Monday, May 05, 2008

Yoga for the Smelly Dirty Boy

My Smelly Dirty Boy's teacher emailed me yesterday to ask if I could give the class a yoga session on Thursday. They're heavily into an Asian studies unit, even visiting a Buddhist monestary later this month (which supposedly is the home to the largest Buddha statue in the Western hemisphere). Vegetarian bagged lunch required.

My thought is to teach them Sun Salutations, since they have lots and lots of energy, as nine-year olds will tend. And then time-depending, I will teach two Triangle and Tree and then Lion ("HAAAAAAAAAAAA!"), then Backbend (which many of them can do already), then Turtle (Kurmasana) and finally some seated forward bend and then Savasana.

Anyone out there have experience teaching Third Graders? Any thoughts?



Kaivalya said...

I teach yoga to this age group a few times a week. Attention spans are still short at this age, so you need to keep things snappy.

Teach the sun salutations with the kids in a circle facing in - they feed off of one other's energy that way (and you can make faces each another in Ardha Uttanasana!).

Ask them to count out loud together rather than silently hold poses. Arm balances like Bakasana and Bhuja Pindasana always go over well. Many can do Padmasana and lift up - I sometimes have mine play 'bumper car' in Padmasana.

I've had some good success with teaching Ujjayi breathing, calling it 'Darth Vadar Breath'. I often start my classes with some sort of pranayama to help the kids calm down and focus. It really works!

But here's my best tip: teach them Child's Pose right away and teach them to drop into it on the count of three (make it seem like a game and ask them to 'pop up' after everyone comes into the pose). This is handy because if it gets too crazy, you can always yell "1-2-3-Child's Pose!" to briefly restore order from chaos.

Good luck! :-)

Amy said...

I have taught this age group and something that they seem to really like is to learn some postures in the beginning, tree, boat, cobra, etc... and then let them play "Yogi says" like Simon says. Just a thought.

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I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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