I am passionate about yoga, so much so that I went to a yoga school and obtained my certification through Yoga Alliance. Combine that with my love of youth programming, and I had to develop programs for our library. I teach classes for all ages, from adults (with students over 80!) to preschoolers. My youth programs focus on fun, fitness, and mindfulness.
Yoga has seen a steady increase in interest over the past several years. Yoga for kids is also on the rise. I’ve been conducting yoga storytimes, kids yoga, and tween yoga classes for the past 18 months. They are all popular with our young patrons, with yoga storytime being the most sought after program.
There has been a heightened focus on mindfulness and meditation in the media and with the general public. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness with children can increase concentration and reduce stress and anxiety. I always include a mindfulness exercise at the end of each program, during our savasana (which is a short, quiet meditation).
Thankfully, there are a lot of great resources out there to help develop lesson plans for the different age groups. I have found a variety of publishers, musicians, and yogis that offer materials that are appropriate for children.
A Typical yoga storytime for me includes a stretch, a breathing exercise, a couple of flows set to music, a book with movement, a movement game, and savasana. Yoga storytime is a 30 minute program.
Kids and Tween yoga usually consist of a stretch, a breathing exercise, a detailed introduction to a least one pose, a short flow (a flow is a sequence of poses), a game, and savasana. Kids and Tween yoga are 45 minute programs.
I do recommend that anyone interested in offering yoga programs use instructors with certification. This is primarily for liability reasons. But it also is because instructors with training have been trained to know how to correct and teach the yoga forms. I also strongly suggest if you have a yoga instructor come in that you check that they carry their own liability insurance.
Here’s a short list of some of the great resources I have discovered. If you know of others, please share your gems in the
Stories, Songs, and Stretches! By Katie Scherrer. ALA editions, 2017.
Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation for Kids. by Whitney Stewart. Albert Whitman & Company, 2018.
Yoga for Children. By Lisa Flynn. Adams Media, 2013.
Creative Yoga for Children. By Adrienne Rawlinson. North Atlantic Books, 2013.
Breathe Like a Bear. by Kira Willey. Rodale Kids, 2017.