I know a gifted yoga teacher named Candi Eichstaedt who teaches yoga to children. Her classes are playful, educational and energetic and she has a great rapport with the kids. She recently explained to me why she loves her job so much….
Why do you teach yoga to children?
I LOVE teaching yoga to children for many reasons. Children are willing to try anything with an open heart and an open mind. They come to yoga with no preconceived idea of what yoga is and can attain great benefits from the practice.
How does yoga help children?
There is so much good that yoga can teach children. Physically they can benefit from stretching, strength, flexibility and balance. Emotionally they learn calm, focus and courage. Mentally they can achieve balance and self-esteem.
Every time a child comes to the mat it is a different day, a different practice. If a child can hold a pose a second longer or stretch deeper into the pose than the last practice, that is a tangible achievement that they can hold on to. It is so empowering to them and that is what I take away from my teaching experience.
What does a typical class look like?
My typical class begins with simple breath work to clear the mind and focus the attention on the practice. Then we move into poses centered around a theme such as strength, courage, or love. We end our class with a short savasana (relaxation). Most of all, yoga for kids is fun.
Times, location and cost?
I teach at Elmhurst Yoga Shala on Tuesday from 4-4:45 (grades 1 through 4) and 5-5:45 (grades 5 through 12) and on Thursday from 5-5:45 (yoga for student athletes). The cost is $60 for a six week session or $12 per class as a drop in rate.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 23rd, both classes are free as an introduction. The next session begins on March 2nd.
Many studios in the Chicago area offer kids/family
yoga classes. Ask your local studio or check the listings
Bloom Yoga Studio, 4663 N. Rockwell, Chicago www.bloomyogastudio.com
Fun Lovin' Yoga for Kids, 55 S. Main, Naperville www.funlovinyoga.com
Sweet Pea's Studio, 3717 N. Ravenswood, Chicago www.sweetpeasstudio.com
Yoga Among Friends, 4949 Forest, Downers Grove www.yogaamongfriends.com
Yoga Now, Broadway or LaSalle, Chicago www.yoganowchicago.com
Has your child tried yoga? Feel free to comment.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.