Unwrapping Joy and Mindfulness with YogaBeez this Christmas

Unwrapping Joy and Mindfulness with YogaBeez
Unwrapping Joy and Mindfulness with YogaBeez this Christmas.

Are you wondering how to handle the Festive Frenzy this season?  Discover the art of unwrapping joy and mindfulness with YogaBeez this Christmas.

The holidays are a whirlwind of excitement, sugar overload, and chaotic gatherings with friends and family. While it’s a time for joy and connection – it can also be overwhelming, especially for our little ones. Overstimulation, meltdowns, and sensory overload can lurk around every sparkly corner.

But fear not, fellow teachers, parents and babysitters! We can navigate the festive frenzy with grace and giggles by incorporating yoga and mindfulness practices. These tools help children (and ourselves!) stay grounded, manage emotions, and appreciate the simple magic of the season.


A great place to start is always with some breath work to bring everyone back to centre… Help them to “Breathe It In, Breathe It Out”:

  • Calming Snowman Breaths:

    Sit cross-legged or kneel with your children. Imagine a tiny snowman on their tummy. As they inhale, their snowman grows bigger, filling their belly with air. Exhale, and the snowman shrinks, melting away worries. Repeat, adding silly snowman noises for extra fun!

  • Glitter Breath:

    Have your child pretend to hold a jar of glitter. Breathe in deeply, imagining the glitter rising in their chest. Breathe out slowly, letting the glitter gently settle. This visualization helps lengthen and deepen breaths.

Next – help them to “Shake it Off”:

  • Reindeer Romp:

    Channel your inner Rudolph! Stand with feet hip-width apart. Pretend your antlers are heavy, shaking your head to release the tension. Then, jump with joy, prancing like reindeer around the room.

  • Snowflake Sways:

    Stand tall with arms outstretched. Imagine you’re a snowflake gently falling. Sway slowly from side to side, letting your body move with the rhythm of your breath. This gentle movement releases tension and calms the mind.

It is so important to provide some quiet spaces and peaceful activities for children during this sometimes manic holiday season… help them to stay present, as they wait for their presents!

  • Mindful Gift Wrapping:

    Instead of rushing, turn gift wrapping into a mindfulness ritual. Fold the paper slowly, feeling the texture. Notice the colors and patterns. Breathe deeply as you tie the ribbon. This mindful approach fosters appreciation and reduces stress.

  • Sensory Bottles:

    Fill a water bottle with glitter, beads, and small toys. As your kids start to shake it, encourage them to observe the swirling colors and calming movement. This visual and tactile exercise promotes focus and relaxation.

Unwrapping Joy and Mindfulness with YogaBeez

Remember, the holidays are about connection and joy, not perfection!

Embrace the wobbly reindeer poses, the glitter-covered faces, and the moments of quiet wonder. Let yoga and mindfulness be your playful guides, helping you and your little ones navigate the festive season with hearts full of peace and love.

Bonus Tip: Create a cozy “calming corner” with blankets, pillows, and calming sensory objects. This becomes a safe haven for children to practice their yoga poses, read a mindful story, or simply take a quiet breath.

So next time the holiday craziness threatens to sweep you off your feet, remember: you’ve got superhero strength in your breath, a wiggle in your tail for happy dances, and a whole toolbox of yoga poses to save the day! Now go forth, little yogis, and spread holiday cheer like glitter on a gingerbread house!




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Halloween Children’s Yoga Class Ideas

Halloween Children’s Yoga Class Ideas – Celebrate The Holiday with Some Fun!

Halloween children’s yoga class ideas are plentiful! It is a time for silly fun, spookiness, and sweet delights! Here are some fun ideas for Halloween Children’s Yoga Classes.

Halloween yoga poses:

Once the children are warmed up, you can start teaching them some Halloween-themed yoga poses. Here are a few ideas:

  • Witch On A Broom:

    Creep up to dark house, climb up the stairs quietly… Find your broom and fly around the room. Practice your witch’s cackles and cauldron stirring. Start in L sitting position – reach up and fold forward into wide legged forward bend, as you add and mix ingredients into your cauldron. As you stir the pot, bring rotation into your pelvis… ooh what spell do you want to make?  “Bubble bubble, toil and trouble”

  • Bat:

    Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your arms at your sides. Bend your knees and bring your feet up to the floor, so that your knees are bent and your feet are flat on the ground. Place your hands on the floor behind you, fingers spread wide. Lean back slightly and lift your hips off the ground, forming a triangle shape with your body.  Gently breath in and out, then slowly lower yourself back to the floor.

  • Witches Cat:

    Start on your hands and knees, with your back flat and your core engaged. Tuck your chin to your chest and round your back, as if you are a cat hissing. Gently breath in and out, then slowly arch your back and look up. Repeat 3 times.  Practice your hisses and meows.

  • Monster Roars: 

    Scary-up your wide-legged squats with a few lion’s —ahem, we mean “monster”— roars. Start in a five-pointed-star pose (legs wide, feet turned out, arms extended out to a “V” with fingers spread wide). Inhale here, gazing up toward the sky. Then, as you exhale through your mouth, stick out your tongue and make as frightening a face as you can muster, while bending your knees into the squat and drawing your elbows in toward your sides. Inhale, return to five-pointed star, and repeat several times.

  • Ghost:

    Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Slowly raise your arms above your head and bring your palms together. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward, keeping your back straight. Reach your arms out in front of you, palms down. Gently breath in and out, then slowly return to the starting position.  Who can make the scariest ghostly noises?

Halloween yoga story:

You can also tell the children a Halloween-themed yoga story during their yoga class. This is a great way to keep them engaged and entertained, whilst also teaching them some new yoga poses. For example, you could tell them the story of a witch who is flying through the forest on her broomstick. The children can then pretend to be witches and fly through the forest, using the yoga poses you taught them.  A song also gets everyone involved:

Rolling pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said, “Oh, my it’s getting late!”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air!”
The third one said, “Well, I don’t care!”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run!”
The fifth one said, “I’m ready for some fun!”
OOH went the wind, and out went the lights,
and the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight! 

Halloween yoga games:

There are many fun Halloween yoga games that you can play with the children. For example, you could play ‘Boo Breath’

  1. Everyone gets ¼ piece of tissue (little ghost)
  2. Place on their finger and blow it off with a boo!

Also a game of “Simon Says” with Halloween-themed yoga poses. Or, you could play a game of “Freeze Dance” with Halloween music. Depending on the size of your class, blindfolded “Trick or Treat” is always a hit!


End the class with a cool-down to help the children relax and wind down. You could do some deep breathing exercises, or lead the children in a guided meditation. Savasana or Corpse pose is perfect – “Thunder and lightning, north winds blow, sleepy heads to bed you go!”

Here are some additional tips for teaching Halloween children’s yoga:
  • Keep it fun and engaging: Children have short attention spans, so it’s important to keep your yoga classes fun and engaging. Use lots of music, games, and stories to keep them interested.
  • Make it appropriate for all ages and abilities: Be sure to modify the yoga poses as needed, so that all of the children in your class can participate. You may also want to offer different options for each pose, so that the children can choose the one that is most challenging for them.
  • Be creative: There are endless possibilities when it comes to Halloween children’s yoga. Use your imagination and come up with your own fun and unique yoga poses, games, and stories.

With a little planning, you can easily create a fun and educational Halloween children’s yoga class that the children will love!


Enlightened YogaBeez Success Story

An Enlightened YogaBeez Success Story – Meet Leanne Lucas!

Leanne Lucas is a true YogaBeez Success Story

How did you first begin working with children?

I started off my career with a diploma in Early Years and a degree in Primary Education. I taught for 8 years at a local primary school teaching 8 wonderful classes and leading the PE curriculum. My heart always rested with the wellbeing of each and every pupil who walked through the school door. Teaching is tough – it can be stressful and you can feel like you are never doing enough.

This led me to accept a once in a life time opportunity to move to Shanghai, China to support the opening of a bilingual kindergarten school, where I worked as a Year 1 teacher. It was here that my eyes were opened to more holistic methods of looking after my mental health and wellbeing. After my China adventure, I returned home and decided to train in counselling, which I am still pursuing now.

What led you down the path towards becoming a Children’s Yoga Teacher?

During this journey of discovery, I invested in practicing yoga for myself more and more. This led me to think about how I could bring the benefits of yoga and mindfulness into the lives of children within my local area.

How did you discover the YogaBeez Children’s Yoga Teacher Training platform?

I searched for Children’s Yoga Teacher Training Courses and like magic – I saw that YogaBeez was bringing an in-person training to Leeds! As this was only an hour and a half away from me – I signed up immediately and I have never looked back!

Bryony really inspired me and supported me to feel like I could truly achieve this dream. My passion was ignited and I started teaching 2 children’s yoga classes at the weekends.

Describe your journey from Training to Teaching?

My business grew and grew from these initial classes and I now teach children’s yoga, family yoga, yoga with puppy cuddle therapy, themed yoga (Barbie is my next workshop), family bedtime yoga, SEN yoga, holiday camps and a weekly Home Ed yoga afternoon. I enjoy it because I am passionate about it and I am passionate about it because I enjoy it!

It is wonderful that I have recently been employed by a nursery, primary school and high school to provide yoga workshops within the school day. I absolutely adore seeing the children grow in self-belief and confidence and I am grateful for the moments of support I can provide families in my community. It really feels like I am making a positive impact and that is such a fulfilling feeling. I feel like I am my true, authentic self through teaching yoga and therefore I feel great happiness.

What was the biggest benefit of doing the YogaBeez Course?

Starting up your own business can be hard and lonely… It is for this reason that I am forever grateful to the amazing friends I made on the YogaBeez course. We keep in contact regularly – sharing lesson plans, top tips and moral support. There is a real sense of community and comraderie where we can lean on each other for ideas and encouragement.

You can find out more about Leanne’s yoga business ‘Enlighten’ via her website www.enlightenkidsyoga.com

You can also find our South African YogaBeez Success Story here https://yogabeez.com/south-african-yogabeez-success-story/


























A South African YogaBeez Success Story

Meet Melissa Bland!

YogaBeez Children's Yoga Success

This is a true South African YogaBeez success story which we are very excited to share. Melissa Bland is a proud South African and was born and bred in Cape Town.  She has a finance background, but has always had a deep longing to work with children. One of the things which drew her to this calling is the simplicity and raw honesty which children possess and she connected with this authenticity.

What led you down the path towards becoming a Children’s Yoga Teacher?

Melissa now has a beautiful 6-year-old boy of her own called Liam. In 2018 her family moved to Malaysia due to her husband’s business. For the first time, she was faced with being a stay-at-home mom and not active in the workforce.  When the pandemic hit, she began taking some yoga classes online for fitness, but also because she has always been interested in the mind, body and soul connection.

After 3 years in Malaysia, and after going through the pandemic, Melissa’s family decided to return home and they settled in Noordhoek.  Here she joined an amazing studio and she started to truly immerse herself in the yoga practice. Out of this, she discovered that she possessed a great ‘toolbox’ filled with amazing and powerful techniques, which she wanted to share with others.  The epiphany struck that teaching yoga to children would be a truly powerful way to combine her two loves. From here she started to think how to integrate children’s yoga into their everyday life – on and off the mat…

How did you discover the YogaBeez Children’s Yoga Teacher Training platform?

And so the journey to find a suitable children’s yoga teacher training began!  Through a word of mouth recommendation, she was directed to the YogaBeez platform, and she was pleasantly surprised by the educational Montessori tone which underlies the YogaBeez philosophy.  Feeling that this was possibly the road she wanted to take, she called Bryony personally and after a lengthy conversation, she felt that this was most definitely the perfect course for her to take.  In her own words, “Bryony just got it. Her values and motivation for starting YogaBeez in the first place was so aligned with mine, that it just resonated with me. I just knew this was the right course for me.”

What appealled to you about the YogaBeez Online Platform?

The most appealling aspect about the YogaBeez online platform is that it was self-paced and part time. Even though she lives in Cape Town, the online option made the dream possible.  She was able to tailor-make the study sessions and course times to fit her lifestyle and commitments.  The freedom of this was liberating and lifted any barrier which she could have foreseen.

What makes YogaBeez Children’s Yoga different from other available courses?

Melissa is passionate about transferring what she has learnt to young minds.  As she says, “Having been empowered with all these amazing tools, I would like to share it with children.  It is easier to learn new, healthy habits from a young age than to unlearn unhealthy habits down the line.  YogaBeez was amazing compared to some of the other available courses, in that it was so well rounded, because of the Montessori philosophy that they have. It was also just really relatable. The course itself was amazing, and both Sophie and Bryony have continued to be so responsive and supportive. After finishing the course, I felt truly empowered to go out and teach.”

What was the biggest benefit of doing the YogaBeez Online Course?

It is wonderful that there was always someone to reach out to when there were questions or fears about real-life teaching. That interaction proved to be invaluable during the learning curve of feeling confident enough to go out and teach professionally.

Describe your journey from Training to Teaching?

After graduating from YogaBeez, Melissa has started her own business called Floga Kids Yoga. She is working on laying the foundations for her budding business, and she is looking forward to her vision blooming into the reality she is already building upon.  Now that she has opened her own children’s yoga business, she says that one of the benefits is that it is forcing her to practice what she preaches.  One cannot teach children all these amazing life skills if you are unable to practice them yourself. So important lessons like sitting with discomfort, perseverance and working hard without having a guaranteed outcome are becoming a lived lifestyle.

How is business now?

She is focusing on getting into schools in her area in order to integrate children’s yoga into the South African School system.  Children have become so overscheduled, stressed and overwhelmed, so this provides a balm for their minds and souls.  Logistically it is also difficult for working parents to take time off to transport their children to extra-mural activities.  Having the schools offer the programme in-house solves a lot of these issues.

Tell us more about your community service work?

As somebody who believes in the power of giving back to the community, Melissa has partnered with a charitable organization, called Bongulethu.  This primary school for underprivileged children, which is located next to an informal settlement, is now happily receiving the benefits of children’s yoga. They would definitely not have been exposed to was it not for Melissa’s generosity of spirit. She teaches yoga to these kids, which is extremely fulfilling, and also enables her to gain greater experience and confidence.  She also offers yoga playdates and parties – anything which can bring the philosophy and benefits of yoga to children.

What is your ultimate goal in achieving success?

Her goal to change one child’s perception of where they are in any given moment. This is a wonderful way of making a tangible contribution to the world – one child at a time…  This is just the beginning of a true South African YogaBeez Success Story.


The Benefits of Online Children’s Yoga Teacher Training

YogaBeez Online
Have you Considered the Benefits of Online Children’s Yoga Teacher Training?

How many of you have dreamt about a meaningful career, where you can combine your love of children with your love of yoga and mindfulness? Are you stuck in a rut and feel your dream vocation slipping away because of circumstances beyond your control?  It is amazing how many of us self-sabotage our visions, instead of looking for workable solutions…  It is sometimes difficult to devote a large chunk of time to learning something new when we have busy lives and personal commitments, or we live far away from the trainings which we want to partake in. This is where the benefits of Online Children’s Yoga Teacher Training comes in to play.

Due to the technological age that we are currently living in, we are blessed to have the option of online teacher training.  There are so many benefits of online platforms – providing you have done your research to ensure that the programmes have the required accreditations, qualifications and most importantly interaction with a responsive mentor.

