pavlovian (downward facing) dogs

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what kids won’t do for a head tap…

we all know that rewarding positive behavior is a very effective way to encourage said behaviors (right…?)…some might call these bribes.

i like using rewards with my students. sometimes they take the form of pencils & erasers, stickers, beanie babies, five-carat diamond rings…sometimes they simply take the form of a pat on the head.

one thing i like to do to get my children still in seated meditation is walk around the circle (of kids) and tap the heads of the kids who are sitting still and quiet with their eyes closed. they want that tap.

in fact, i have this one precious little three-year-old who always announces before meditation that she does not want to close her eyes. so i tell her that’s fine, she can just sit still with her eyes open. knowing full well…as soon as she sees the other kids get their first few taps, her eyes close right up. and in come the taps on her head, big smiles.

you see, rewards don’t have to be anything fancy, expensive, or even tangible. a simple tap on the head may be all your little downward facing puppies need….

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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....

2 responses »

  1. Shana, I took your training in Oct 2011. The head tap ‘reward’ really does work. I taught a class of kindergarteners at a local private school several times. About half the (small) class wiggled and peaked during meditation at first. Some of them were so still I could barely tell that they were breathing! By the last class, even the wiggle worms were sitting (mostly) still, waiting for that tap.

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