When working with your child, I will create a curriculum based on the development and personal needs of the child. Our first meeting will be to meet you and your child, learn your child's health history, and assess his/her development. I will then create an appropriate lesson plan that consists of specific poses that I feel your child will most benefit from. This will be our starting off point.
I feel it is of the utmost importance to create a trusting friendship with your children that begins before we even step onto our mats and continues after our sessions are through. I want them to feel completely comfortable and have fun! The benefits that a private yoga practice can give to your child is priceless but it is based most importantly on the relationship the child develops with his/her teacher.
Whether I am working with a baby, a toddler, or an older child, I will focus most of my attention on creating and maintaining this trusting relationship. Their yoga practice, body awareness, confidence, and communication will develop as the relationship grows.
The Stages of The Practice
The ages listed below are a general guide. If the child is in need of more attention either physically or mentally, then their beginning stage will be assigned based on their developmental needs.
25-30 minutes and usually for 6-24 months
This begins as early as a mother feels comfortable and continues through the baby's learning to walk. During this stage of the practice, I will focus on stretching and strengthening the baby's core and back muscles with assisted belly exercises, backbends, and twists, stretching and strengthening the muscles of the legs with assisted squats, ankle rolls, and reclined stretches, and encouraging the development of body awareness by explaining to the baby in song exactly what muscles and areas of the body we are focusing on at each moment. **The development of body awareness in a baby this age helps tremendously when learning how to crawl and walk.
25-30 minutes and usually for 2-5yrs
After the baby has learned and is very comfortable walking, he/she will practice in the Post-Walking Stage. This stage is similar to the Pre-Walking Stage in that most poses are still heavily assisted and explained by me, but I will add a few more backbends, forward folds, and standing postures to help with balance, core strength, and stretching out the muscles of the spine and legs. The stronger your child's core muscles are, the more confident they will be on their feet, and the more limber their muscles, the more easily they will move around in space.
30-45 minutes and usually for 5yrs and older
At this point, your child has been practicing yoga for long enough that he/she can do the postures given to them independently with little assistance. I will add in more standing poses, core strengthening poses, and some pranyama (breathing exercises) and song to encourage the meditative aspects of their yoga practice. This stage will allow the children to focus more, maintaining a balance in their lives on and off of their mats.