Posts Tagged ‘yoga for children’


Can I Package My Heart? Kids Yoga Teacher Training

It’s midnight. Lying in bed. Lights are out. I can’t sleep. My brain is revving, can’t stop thinking — how could I start teaching yoga to kids? I’m a kindergarten teacher. I’m a yogi. I can teach yoga to kids. I want my 3-year-old to learn about yoga while she’s small… etc., etc., etc. Suddenly, I think – SONGS! I start humming a tune. I turn on the lamp, hoping not to wake my husband, sit up — more like jump up! Grab my note book and start writing… until dawn.

These became the first versions of the first songs that would eventually become a series of songs in which the lyrics instruct children how to get into the yoga poses, now known as award-winning, international Sing Song Yoga® for kids.

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Fast forward 8 years. I’m sitting at my computer staring at a blank page pondering what would be the most important information to teach at a Sing Song Yoga teacher training?  What do I have in my brain that I now use intuitively to teach this program? How do I package it for teacher trainees in a way that would allow others to provide a similar experience for kids throughout the world? What are the key components of Sing Song Yoga that can be replicated across the globe to provide families with the magical environment that makes this program a powerful experience for kids and families?

My teaching is a culmination of years of experience teaching young children andsing song yoga parent child class
providing a welcoming environment for families. I’ve studied child development, education, brain research, yoga, parenting styles, and family structures. I have a unique natural connection with children, being able to see through their eyes, to feel their little hearts, to intuitively know what allows them to open up and what makes them retract. How in the world can I pull all of this together to assist another teacher to most fully understand children through my eyes and through my heart. Can I really do that? Can I teach another person my perspective that makes Sing Song Yoga what it is?

The songs, the poses, and the activities are lovely, fun and unique in and of themselves and some can even be found in our DVD and app, but they are only a part of what makes the live Sing Song Yoga class what it is. It’s the learning environment created by the teacher within which those pieces perfectly fit.

For the most part, our society tends to teach children in a controlling structure. In a “well-behaved vs. naughty” paradigm, in which adults see it as their responsibility to control children (and their parents) to behave in THE way that is most fitting and most proper to succeed in our society. The overarching premise that you need to learn to “behave this way” and know “these things” and you will do well. Sameness. Conformity.

To the contrary, Sing Song Yoga seeks to provide experiences to empowerIMG_2852 children and families to reach for who they are and shine in their own unique ways. To explore and feel a freedom in our environment. One in which parents are freed from the underlying feeling of needing to demonstrate that they are good parents by the way their child “behaves,” or by the skill-level their child achieves. An environment in which children feel a sense of freedom and excitement of new challenge and calm, without feeling the pressure to measure up to some prescribed expectation of behavior and result.

How, in the world can I teach someone to understand my perceptions of a truly child-centered, explorative, open environment? To feel this at their 2016-06-11 13.29.01core. To shift paradigms. To then take this shift and re-create it within their own learning environment, laced with the essence of Sing Song Yoga — Empowerment; “I am strong, smart, creative and worthy. I have a unique voice and I have the power to make the world a better place!”

For the last year and a half, I have dedicated 90% of my work time to pulling together, adapting and tweaking my information to best vividly draw a picture for teacher trainees to experience my world, my vision, my weekly environment I provide for children. For these trainees I attempt with all that I am to open my heart to give a glimpse of my deep understanding and passion for what helps empower children within our Sing Song Yoga environment for the brief amount of time we have them in our class. I’m not seeking to change the whole world. But it is my desire, within the context of my teacher training, to allow trainees who are well suited for this program, to fully absorb my heart which holds the space for this open learning environment.

I was asked if I have policies in place for parents during the live classes because of the infamous “helicopter parents.”  I so appreciate this question because it led me to explain my feelings on parents’ freedom with an open door policy. From the very first Sing Song Yoga class, as an extension of who I am, I removed the physical foldable wall dividers to be sure that parents felt welcome in our class – either as an observer or as a participant.  Making policies that would limit the experiences of all families, because of a few parents, would go against the open environment I seek to provide. Most every parent has their child’s best interest at heart. Truly. And some might actually stretch their thinking from the interactions they observe and/or experience in our class – maybe not all, but some. For most families, parents being present in a class enriches the experience, if only providing a platform for later parent/child discussions. In addition, if parents have the opportunity to observe a child-led environment, they might be more likely not only to listen to their child a little more closely that day, but also, just maybe, hold a newer standard for the environment within the other programs for which they sign their kids up.

