By Keith Wise
Calling all parents, teachers, coaches, therapists, and caregivers! Radiant Child Yoga is coming to Razz this summer. Learn to teach kids yoga during this three-day workshop, July 10-12th from 8am-5pm.
These days, it seems that everyone is a little anxious. At the fast pace at which our lives move, it’s no wonder. We’re constantly managing daily stresses like work, bills, family and friend obligations, just to name a few. And if it’s difficult for adults to focus, imagine what it must be like for children. Being a kid today is tough for many reasons: the high levels of daily screen time, the increased rigor of education, the increased number of extracurriculars, etc. The bottom line is that today’s children are overextended and overstimulated. However, here at Razz Yoga, we have an opportunity for adults to help children manage this stress.
Radiant Child Yoga (RCY) was established as a formal teacher training program in 1999. Its founder, Shakta Khalsa, is a long-time kundalini teacher who began teaching children’s yoga in 1977 and has written several well-known yoga books. With more than 20 trainers worldwide, RCY has trained over 10,000 parents, teachers, therapists, grandparents, and caregivers in children’s yoga. As such, they are one of the most well-respected teacher training programs in the world.
Beth MacMullan, a Razz instructor, who teaches Hatha Raja yoga on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm and mixed level yoga on Saturdays at 8 am, finds that yoga can be a way to deal with child behavior issues and anxiety. She spends her days teaching at the Jemicy School in Owings Mills. “Some students complain that their hearts and minds are always racing,” she explains, “but doing yoga poses for a few minutes can be a way to relieve that stress.” If the students are in a geography lesson, then Beth will incorporate airplane pose to further engage them. In math, the students might count with frog jumps. She explains that yoga should be effectively incorporated into the day rather than act as a disruptive force.
However, Beth isn’t the only teacher turning to yoga to aid with instruction and behavior issues. RCY shared an article on their Facebook page describing one high school that has a 20-minute free period at the end of each day. Some students have opted to use that time to join one teacher for yoga. Though this isn’t enough time for an entire yoga class, the students spend several minutes in a few poses to really feel the stretch. Sometimes, the free period is student-driven, so that they get what they really want and need from the practice.
Yoga is a way for children to unwind after a stressful school day before they either go home to do homework or head off to extracurriculars or to sports practice. Several student-athletes have said that they perform quiet yoga before practice or games in order to maintain focus when the crowd, coaches, and teammates are cheering and yelling calls. Other athletes perform yoga after games or practice to stretch and decompress.
Beth says that yoga also has a way to pop-up in the classroom in non-traditional ways. “At Jemicy, we begin the day by having students set intentions,” she says. Rather than movement focussed, this yoga principle stems from mindfulness and meditation. At the end of the day, the teachers will allow their students time to rest and reflect. With this mindset, the entire school day becomes like one restorative and refreshing yoga practice.
Interested in learning more about kids yoga? Follow this link to register for RCY training: