Helping children to understand why they are learning yoga is critical to gaining their buy-in and long-term commitment to the practice. Yes, it is fun. But, it’s also very beneficial for over all health and well-being.
Knowing a little bit about your students will help you provide the appropriate answer to the question, “Why should I do yoga?” Tying in yoga and its benefits to their life is the key to providing a satisfying answer.
For example, if you know a student is an athlete, explain to him/her how a yoga lifestyle (poses, good nutrition, time for stillness/mediation) can help to build muscle and strength, mental focus, balance and coordination, energy – all which will improve his/her performance. You might even mention the endless list of athletes who are now practicing yoga (do a google search: athletes doing yoga).
If you have a student who is into theatre, singing or performance, point out how yoga and meditation can help with concentration, the ability to remember lines and conquer fears, such as stage fright.
Another student may have a tough time focusing or paying attention at school and may feel down about getting into trouble all of the time. Let him know practicing yoga can help us to calm down and focus, giving us tools to control our behavior and improve our concentration skills.
An anxious or especially shy student will be happy to know that yoga can help improve confidence, and even helps us to fall asleep easier, and sleep more soundly.
Or, maybe your student is focused on getting good grades and being a good person. Explain how yoga supports the concentration and discipline needed to get good grades. It also supports the kindness and openness that makes us better world citizens.
Knowing your students strengths and weaknesses will help you to provide the best answer and in turn, will help you to excite the kids even more about their yoga experience. The key is to get them started. Over time, with a consistent practice, children will begin to make those connections on their own as they begin to see and feel the effects yoga has in their daily life.
How do you tie-in yoga's benefits for your kids?