so you want to teach yoga to kids…

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People are always asking me if they need to take a full adult teacher training in order to teach yoga to kids. The short answer is no, you don’t have to take an adult training. The long answer is this:

Yes. You definitely should take a full adult teacher training in addition to your kids’ training if you are planning on teaching yoga to kids professionally. And (shameless plug) you should take your kids’ training with mini yogis.

Taking an adult training shows that you are committed to your practice and serious about your personal growth as an instructor. It shows that you walk the walk and adds credibility to your teaching.

It also gives you a ton of information to use in your classes. I always say in my trainings that the more you bring in, the more you take out. If you’ve been practicing the same sequence your whole yoga career (say, Bikram or Ashtanga, or even just limiting yourself to one teacher who teaches the same sequence every day) and only know a couple dozen poses, you are going to be at a severe disadvantage to those who know thousands of postures and variations. Kids need variety to keep them interested.

Not to mention the fact that a good teacher training will explain the do’s and don’ts of proper alignment…which translates into safer poses for your students and fewer (if any) injuries.

When choosing a teacher training program, make sure that you take a few classes with the lead instructor beforehand, to make sure that you resonate with his or her style. There are a lot of fabulous instructors out there that may not necessarily “speak” to your comfort or sensibilities. Just because they are well-regarded, doesn’t mean that they will be well-regarded by you. Remember, you will be spending hundreds of hours listening to this person. Make sure you like them.

Also, be sure to check out the instructor’s level of knowledge and expertise. And, if you can, get an overview of the curriculum before the training so that you know that it is a comprehensive program. Make sure, for example, that if you are taking with your favorite teacher that s/he will actually be covering the whole spectrum of yoga poses and philosophies, anatomy and adjustments, etc. in depth, not just the surface information s/he has already presented in class.

You may also want to also ask around at the various studios near you if they recognize the training that you are attending. Not all studios recognize all trainings and it would be a bummer if you invested so much time and energy into a training that will not open any doors to teaching.

So, choose wisely, learn, grow, and enjoy. A full adult training is an amazingly rewarding investment that will pay itself off over a lifetime.

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About miniyogis

the day before i found yoga--had you asked me--i'd have told you that i wouldn't be caught dead doing yoga. sitting around and humming? not my idea of a good time. a minute into my first yoga class--had you asked me--i'd have told you i will practice until the minute i die. and i've been in heaven ever since. more than anything, yoga taught me that it was okay to be imperfect, okay to fall. and, man, do i wish someone told me that when i was 3 instead of 30. so i started mini yogis yoga for kids, hoping to help children to be more accepting of themselves, more accepting of others, and better human beings overall. that was march 2002. since then, i've taught tens of thousands of children how to use yoga as a tool for daily life. and i've also taught about 1000 teachers around the world to date (12/11) how to teach yoga to kids. i figure between the children i've taught and the ones my grads have taught, we've likely reached hundreds of thousands of kids. just looking to make a difference in this world....

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