Some of the Benefits of Online Children’s Yoga Teacher Training are:

Students can study at their own pace, and the training platform can be accessed from anywhere in the world. All you require is a viable internet connection and computer, with no geographical constraints! This is a great option for people who travel a lot, have a full-time job, are students, parents or who live in remote areas.

In-person trainings can also be fast-paced and intense, and students are quite often left feeling saturated and overwhelmed – with not enough time to process the avalanche of information. Online options allow for students to go through the work at their own pace, personalise their speed and re-read/repeat some of the more difficult part of the course material if necessary. This allows for complete customisation of the learning experience.

YogaBeez Online


    Online teacher trainings are generally more affordable than traditional in-person training programmes, as it cuts down on the costs of accommodation, travel and other related expenses.


People are often under the misguided impression that the online experience will be a solitary and lonely road… This could not be further from the truth. With this option, you can tap into a global community!  Guest teachers from around the world can be available to teach and support.  Students can ask questions, get feedback, share their experiences and connect with other students. The sessions can be very interactive and friendships from around the world can be fostered through these connections.  This provides diverse networking opportunities and collaborations with people from different backgrounds and cultures.


Online courses require a certain level of self-discipline and motivation. This can help people to develop valuable and life-long skills in time management, self-motivation and independent learning.


Bryony DuckittOnline teacher training is just as high quality as traditional in-person training programmes.  By booking your course through an accredited school like YogaBeez means that the support you will receive will be constant and in-depth.

A great way to set your mind at ease is to read graduate testimonials. This ensures you are getting quality information from the source – from people who have experienced the courses. The wonderful feedback that we get for our interactive online course has been incredible. A great online training course should encourage you to practice your own hands-on teaching throughout your learning journey. Hopefully you will leave confident to step out of the box and onto your mat to deepen your own yoga practice , and to begin your process of becoming an accredited, qualified, well- equipped, knowledgeable and adaptable teacher yourself….

Some great YogaBeez testimonials from past graduates:

“If you can not make the in-person training truly consider the online version as you feel immediately involved and immersed, but not overwhelmed. If anything, the online training allows processes and procedures to slot into place at your own pace and provides you with tools of reference to go back to when you need to access those bits of information again for clarification. Well worth it!”

“The material was very well presented and organized. I was surprised at how engaging the online activity was, as it felt very interactive even though it was pre-recorded.”

“The course suited my needs perfectly. As mum of a toddler, running my own business and starting a new job the self-paced was necessary. It was one of the selling points when I first booked on.”

YogaBeez is a leading provider of children’s yoga and mindfulness, offering accredited teacher training courses, classes and workshops. Since 2005, our unique method has incorporated the core values and teachings of traditional Yoga and Mindfulness coupled with the Montessori philosophy to educate, empower and exercise children from all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. Our inclusive classes are designed to stimulate and nourish physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual well-being.


The YogaBeez ONLINE Children’s Yoga Teacher Training is available in both the Foundation and Advanced Level Courses. It is suitable for yoga teachers, school teachers and parents. These online courses will provide you with all the tools you will need to share yoga and mindfulness with children

Considering Becoming a Children’s Yoga Teacher?

Are you considering becoming a children’s yoga teacher? Then the YogaBeez Children’s Yoga Teacher Training Course is the answer for you! 

 Deciding to become a children’s yoga teacher is such rewarding and deeply fulfilling career path for several different reasons:
  • Becoming a yoga teacher is more than just a career choice – it becomes a way of life.
  • You have the ability to have an incredibly positive impact on children’s lives. As a children’s yoga teacher, you can make a significant impact on the lives of young learners. Through this training – you will have the unique opportunity to empower, exercise and educate children holistically. This is achieved by using using yoga, mindfulness and Montessori principles.
  • By nurturing a love for exercise and movement in a child at a young age through yoga, you can help them to develop positive attitudes about self-image and exercise. The benefits of these healthy habits are infinite.
  • Teaching children to be mindful and relaxed can be incredibly beneficial to their overall mental health. Yoga provides them with great tools for coping with stress and anxiety.
  • Being a children’s yoga teacher can create wonderful opportunities to interact with parents and caregivers. This fosters a positive relationship with your community.
  • There is a growing demand for children’s yoga programmes. The interest in yoga classes for children has been growing steadily over the years. As more schools, daycare centres, and community organizations recognize the benefits of yoga for children -there is an increasing demand for qualified children’s yoga teachers.
  • Teaching children can be incredibly rewarding. Witnessing their growth and development can bring a profound sense of fulfillment and purpose to your life.

Ultimately, becoming a children’s yoga teacher allows you to combine your passion for yoga, with your desire to make a positive impact on the lives of children. This can create your new path which can be both personally and professionally rewarding. The next time someone asks you if you are considering becoming a children’s yoga teacher, you can confidently answer, “Yes!”

This could be the perfect career for you, so begin your journey today, and consider becoming a Children’s Yoga Teacher!