The much anticipated weekend arrives.  I’m sitting in the beautiful Yoga Studio in Grand Rapids, 2016-06-10 17.45.15-2Michigan gazing appreciatively at the yoga props each immaculately organized in its proper place, and the materials I have just hung up on the walls. The very first trainees will arrive in a few moments to begin the process of learning to be a Sing Song Yoga teacher.

They arrive. We explore, dig deep, share, create, explore, dig deep, share, create…

The final minutes of our very first Sing Song Yoga 2016-06-10 20.34.10Teacher Training are upon us. It’s the end of the last of 3 days of intense study, laughter, creation and idea sharing. The creative, smart, empowering women who took the plunge with me were giving me the feedback that provided me with a big fat “yes!” to my questions. Yes, I can invite others into my world of children and families. Yes, others will begin to see my vision, my standard of truly child-centered learning environments.  Not just the fancy buzz 2016-06-12 12.23.52words — but the real thing — felt fully by the teacher, exuded through their hearts and into the hearts of the families who join their class. And finally, yes, other teacher trainees will find value in the full program – not just learning the songs and the poses, but the true essence of Sing Song Yoga.

My heart overflows with appreciation for these two women, each with their own unique powerful strengths, giving me the necessary feedback, for my ability to share my heart and vision, and for feeling a big “Yes” for moving forward with the highest of expectations for future teachers in this program across the nation and around the globe.

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If you happen to share this vision of a child-centered, explorative, open learning environment, and have an interest in taking the Sing Song 2016-06-12 12.46.32Yoga Teacher Training this November in Grand Rapids, Michigan, check out our Teacher Training page.  It’s not an easy training. Work is involved — but meaningful work that will give you the tools to provide a rich, child-centered environment, in which yoga, songs and laughter naturally fit.


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Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 11.38.49 PM

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Kids Yoga App Series #4 Guidelines Video Our Sing Song Yoga Kids share their wisdom about doing yoga in this Guidelines Video.

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For more info:Yoga in a School Setting

Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App

Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD

Sing Song Yoga® school program

Sing Song Yoga® website

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2016.
Posted in Sing Song Yoga Teacher Training.
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Kindergarteners Loving Yoga in School

What do you get when you add 230 seasoned kindergarten yogis, a big school library and some fun-loving teachers? Fantastic yoga fun!!

It was such a blast teaching Sing Song Yoga to several groups of kiddos at McFall Elementary in Thornapple Kellogg Schools yesterday morning! Happy faces, big hugs, warm hearts, high fives, singing yogis… Pure bliss!

Yoga in schools

Teachers and students at McFall have been using either the Sing Song Yoga App or DVD in their classrooms for the past 4 years.  I certainly experienced their yoga wisdom in their poses, in their singing and in the way they appeared to have absorbed the essence of the program; empowerment — I am strong, smart and worthy and I matter!

Thanks heaps for inviting me McFall! I’m so grateful for the time with your kiddos!! The heart goes pitter pat!

yoga in schools

yoga in schools

yoga in schools

Related Posts:

Yoga for Kids in School on Fox 17kids yoga in the news Sing Song Yoga® founder and school teacher discuss some tools for using yoga in school as well as some benefits of it.


Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 11.38.49 PM

Getting Kids Ready to Write: Yoga in Schools A teacher question answered: “I was wondering the best combinations [of poses] to use [with my students] for getting ready to write.”


2015-04-21 09.48.028 Kids Yoga Myths Some common misunderstandings about kids’ yoga. Explore other view points for a broader perspective.


hamstring picsTop 5 Kids’ Yoga Tips for Greater Flexibility A kids’ yoga question answered: “We want to know how we can stretch better! Any tips?”


Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 1.21.43 PMYoga in Schools: Kids and Teachers Talk Kids’ Yoga A quick peek into what kids and teachers are saying about using the Sing Song Yoga app in the classroom.


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Top 5 Tips to Help Balance in Kids’ Yoga: Kid Twitter Question Answered A kid question answered: “Do you have any tips to help us balance better?”

Twitter Leads to Most Rewarding Visit Imaginable  Sing Song Yoga founder does yoga with students she connected with on Twitter.

Kids Yoga App Series – #3. Restore Purchases –FAQs: How to easily restore in-app purchases in seconds with this simple illustration.

Kids Yoga App Series #4 Guidelines Video Our Sing Song Yoga Kids share their wisdom about doing yoga in this Guidelines Video.

Kids Yoga App Series #5 Time Management for Home & Classroom Super efficient time-management kids yoga app tools to get the most out of every second spent with our kids.


For more info:Yoga in a School Setting

Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App

Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD

Sing Song Yoga® school program

Sing Song Yoga® website

This entry was posted on Friday, May 20th, 2016.
Posted in Sing Song Yoga, Yoga in Schools.
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,


Kids Yoga App Series – #3. Restore Purchases

* This post is the 3rd within a kids yoga app series #SSYappSeries… (here’s #1 and #2)

So, I try out a new app! Love it! Make a purchase to enjoy its full functionality! Update my phone! Argh! Lost my purchases!! That’s no fun! And frankly, it’s frustrating!

But have no fear! With the Sing Song Yoga app for kids, there’s a simple solution illustrated below…

kids yoga app Sing Song Yoga series - restore purchases

That’s it! Enjoy!

There are other useful topics under the Info button that are worth checking out within this kids yoga app.

Please let us know any questions you might have on Facebook or Twitter, using #SSYappSeries or #SSYkidQuestion. We look forward to hearing from you!! Happy Yoga!!


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Kids Yoga App Series – #1. Adult Help Symbol in DVD/App Quick video explaining the “Adult Help” symbol used in the Sing Song Yoga® kids yoga app.

Kids Yoga App Series – #2. Try it Free A super quick video to demonstrate some features within the Sing Song Yoga® kids yoga app.

Top 5 Kids’ Yoga Tips for Greater Flexibility Yoga tips to help stretch you and your body to greater depths.

8 Kids Yoga Myths  Some common misunderstandings about kids’ yoga.

Crossing the Midline and Kids’ Yoga Kids’ yoga is one of the many activites that can provide cross-lateral experiences for children. If done regularly might assist in building the brain for…

Top 6 Yoga Poses for Toddlers  “A few months ago a parent asked how she could best do yoga with her one-year-old daughter…”

Kids’ Yoga App – Create Your Own Balancing Sequence Effortlessly create a balancing sequence with a few taps of this kids’ yoga iOS app.

Yoga in Schools: Kids and Teachers Talk Kids’ Yoga A quick peek into what kids and teachers are saying about using the Sing Song Yoga app in the classroom.

Top 5 Tips to Help Balance in Kids’ Yoga: Kid Twitter Question Answered A kid question answered: “Do you have any tips to help us balance better?”

Getting Kids Ready to Write: Yoga in Schools A teacher question answered: “I was wondering the best combinations [of poses] to use [with my students] for getting ready to write.”

Twitter Leads to Most Rewarding Visit Imaginable  Sing Song Yoga founder does yoga with students she connected with on Twitter.


For more info:Yoga in a School Setting

Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App

Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD

Sing Song Yoga® school program

Sing Song Yoga® website

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015.
Posted in Kids Yoga at Home, Sing Song Yoga, Yoga in Schools.
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Top 5 Kids Yoga Tips for Greater Flexibility

This topic of yoga tips for greater flexibility was inspired by a question tweeted by Mrs. Johnson’s #1stgradeyogis in China…

“We want to know how we can stretch better! Any tips?”

 

SSY pic Mrs Johnson &B1

Thank you fabulous young yogis and your brilliant teacher, Mrs. Johnson, in China for this great #SSYkidQuestion!! We so appreciate you tweeting us questions and inspirations for other kids and their parents and teachers!

Most yogis think about their level of flexibility, so this is a relevant question for kid and adult yogis alike. Here are five yoga tips to help stretch you and your body to greater depths…

1.  Begin where you are.

So, first things first — in yoga and in any other area of life… where you are is exactly the perfect place to be! Really!! And if you would like to change something, “where you are” is the perfect place from which to start. For example, if you want to touch your toes in ragdoll (uttanasana), but right now you can touch your knees, first say to yourself “I can touch my knees today. I wonder how far I will reach in a month after doing yoga regularly.” You are where you are and there is nothing better than that! Celebrate today and move forward from here!

2. There’s only one person to compare yourself to… and that’s YOU! – not anyone else.

Comparing yourself to someone else is like comparing the ocean to the forest. Each person is beautifully unique – thank goodness for that – and comparing yourself to another person helps no one.

On the other hand, look at yourself today compared to yourself… say last year at this time… You have most certainly come a long way. Celebrate that! Always compare yourself to only you and you will see growth!

Regarding yoga poses and stretching farther, try this. Do a yoga pose that you enjoy and in which you would like to stretch farther. For example, (and maybe as a group) do the L Pose (Dandasana/Paschimottanasana), hold it for a moment while you notice where your fingers land on your legs. Maybe note this on a sticky note (Deb – Sept. 2 – L Pose – finger tips at knees) and put it away. Then, a month or so later, do the same thing and just notice if your fingers land in the same place on your legs or maybe just a touch farther – and note that. If not this month, maybe next month. Either way, yoga is not about how flexible you are. It does tend to increase flexibility but it is not the most important part! Be aware of your body and how magnificent it is and what it can accomplish for you!!

3. Hold poses longer.

If you’d like to increase your flexibility one strategy you can try is to hold some poses longer than we do in the Sing Song Yoga videos. Maybe as a class, you can decide a pose for the month to hold longer during your yoga time.

For example, for the month of September, each time we do yoga let’s pause the video and hold Standing V (Upavistha Konasana) longer. Maybe the class could vote to select the pose each month.

4. Do a sequence of poses working the same muscles/muscle groups.

Several yoga poses use similar muscles to do the poses. For example, hamstrings (those muscles on our back thighs) are lengthened within many different poses. And they are often tight and a main factor in how far we can bend forward — as in Rag Doll (Uttanasana).

If we were to just hold Rag Doll for 12 minutes, most of us would get bored. But, if we were to do several different poses within those 12 minutes that each focus on lengthening those hamstrings, we would not only better achieve it, but we would add in additional benefits from the other poses as well as enjoy the variety.

So, let’s continue with the example of lengthening our hamstrings. Using the Sing Song Yoga app, as a class, you can explore what poses to include to create and save a “Hamstring Sequence.” A sample sequence could include the following:

  • Rag Doll – Uttanasana
  • Standing V – Prasarita Padottanasana
  • Mosquito – Parsvottanasana
  • Downward Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Dolphin – Pincha Mayurasana Prep
  • L Pose -Dandasana/Paschimottanasana
  • V Pose – Upavistha Konasana
  • Big Butterfly
  • Half Butterfly – Janu Sirsasana
  • Savasana

That’s 10 poses in under 12 minutes, when you slide the transition speed to the left (see pic).

sing song yoga app hamstring sequence

5. Repetition can help.

Do yoga more often… even while watching TV 🙂 If there is a pose you’d really like to improve, set a goal to try to do that pose every day. If I wanted to reach my toes in L Pose, I could try to sit in this pose each day whenever I think of it… while reading, while watching TV, while chatting with my friends, etc.

In the classroom, as a class, you could decide to sit in L Pose for a bit while you are studying your spelling words, or doing math flash cards, or reading… the possibilities are endless!

The main thing to remember is to be easy about all of this and have fun!

Thank you once again for your great question Mrs. Johnson’s #1stgradeyogis in China!! Please keep us posted on your yoga progress over the coming months! And of course, send new questions as they arise! Happy Yoga!

Please post your kids’ yoga questions on

Twitter or Facebook using #ssykidsquestions

 

See this link for an outline of the Simple Process for Creating and Saving a Kids’ Yoga Balancing Sequence within the Sing Song Yoga App and apply the process to creating a “Hamstring Sequence.”

#ssykidquestion green room

 


Related Posts:

Yoga in Schools: Kids and Teachers Talk Kids’ Yoga A quick peek into what kids and teachers are saying about using the Sing Song Yoga app in the classroom.

Top 5 Tips to Help Balance in Kids’ Yoga: Kid Twitter Question Answered A kid question answered: “Do you have any tips to help us balance better?”

Getting Kids Ready to Write: Yoga in Schools A teacher question answered: “I was wondering the best combinations [of poses] to use [with my students] for getting ready to write.”

8 Kids Yoga Myths  Some common misunderstandings about kids’ yoga.

Crossing the Midline and Kids’ Yoga Kids’ yoga is one of the many activites that can provide cross-lateral experiences for children. If done regularly might assist in building the brain for…

Top 6 Yoga Poses for Toddlers  “A few months ago a parent asked how she could best do yoga with her one-year-old daughter…”

Kids’ Yoga App – Create Your Own Balancing Sequence Effortlessly create a balancing sequence with a few taps of this kids’ yoga iOS app.

Twitter Leads to Most Rewarding Visit Imaginable  Sing Song Yoga founder does yoga with students she connected with on Twitter.

Kids Yoga App Series – #1. Adult Help Symbol in DVD/App Quick video explaining the “Adult Help” symbol used in the Sing Song Yoga® kids yoga app.

Kids Yoga App Series – #2. Try it Free A super quick video to demonstrate some features within the Sing Song Yoga® kids yoga app.


For more info:Yoga in a School Setting

Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App

Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD

Sing Song Yoga® school program

Sing Song Yoga® website

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015.
Posted in Kid's Yoga Sequences, Kids Yoga at Home, Sing Song Yoga, Yoga in Schools.
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Yoga in Schools: Kids as Teachers

Sometimes I think that I’m the teacher. However, I am continuously reminded that I am first and foremost a forever-student. And oftentimes, children are my wisest teachers. Yoga in schools holds such powerful opportunities…

2015-04-21 09.33.27

I recently had the honor of visiting this classroom in Michigan that has been using our kids’ yoga program every school day over the last few years.

When I began the class, I quickly learned that these fabulous young yogis knew our songs and teaching cues better than I do.  Mistakenly thinking I was the only yoga teacher in the room, I originally intended to shake things up a bit and add poses/songs that are not on the Sing Song Yoga DVD they use. However, their lead in the session kept us crisply on track of the classic session. My heart gratefully sang progressively louder as I gradually quieted my voice to allow for their voices and intentions to lead.

The joys, the love and the excitement was refreshingly uncensored. My cheeks actually hurt a bit from smiling and laughing with my new young yoga teachers.

2015-04-21 09.43.13

The lovely, progressive classroom teacher appeared to be pleasantly surprised at the level of mastery some of the students demonstrated in recalling the important details of each pose as we moved through the class.  Yoga through music has a magic about it and these students are clearly the magicians!

Thank you, thank you to these young yogis for being my teachers and to their classroom teacher for inviting me to experience this unbridled joy… with yoga in schools!!


Related Posts:

8 Kids Yoga Myths  Some common misunderstandings about kids’ yoga.

Crossing the Midline and Kids’ Yoga Kids’ yoga is one of the many activites that can provide cross-lateral experiences for children. If done regularly might assist in building the brain for…

Top 6 Yoga Poses for Toddlers  “A few months ago a parent asked how she could best do yoga with her one-year-old daughter…”

Kids’ Yoga App – Create Your Own Balancing Sequence Effortlessly create a balancing sequence with a few taps of this kids’ yoga iOS app.

Yoga in Schools: Kids and Teachers Talk Kids’ Yoga A quick peek into what kids and teachers are saying about using the Sing Song Yoga app in the classroom.

Top 5 Tips to Help Balance in Kids’ Yoga: Kid Twitter Question Answered A kid question answered: “Do you have any tips to help us balance better?”

Getting Kids Ready to Write: Yoga in Schools A teacher question answered: “I was wondering the best combinations [of poses] to use [with my students] for getting ready to write.”

Twitter Leads to Most Rewarding Visit Imaginable  Sing Song Yoga founder does yoga with students she connected with on Twitter.


For more info:Yoga in a School Setting

Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App

Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD

Sing Song Yoga® school program

Sing Song Yoga® website

 

 

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 11th, 2015.
Posted in Benefits of Yoga, Education, Sing Song Yoga, Yoga in Schools.
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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