The Seattle-based instructor now teaches youngsters at area schools and at 8 Limbs studio here. In her Kids’ Yoga & Mindfulness class, Young strikes a balance between play and self-expression to teach meditation.
“My desire is to connect with each and every child in my class. I want to create an atmosphere where...
we all celebrate who we are uniquely, and where we feel safe and able to express ourselves. I also like to have fun while focusing on empathy and kindness,” says Young, who shares her tips of the trade below…
Let them unwind. Kids love to meditate. They are desperate for down time and quiet time and love Savasana. They love to connect with their breath and listen to guided meditations, which may include a story or music. Sometimes they even fall asleep. Most report feeling calm, peaceful or happy and relaxed post meditation.
Use props. I may use pinwheels, or little rubber ducks that sit on kids’ bellies as they watch it rise and fall. We may color mandalas while sitting quietly and listen to music. Or, we may share something for which we’re grateful.
Try creative breaths. Lion’s breath is great for getting out anger or frustration. With Bunny breath, we can see how it feels to breathe from a shallow place. Bee breath sends a vibration all over our bodies. There are so many fun ways to explore breath. Kids love to connect with it.
Stick with the program. If we have tools to calm us down when we feel the stress of too much homework or complex social dynamics at school, then we’re ahead of the game.
Seek out helpful resources. Just Google, “Web sites for Kids Yoga” and you’ll be surprised to find how much content is out there. Some of my favorite books include:
“Anh’s Anger,” by Gail Silver
“Peaceful Piggy Meditation,” by Kerry Lee MacLean
“Each Living Thing,” by Joanne Ryder
“What to Do When You Worry Too Much,” by Huebner