How to deal with emotions when on a Yoga Teacher Training Course

Supporting Emotions in a yoga group
How to deal with emerging emotions whilst on a Yoga Teacher Training Course
How to deal with emotions when on a Yoga Teacher Training Course:

Have you ever entered a yoga class feeling on top of the world until half way through? Whilst holding a pose, the flood gates suddenly open and you find tears streaming down your cheeks? Or found yourself lying in savasana, deep in a peaceful meditative state when a single tear trickles down the side of your face? A meditation releases an expected memory and your smooth, controlled breath soon turns to sobs… Well, if a yoga class can unleash all these emotions, can you imagine what could unfold whilst delving deeply inwards on a Yoga Teacher Training Course? Preparing to deal with these emerging emotions in a safe and supported space is very important.  These tips are specifically crafted to help you to figure out how to deal with emotions when on a Yoga Teacher Training Course

What are the possible solutions?

Having led and attended many teacher trainings over the years, I have come to accept that no matter how hard we may try to hold it back – our personal emotional baggage is bound to show up at some point over these days of self-discovery. And as a practitioner, a student and a teacher, I welcome these releases. I believe they are a vital part of becoming an empathic and compassionate teacher.

Advice for managing emotions on a yoga course:

Such a big part of being a teacher is being able to hold a space for your students to explore, enquire and ultimately let go. Not just in their physical asana, but also in observing the memory of their cells and past experiences. The only way to release these is to allow them to surface. Then observe them and lovingly (and often painfully) begin to heal and set them free.

What can we do to assist our students?

To allow our students to do this, we need to provide a safe and supportive environment. It is important that we remain grounded and present. For this to be possible, we need to have visited and reviewed our own emotional issues and baggage. I believe we are all made up of an assortment of these special ingredients … remnants of all the experiences we have had during our journey from birth.

I don’t love the word baggage, but yes, as this metaphor suggests, the experiences that have affected us are often lugged around.  They can be physically held like heavy weights or tight knots in our shoulders, jaws, lower backs, hips, calves etc. So, its not surprising that when we come into certain poses or sit in contemplative silence, we start a process of physical and emotional release.

These are ways that we sort out how to deal with emotions when on a Yoga Teacher Training Course

Supporting Emotions in a yoga groupExamine your early emotions:

During the yoga teacher trainings I lead, specializing in children and teen yoga, one of the first meditations we do is one of returning to our early years. Many of the trainee teachers haven’t visited these years for a long time and of course not all of these will be happy, bouncy, joyous years. If any of us think back to our teens we are bound to remember some incredibly challenging times.

Respect the students’ emotional journey:

I always provide a space for these teachers to share their experiences, but this is never an obligation. It is imperative to remember that whilst some students may find sharing very cathartic – for others these are deeply personal, intimate details that they may not feel comfortable talking about. As the trainer holding a space, it’s important to respect this privacy but also to let your student know that a one-on-one with you is available should they wish to chat to you personally.

The reason I lead this meditation is that I want trainee teachers to revisit their own childhood years and experiences before working with the bodies and minds of their own vulnerable students. A children’s yoga teacher does not only have to learn how to lead and observe a class, they must also truly examine their own qualities, through a process of self-awareness and continuous self-assessment.

We know children can push buttons, exploring their boundaries with each new adult that enters their lives and often our immediate reaction comes from a place of our own unresolved issues. If a teacher is feeling frustrated with a student, it is good for us to figure out where this irritation is stemming from and discover the true essence of the problem. When a teacher can examine their own qualities internally, we can see that it is often their own anxiety, pride or insecurity that stands between them and the student.

The important qualities of a Children’s Yoga Teacher:

Because the teacher’s disposition and manner determines the atmosphere of the classroom, there are a few essential qualities that a teacher must examine before holding a space. Of course, there is the learning and practising of poses, the yoga philosophy to read, study and practice but there is also the imperative process of personal spiritual preparation. This inner exploration is essential to building relationships with students.

If a teacher is lacking in self-awareness, she may misinterpret or misunderstand a student’s behaviour and this often creates barriers between them. Controlling her own reaction to a student’s actions and understanding where this reaction comes from is an important place for a teacher to begin her spiritual quest.

Practice the art of patience:

Above and beyond demonstrating a perfect pose I believe that equanimity, patience and humility are some of the most essential qualities of a good yoga teacher. And this is where “living our yoga” becomes all-important. We need to be sure that the yoga philosophy we weave into our classes is what we are practicing when we step off the mat and out of the studio.

As we explore and reflect upon the Yamas and Niyamas – the roots and trunk of the 8-fold path that are at the very core of our yoga practice – it is vital that we start unpacking and reflecting on our own make up, those ingredients that make us who we are, the baggage, the unresolved issues. It’s all the gritty stuff that we need to revisit, because in doing so we are not only freeing ourselves, learning to forgive, learning self-love and self-care but we are giving our students permission to do the same. And this is where the true yoga begins … the yoking, the merging, the connecting.

Embrace you emotions:

So, the next time you feel an emotional release sneaking its way into your practice, welcome it, observe it, learn from it and lovingly set it free. And when one of your students experiences one of these moments – hold the space for them to do this and be grateful that they have felt safe enough in your hands to do so.

We hope you enjoyed reading our article on dealing with emotions on a Yoga Teacher Training Course.

For more info contact us.

Teaching a Children’s Yoga Class

Teaching a children’s yoga class? Are you grappling with effective classroom management within your children’s yoga classes?

