What an amazing experience! Embracing the creativity of the children at such a large age range from Prep to grade 6 – was a beautiful sight to see. The school supervisors and AASC regional manager were pleasantly surprised to witness how captivated the children were at their first Yogafun class – from the energetic start till the calming relaxation at the end. Apparently Yogafun was one of the few programs that had received 100% participation and enthusiasm from the children of Mentone and St. Patricks Primary AASC program. The introduction of Yogafun to Mentone Primary was deemed a great success by staff and parents.
From the moment I walked into the door, watching the anticipation of innocent eyes, all eagerly waiting and lying on their yoga mats, we explored the exciting fun yoga animal poses through an adventure story. We used a lot of movement, breath work, magical stories and relaxation. I watched the kids grow from innocent anticipating eyes to confident and comfortable young children in a short period of time. They watched me for instructions and the next cue… I watched them transform from the height of energetic movement and activities, to the calm peaceful stillness in their relaxation time.
It’s been interesting, over the years I have had many people ask how children cope with ‘yoga’ – with the classic view of expecting kids doing silent classes of sitting very still and not utter a word as they move from one posture to another. Then they ask how do they concentrate and sit still?
I never really understood the question, as my natural response has always been “Why not?” Kids are natural yogis. Obviously kids yoga classes are of a different nature to adult classes, they are specifically designed to cater for their level of understanding and attention span. Kids yoga classes allow them to experience their full spectrum of emotions and explore the potential within themselves.
In kids yoga we do many things that mimic different parts of everyday life. We explore different ideas and move in the direction of the ideas and flow with these thoughts and movement. E.g. we create the idea of walking through a jungle, then we start moving the body… to ‘move in the direction’ of the ‘idea’ of being inside a jungle. As we move and explore the idea of being in a jungle, we start to imagine and ‘feel’ like we really are in the jungle, as we look up at the imaginary trees, step over the imaginary rocks… we learn to become a character or a person in a different situation. Children learn so much through just a yoga adventure story – they learn to think, do and be – different characters of themselves.
They explore the ideas of what they can be, do and feel – embracing the endless possibilities and then become them. So in the context of life, children learn the power of their thoughts, learn to explore their ideas and possibilities without giving judgment or expectation about what they are doing as they are doing it. They learn to merely try a new idea, explore it in thought, and then give it a go. Allowing themselves the opportunity to explore parts of themselves they may or may not have experienced lately. The strength of a tree, the lightness of a bird, the roaring power of a lion…. Nature is only a reflection of us – a reflection of the full potential within ourselves.
From a child’s perspective, we are merely having fun and exploring different postures and movement, on a deeper level – they are exploring qualities within themselves and learning to embrace all parts of themselves. They learn to believe in themselves, as they learn to get comfortable in their movements and actions. They learn to use their thoughts to create movement and an experience that was not there a few seconds ago… the power of their thoughts and actions.
All in the name of fun… Yogafun! Fun with depth of exploration and growth…. And that was only the first part of their class!
For more information about benefits of children’s yoga or to run Yogafun programs at your school, email queries to firstname.lastname@example.org