How do you engage both adults and children in a Family Yoga Class?
Family yoga comes with so many benefits, including:
- a special time for the family to bond and connect
- the tools to reduce stress and anxiety together
- a chance to promote flexibility, strength, balance, and a healthy lifestyle
- an opportunity to learn relaxation techniques
- a time for children to shine and show their parents their yoga skills
- laughter, exploration, and play – making longtime memories
We’ve heard from our Kids Yoga Stories community that you would like to offer family yoga classes, however you are stuck on how to actually do so in a fun, engaging way.
I sat down with Nicole Baker to talk (see video below) about her journey from elementary school teacher to kids yoga teacher. Nicole talks about how she has expanded her kids yoga business over the past fifteen years from teaching in preschools, afterschool clubs, summer camps, family picnics, and now in college to PE teachers.
After hearing feedback from her community, Nicole decided to offer family yoga classes once a month. She uses her “can-do attitude” to offer a new yoga class and then watches to see if the class is popular for the people in her local town.
Nicole talks to her community to see what time of the week would work for a class and whether they would like it inside or outside. She uses social media to get the word out to fill her classes. She also works closely with the local yoga studio to advertise the classes.
To plan the family yoga classes, Nicole follows a typical class schedule, including:
-Opening: breathing exercise
-Fun, active yoga poses
-Calming mindfulness activities
However, she remains flexible to follow the needs and preferences of the class participants. In the video below, Nicole shares her top tips for teaching family yoga.
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3 Top Tips to Successful Teaching a Family Yoga Class
1-Read the Room
You have to be able to read the room and notice the energy of the adults and children then decide whether they need something calming or energizing. Nicole has learned to be flexible and change up the plan according to the engagement of the participants. For example, if a little one is distracted and not paying attention to the lesson, she’ll change the activity to bring everyone back to focus. She tunes in to their unique needs and preferences to make sure that everyone is engaged and having fun!
2-Use Props and Music
Nicole uses props spark the interest of the children, including a parachute, pom-poms for toe-ga, stuffed animals, and a sensory brush with lavender. She also uses music, including YoReMi and Kidding Around Yoga. She activates their senses to get them interested in the class. For example, they make lavender eye pillows for the final resting pose (Shavasana). Using props in a yoga class is an excellent way to engage adults and children in this ancient practice of yoga through play and visual appeal. It allows everyone to express their creativity and unleash their imagination.
Nicole uses singing bowls and musical instruments to bring a sense of playful connection to the family yoga class. She encourages them to move while she’s reading a story. By encouraging this sense of play in class, Nicole is modeling that creative expression is part of the journey. Play also allows children to build self-awareness, emotional regulation, communication skills, and self-confidence. We all need time to let go of our daily stressors and tap in to our imagination, problem-solving skills, and creativity in a healthy way.
If you’re thinking of hosting a Family Yoga Class in your community, do it! Don’t hold back. Like Nicole, talk to your community members, pick a time and place, and get it going. You’ll be offering families such an amazing way to bond and connect together.
I still treasure the times when my daughter was young, and my mom and I used to take her to a local family yoga class outdoors in a local park in the summer. Just thinking about it warms my heart!
Watch “How to Teach a Family Yoga Class” Interview
10 Resources for Family Yoga Class
Check out our Kids Yoga Stories Shop for a range of potential resources for your family yoga class, including:
- Breathing Exercise Cards
- Partner Yoga Cards
- Yoga Poses for Kids Cards (Deck One)
- Mindfulness Cards
- Adult-Child Partner Yoga Poses Cards
- Calming Coloring Pages: Animals
- Coloring Pages: Gratitude and Kindness
- Rachel’s Day in the Garden yoga book
- The Grateful Giraffe yoga book
- Strong Bodies Yoga Pack