Teaching a children’s yoga class? Done the training, learnt the poses, perfected your lesson planning, ready to go … and then the children arrive. They are chatty, unable to focus at the end of the school day, running around the space, not listening and getting their attention seems near impossible. Please know that you are not alone, and that some days are going to be more challenging than others. It is completely normal to have times where things go a little awry and the carefully-crafted lesson plan flies out the window! Effective classroom management can greatly assist you when things feel a little pressured.

When children are seeking attention, whether positive or negative, a mantra I always come back to is, “All behaviour is communication!”

Then breathe deeply, come back to centre, reassess the situation and find ways to engage the children in order to manage the challenging behaviour.

It can often be that by implementing some subtle changes into the space, a huge difference is made to the experience of your students, as well as your own confidence as a teacher.

Here are some valuable techniques, which could prove effective in the management your children’s yoga classes:

  • Firstly, to enter your classroom/space in a mindful way.  Try to be aware of any of your own personal challenges or anxieties BEFORE greeting the children. Leave these at the door and be fully present to hold space for your students. They are little empaths who will often feed off the energy you are carrying.
  • Remember that consistency is KEY! Remind the children of the Golden Guidelines gently at the beginning of the class, or have them illustrated in a visual manner. Co-creating these guidelines for acceptable behaviour will go a long way in gaining their ‘buy-in’.  Always follow through, and avoid empty promises. Truth creates trust. Consequences are important and sometimes we need to be firm to be kind.  Children feel safer and more secure when there are clear boundaries.
  • Create engaging and fun lesson plans but remember to be flexible in order to harness the energy of the children in the room. It is important to meet the children where they are, and work towards the goal in unison. Being too rigid will lead to frustrations across the board.
  • There are many different teaching techniques and we need to be aware which ones we operate from in order to be able to see what works and what doesn’t within each group.  When a class starts to become chatty or rowdy, level out your speaking voice to a low and soft place.  The louder they become – the quieter you become… Try not to be reactive, as this simply
    escalates any situation. Sound can be a wonderful way to engage with the children, so be prepared for opportunities to sing a song or hum a tune in order to subtly and positively adjust the energy at hand.
  • Bringing breathwork into the class at regular intervals is paramount. Either energise or calm the space, depending on what is needed.
  • Try to return to your yogic principles at all times, whilst acknowledging the positives in all situations, avoiding negative patterns of speech. Always try to model peace, love and a compassionate attitude, and hopefully they will follow.  And when all else fails … just breathe and smile … and know that the next class will be better! Here is a great quote to get you through the wobbly moments:

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, first you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton

Always be prepared to be unprepared! This is an organic and symbiotic relationship which will move in many different directions, depending on the ever-changing aspects at play on any particular day.

The children will ultimately determine the current and direction, and it is our role to facilitate and not dominate.

At the end of the day, remember to enjoy the dance of the class interaction. Flow in and out of their different energy levels, with a clear image of your own engagement style.

Have fun, be kind, be firm and be mindful. Managing a children’s yoga class can be a breeze!

How yoga benefits children’s mental health and physical wellbeing

Mindfulness and meditation in the classroom - yoga workshop INSET days

Over the past decade we have seen a massive increase in the number of nurseries, primary and secondary schools offering yoga. Not only as an after-school club activity, but as an important part of the school the curriculum. More and more people are seeing first hand how yoga benefits children. Mental health professionals, medical doctors, neurologists, teachers and even the Government is beginning to recognise how yoga benefits children’s mental health and physical wellbeing.

Yoga and mindfulness provides so many benefits including supporting learning, healing, stress release and everyday life. The practice of yoga has been explored for thousands of years. The benefits to body and mind, that have been noticed and recorded, are vast. When sharing children’s yoga, we focus not only on the asana/postures but also on bringing other elements of the 8-fold path into our sessions. Mental and physical wellbeing is carefully nurtured. This is achieved through noticing and controlling the breath; moving and resting the body; and developing an awareness of the mind’s chitter chatter through meditation and mindful practices.

Supporting children’s physical wellbeing

The movements practiced in a yoga class (called poses or asanas) are much more than just stretching. They open the energy channels throughout the body, increasing flexibility of the spine, strengthening bones and stimulating the circulatory and immune systems. Along with proper breathing, these poses or asanas also calm the mind and reduce stress.

A regular yoga practice helps with overall physical and mental health. Therefore contributing to the possible prevention of diseases such as diabetes, acute anxiety, low bone density, asthma and obesity. All problems that pose an increasing threat to the development of our children today. Performing the poses slowly and with mindful control also acts as a mental exercise in concentration and meditation.

Children enjoying yoga

Children exploring physical poses

Breathing, emotional development and awareness

Yogic breathing increases lung capacity, as well as strengthening and toning the entire respiratory and nervous systems. Deepening the breath brings more oxygen to the body through the blood stream. We may take it for granted, but breathing is one of the most important foundations of our wellbeing. If you can teach a child to be aware of their breath they will ultimately become more in control of their emotions and overall wellbeing. These are everyday tools for calming and energising the child to help develop a state of relaxed awareness, which is crucial for learning.

