided, and seen as a kind of manipulation. Instead, the aim is to make good connections, that support and remind each other about what’s possible – the magic we each have inside to heal and enable ourselves. This is a wonderful way to share all kinds of connections with people. And maybe it’s not surprising that it works so well with kids. They know exactly what’s up with the adults around them.
It makes sense, but really this is an unusual concept. Usual teaching is done by learning and memorizing knowledge and techniques, then repeating information from a disconnected place. It’s a line from teacher to student, rather than a kind of sharing where we’re on the same circle, moving and being moved in connection with each other. This is something else to learn from traditional medicine and practices like tai chi. Even when we think we’re on a line – doing something to someone – we’re always on a circle. Everything you do counts, for everything and everyone around you. And, it always comes back around. We all know the best teachers are so far from disconnected. What they share and how they share it is a together thing. We’ve felt this. We know the difference.
How you hold or release stress, how you move with isolation or harmony in your body, bringing just a part of you into what you do, or bringing everything you are into all that you share, how you breathe and approach challenge – it all matters. The way you move through your life creates a chemical exchange in your mind, that influences your perceptions, and your ability to connect with others. Even if we can’t always verbalize how we feel in one kind of experience or the other, we feel the difference. We learn better from each other when we’re taking good care of ourselves, and making good connections on the same shared circle.
Kids are especially sensitive to this. They don’t have as much armor around them as we adults tend to have. They know when we’re moving gracefully and easily. They know when we’re struggling and stressed. It makes a difference.
Teaching foundations and yoga class structures for kids
Building the right pose library, movements, sequences, and language for sharing with kids, is all extremely important as well. And there are simple things to keep in mind. So we share in all this too. One small example: keep eye contact with your kids. If you put them into positions like down dog for long, you lose them. If you create simple sequences that keep you connected with them, building up to some fun challenges like crow and dancer, you have something wonderful to share.
If you’re a teacher or parent, caregiver or healthcare provider, we have an online Strala Kids Yoga Teacher Training that gives everything you need, to share this learning experience with kids.
Empowering young people to form a strong connection with themselves, to trust their intuition for a lifetime, so they have their best chance at a safe, happy, and fulfilled life – this is important work, for anyone who spends time around young people.
And if you’re looking to lead kids classes in yoga and tai chi, or carry these new approaches, skill-sets and practices into your work, this training also provides you with a 100+Hour Kids Yoga Teacher Training Certification and continuing education credit.
Please click here to learn more about this training. It begins in October 2022, and once started, you can join any time, go at your own pace, and keep everything as a learning resource forever. We’re so excited to share this together with you here.