Reflections on Teaching Yoga to Kids

After teaching the class I reflected quite a bit on my experience and what I struggled with, what I would change, and what worked well. While I certainly did some things well, I was confronted with more challenges than anything else. First, I struggled with my ability to discipline. I am fully aware that a yoga class with kids will not be quite or calm and probably shouldn’t be. However, should I reprimand or discipline children for any of their behavior, particularly when nothing about discipline feels yogic? Second, the kids that I work with rarely are acknowledged for their effort or good work and I work hard at reinforcing positive behavior. Yet, should I tell someone their down dog looks good or they are doing such a good job trying to balance in tree pose, when it merely is feeding their ego? Third, Many of the youngsters had taken yoga before in school, and were knowledgeable enough to request poses or wanted to teach me various asana. This behavior required me to be humble and learn from my students, totally shattering my vision of what a student, teacher relationship should look like. Fourth, adapting some of the poses to kids, like turning a relatively static Bhekasana into leap frog, or an Adho Mukha Svanasana into a barking dog, seems trivial and far from the calm and serene idea that I have of yoga.