YogaBeez children and young people workshops in schools for Healthy Living Week

Children learning important relaxation techniques

Mindfulness and mental health

Mindfulness helps children develop healthy responses to the chaotic world around them. It also helps them deal with their own emotional responses to the world. The idea is to encourage children to use these techniques whenever they need to find calm, refocus their energy, and concentrate on specific tasks. Mindfulness has been seen to decrease stress and attention deficit issues, depression, anxiety, and even hostility in children. Research over the past few decades has shown that mindfulness training also develops social-emotional awareness, memory and learning, body awareness and coordination, and interpersonal skills.

Skills for life

By taking part in yoga classes, children develop important inter and intrapersonal skills. A regular yoga practice offers effective help for learning disorders, hyperactivity, stress and lack of exercise.

Yoga also increases self-confidence and most importantly …. its great FUN!!

It’s easy to see why more and more schools are embracing the need for yoga in their classrooms. Children who learn yoga at an early age have a healthy head start in life. This is especially important in our fast-paced and stressful world. Through bringing increased awareness to the external environment and to the internal experience of the body and the mind, children will benefit psychologically and emotionally. Children can easily learn these techniques, and when learned young, they become lifelong tools.

Read more about our yoga classes and how yoga benefits children

Find out more
If you would like to bring yoga into your school or train as a teacher to share these myriad benefits with our younger generation then take a look at our range of courses suitable for parents, nursery and school leaders as well as regular yogis.

Yoga and Montessori benefits the whole child

Learning breathing techniques

How yoga benefits children

  • Improves posture, flexibility, strength, balance, coordination and motor skills
  • Helps children recognise and honour all emotions, learning to trust their instincts
  • Teaches breathing techniques that increase energy and decrease anxiety providing effective coping strategies for stress
  • Increases body awareness as we explore our anatomy and benefits of the poses
  • Teaches relaxation and stress management techniques for school and home
  • Nurtures self-esteem, confidence and acceptance
  • Offers a platform for creativity and imagination
  • Builds a foundation for lifelong well-being
  • It’s non-competitive and honours each child’s unique way of absorbing and integrating information
  • Provides techniques to quiet the mind and sharpen focus and concentration
  • Endorses healthy choices and lifestyle
  • Balances and coordinate the brain
  • Encourages positive thinking and a motivation to learn
  • Improves grades and reading skills
  • Aids better sleep
  • Promotes a sense of peace, within and without
  • Allows for playfulness and collaboration in the learning process
  • Allows children to learn to respect themselves, others and the world around them; encouraging the acceptance of differences
  • Trains the sense of balance and as a result boost overall health and physical fitness

How Yoga and Montessori benefits the whole child

YogaBeez children and young people workshops in schools for Healthy Living Week
How Yoga and Montessori benefits the whole child?

Yoga and Montessori  benefits the whole child as they both offer a mindful, non competitive approach to help children learn, develop and live harmoniously with others.

Maria Montessori once commented that ‘children are the makers of man’. By providing them with a foundation of love and respect, for themselves and the world around them, we help the new generation to create and live harmonious and satisfying futures.

She saw each child as a unique individual, who developed at their own rate, and believed in educating the whole child, with movement paramount to the education of the mind. “Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside,” she wrote in Discovery of the Child. “Through movement we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.”  These are some of the few ways how Yoga and Montessori benefits the whole child

Yoga, like Montessori education, is a process of discovery.

A mindful, non-competitive exercise, emphasising movement and breathing and the connection of body and mind, it helps students of any age to understand our own nature and live harmoniously with others. In an age where technology means that children often spend long hours glued to a screen, this is more relevant than ever.

In fact, Yoga and Montessori philosophies align seamlessly in many ways:

  • Both focus on exercising, educating and empowering the whole child
  • Both are non-competitive with the emphasis being on the process and not the end result – we encourage children to enjoy the poses without trying to perfect them
  • Just as Montessori aims to build self-esteem, we modify the poses and give children the tools they need to complete them successfully
  • They both work to balance and calm the child
  • Both begin simply and gradually increase in difficulty, moving from the concrete to the abstract
  • Yoga and Montessori both value movement as vital to the development of the mind
  • There are three parts to a yoga pose: going into the pose, being in the pose and coming out of the pose with control. These correlate with carrying a piece of work from the shelf, using the work and thoughtfully placing the work back on the shelf
  • Just as the Silence Game is sometimes used in a Montessori classroom, meditation is introduced to children in yoga classes to help improve awareness and focus

Merging the Montessori curriculum into our children’s yoga classes we can stimulate all areas of a child’s development.

Yoga for personal, social and emotional exploration

Yoga games, group and partner poses are a great way to encourage social interaction. We always foster a win-win attitude – there is no right or wrong or winning or losing in these explorations, just taking part and putting in your best effort is all that’s required. Emotionally we encourage not only interaction with others but also looking within to find your inner silence. Breathing exercises teach children to master their own emotions – breathing out stress, breathing in calm, exhaling anger and inhaling joy. We teach children to try and focus on the positive but also that all emotions are recognised and welcomed. The Volcano Pose is a great tool for noticing anger or anxiety in the body and finding a healthy way to channel these sometimes crippling emotions.

Why not try this one at home next time someone in the family is feeling furious?

