Kindergarten Yoga – a safe space to express yourself!
Vanina Silvestre is a Montessori Kindergarten teacher working with children ages four to five in the city of Rosario, Sante Fe, Argentina. Vanina is also a Hatha Yoga Teacher who teaches an after-school Kindergarten Yoga class once a week.
Today, Vanina shares with us how she structures her kids yoga class in the hopes of inspiring other teachers to integrate yoga into their classrooms. In her e-mail, she writes:
“I love to lead the weekly Yoga Workshop. The children fill me with love, and I learn a lot with them. They are my guides. I love to see their faces of joy when they know that it is time for yoga and how they become precious little yogis. I would love to share my experience with you!”
(Translated from Spanish)
Opening of the Kindergarten Yoga Class:
Vanina and her students start by lighting a candle and incense in their class altar. Then they all sit together in a circle and say their secret yoga code, “Namaste” (which could be translated from Sanskrit as, “the light in me sees the light in you.”), followed by chanting “Om” three times. Or they might sing a short song referring to the sun and our inner light.
Kindergarten students saying “Namaste”
Sample Kindergarten Yoga Class:
Vanina starts the Yoga Workshop by having the students “wake up their bodies.” They follow together to do gentle movements of each body part.
Kindergarten yoga students practicing warm-up exercises in the garden
Then Vanina leads the children through a series of yoga postures by:
Because her students love animals, they often choose animal-themed yoga poses, like Lion Pose or Butterfly Pose.
Yogini practicing Lion Pose
Closing of the Kindergarten Yoga Class:
To complete the yoga class, Vanina chooses one of these eight relaxation activities to do for a few minutes to help calm their minds and bodies:
2. Partner mantra (like Sa Ta Na Ma) with a mudra
Two Kindergarten yoga students saying a mantra together with mudras
3. Practice a breathing technique (pranayama)
4. Paint mandalas
Kindergarten yoga students painting mandalas together
5. Chant a mantra together
6. Create an art project to express their feelings
Students expressing through feelings through a shared art project
7. Sensory concentration exercise
8. Meditation practice, like the Bubble Meditation technique
Kindergarten yoga students practicing the Bubble Meditation together
Vanina explains to her students that these relaxation practices can help them when they are feeling mad, nervous, or sad.
I love that Vanina is integrating her teaching experience with her passion for yoga. I also love that she uses her Kindergarten Yoga Workshop as a time to encourage her students to be creative, connected, and expressive. The gift of love is alive and well in Argentina, thanks to Vanina!
In which country do you teach yoga to children? We’d love to hear your story!
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Sample Kindergarten Yoga class
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