Volcano Pose – Good for all ages

Start in Mountain pose and jump your feet apart into Open Mountain. Bring your hands into Namaste right down at the bottom of your abdomen. As you inhale, rise your hands up to the top of your head and then exhale as you separate your hands and bring your arms up and out to the side. Really blow out your breath like a volcano exploding. Repeat this several times. This is a great pose to do if you are feeling really CROSS!! Imagine that angry feeling in the pit of your tummy – like burning hot lava. As you bring your hands up move this agitated feeling up through your body until you are finally ready to release it out of the top of your head and blow it a way. Fun to start with a really cross, scrunched-up face and as you let go of this feeling a happy peaceful calm feeling washes over you and a smile spreads to your cheeks. Now you could fill your volcano / pit of your tummy with happy thoughts and feelings or anything you love and imagine this bursting out of your volcano instead.

Physical development with yoga

When moving through the poses, children become more aware of their bodies… noticing how they feel, learning correct anatomical terminology and becoming more spacially aware Yoga strengthens, stretches and loosens muscles. Senses are educated and each pose has a particular balancing effect on the body’s various systems – skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, nervous, lymphatic, hormonal etc. Body awareness leads to self care. This is something so many of us need to relearn as an adult… when the body is broken only then do we stop. Instead we can help children recognise when they need some time out, time to be still, to recover, to rejuvenate.

How about some family yoga at home? Partner poses are great fun to explore together:

Sit and Twist
Sit facing your partner in a comfortable cross-legged position making sure your knees are almost touching each other. Then both wrap your right arms behind your back. Now stretch your left arm diagonally across your body and try and find your partners right hand. This should be just poking out next to their left waist. When you have both found each other’s hands give your self a little spinal twist, as you both look over your right shoulders. You might need a little help initially trying to coordinate this pose.  But once you have it you will see what a great twist this provides with a little help from a friend.

Communication, language and literacy

Many children’s yoga classes have themes, which we discuss and explore. Through the theme of the class we discover the anatomy of our bodies and learn the scientific names for our bones and muscles. We chat about nutrition and how to live healthily. The children take turns to read guided imagery or make up stories during the relaxation period at the end of the class. We bring books to life with yoga, play name games and explore the alphabet through our poses. The vocabulary we use in the classes is rich and varied and languages from around the world are introduced. We also encourage teachers to set up pen pal projects with children in other yoga classes across the globe. When last did you receive an envelope in the post that wasn’t a bill, a statement or advertising?  Let’s bring back letter writing.

Here’s a fun mindful activity to assist your child’s letter learning

Alphabet Backrub – Age 4 – teen

Sit down behind your partner and use your finger or hand to write a letter of the alphabet on their back. Let them know if it is a small or capital letter otherwise it can be a bit tricky. The recipient must guess what the letter is. This is a fun way to learn to recognize the alphabet. Older children can write words or even short sentences. Take turns.

Knowledge and understanding of the world for the whole child

We use the theme of each class to explore different cultures, languages, foods, instruments and music from different countries. Fauna and flora and animal’s habitats are learnt through adventures to rainforests, jungles, wetlands, under the sea, to space etc. We use the poses to plant seeds in various learning areas so that the children are continuously being exposed to new facts about ecology, science and biology.

For example: Alligator –
Lie on your belly and stretch your arms out in front of you. Turn your arms so that the back of your hand is on the floor and roll onto your side. Lift your top arm up as you open and close, clapping the other hand as you come down. Snap Snap Snap!!! For an extra challenge – keep your legs together and lift your 2 feet up like a big alligator tail. Then roll over swap arms and start again.

Some Interesting facts: Alligators and Crocodiles are similar in many ways but there are a few differences too: 1. Alligators prefer fresh water habitats, while crocs usually live in salty water! 2. Alligators have a rounded u-shaped jaw, while crocs have a more pointed v-shape. 3. Their teeth are different too – an alligator’s teeth don’t really show when its mouth is closed, while crocodiles’ teeth have a special interlocking pattern that does show, plus a large tooth on their lower jaw that sticks out over their top lip even when their mouths are shut.

Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy

We highlight patterns, sequences, angles, numerical awareness, counting and rhythm while practicing poses.

For example, singing the Tea Pot song is a fun way to introduce young children to the Triangle/Trikonasa yoga pose. For older groups we look at angles – obtuse and acute. Measure the various triangles our body makes – scalene, Isosceles, equilateral.

Creative development

We encourage the imagination and creativity of each child through the use of props, guided imagery, drawing and colouring meditations. We make models of skeletons, paint interpretations of visualisations and prepare healthy snacks.

Music from all over the world is incorporated into our classes through different instruments, rhythms and beats.

We do not incorporate any religion into our sessions. We simply honour and respect the diversity of all beliefs, cultures and traditions. One area we try and escape from completely is the technical world. Children receive so much stimulation from technology and the media today. In our yoga sessions we aim to leave all this at the door and come back to our basics. Our bodies, our minds and our spirits.

As role models, parents and teachers we have a duty to plant seeds. Teach children how to water them and give them the tools to create their own beautiful gardens. Yoga certainly helps to do just that.

If you’re feeling inspired to share yoga with children, take a look at our range of training courses. These courses are suitable for parents, teachers, yoga teachers or therapists.  We hope that this has shown you how Yoga and Montessori benefits the whole child