Becoming a Children's Yoga Teacher and the Joy It Holds

By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP

The Joys of Becoming a Children's Yoga Teacher (RCYT)

becoming a children's yoga teacher

becoming a children's yoga teacher 

The strength and emotional skills of children will define the future of our world, and through the teachings of yoga, we can successfully guide them through this process. The benefits of yoga for children are undeniable, and schools around the world are increasingly incorporating these practices into their teaching programs.

But the truth is that not everyone has the skills (or patience) to teach yoga to kids. Yoga for children requires a special training process beyond that of a general yoga teacher to work with this population and guide them through yoga practices with more care and consideration. See below to discover more about the power of yoga for children and how you can become a children's yoga teacher!

What is Yoga for Kids?

Yoga for children is a unique adaptation of various yoga practices for kids of all ages. Children have varying abilities to understand and engage in different yoga practices throughout their development. Yoga for kids tailors these teachings to a child's age, cognitive skills, and physical development to meet them where they are and have a bit of fun in the process!

A typical kids yoga class isn't as rigidly defined as a yoga class for adults might be. Depending on the child's age, a yoga class for children may focus more on games, animal sounds, storytelling, and creativity to keep the children engaged and absorb the practices and learn from these techniques.  There are many kids yoga class plans that are fun to create and adapt.

Yoga for children takes the essence of many physical poses, breathing techniques, and mindfulness meditation practices to meet a child's needs and gain valuable skills in their daily lives. Through this entire process, a yoga teacher for kids emphasizes playfulness to bring more engagement and joy into the process.

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The Benefits of Yoga for Children

Yoga is beneficial for people of all ages and abilities. But particularly at a young age, yoga practices can significantly support a child's development in nearly every domain of their life. See below for the top 10 benefits of yoga for kids:

1.     Reduces anxiety and ruminating thoughts

2.     Improves emotional regulation and coping skills

3.     Increases self-confidence and self-esteem

4.     Enhances concentration, focus, and memory

5.     Develops physical strength, muscle tone, and flexibility

6.     Promotes balance, coordination, and motor skills

7.     Improves social skills and relationships

8.     Supports sleep regulation and insomnia

9.     Builds independence and autonomy

10.  Enhances overall mood and wellbeing

Research on yoga for children is only growing with time, so it is likely that we will continue to discover additional benefits of this profoundly healing practice! At the end of the day, yoga for children is one of many excellent healing practices that can support a child's development in a fun and healthy manner.

The Importance of Becoming a Children's Yoga Teacher

With the rise in mental and physical health issues worldwide, the need for holistic and preventative measures is increasing every day. Unfortunately, there are just not enough people to meet that need! Becoming a certified yoga teacher for children is a beautiful way to give back to the world and help prepare the future of our society.

When we raise healthy and self-aware children, we set up the foundations for a future society that will thrive under these conditions. Yoga practices are an excellent way to support this process and improve a child's development in nearly every domain of their life. Becoming a certified yoga teacher for children is the first step on a wonderful journey to giving back to others and serving the greater good of the world.

How to Become a Kids Yoga Teacher

Becoming a children's yoga teacher is not quite the same as becoming a yoga teacher for adults because it requires a unique set of skills. The first thing you need to begin is a passion for working with this population and a love for children! Once you have this, all you need to do is learn essential skills in teaching yoga to children to begin this exciting journey.

See below for the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the exciting journey to becoming a yoga teacher for kids!

1.     What do you learn in yoga teacher training for kids (RCYT)?

According to the Yoga Alliance, there are a few essential topics that every registered children's yoga school (RCYS) needs to cover in order to train a teacher to become a registered children's yoga teacher (RCYT). These topics include the study of the various developmental stages of children between the ages of 2-15 and how best to support a child in these developmental stages with the techniques and practices of yoga.

Standard tools used in a children's yoga class include yoga poses, games, activities, breathing techniques, meditation, and chanting. Every certified kids yoga teacher training also includes specialized guidance on how best to teach these practices to children at different ages so that they absorb the information and have fun at the same time.

Finally, a children's yoga teacher training program also includes instruction on anatomy, yoga philosophy, and ethics. Once this is complete, each student must also go through a practicum where they either observe or teach a children's yoga class to gain some experience in this field. Through this depth of training of almost 100 hours, you will have all the tools you need to teach an excellent yoga class for children of all ages!

2.     What is the difference between yoga for kids and yoga for adults?

The main difference between a yoga class for kids and for adults is the teaching methodology and the difficulty of the practices instructed. In a children's yoga class, the emphasis during each instruction is primarily focused on playfulness and fun. Additionally, the teacher will likely use simpler language that is easier for a child to comprehend.

The other crucial difference between yoga for kids and yoga for adults is the level of the practice. For adults, a yoga class may have faster movements and more intensive poses used. Whereas in a children's yoga class, the focus will stay on the foundational yoga poses and will likely not go into any advanced inversions or arm balancing poses. Every children's yoga class emphasizes safety and the appropriate postures for each child's developmental stage.

3.     How old do you need to be to become a yoga teacher for kids?

Typically, it is recommended that a yoga teacher should be at least 18 years old before they start training and teaching. But there are now a few yoga teachers who are younger than this and can enroll in training with the permission of their parents. Often some of the best yoga teachers for children are parents or people who work with children regularly because they have a more nuanced understanding of the needs of a child at different stages of their life. But anyone can become a yoga teacher for kids as long as they have a passion for it!  

4.     Do I need to have a 200hr yoga certification to become a children's yoga teacher?

The short answer is no! Anyone can take a children's yoga teacher training and start training others in this transformative practice. Many people first choose to get their 200hr yoga teacher training and then the specialization in yoga for kids, but it is absolutely not necessary to begin this exciting career process.

But remember, in order to become a registered children's yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, this requires both the traditional 200hr yoga teacher training along with a specialized training in teaching yoga for kids. If you don't need to register with Yoga Alliance and only want to teach children, then simply taking a certified yoga teacher training for children should be enough to give you the skills to be successful!

Many jobs do not require that you register as an RCYT with Yoga Alliance. But regardless, it is still a good idea to get you training in a program that has this designation in case you change your mind in the future and would like to register. At Online Yoga School, we offer both training programs registered with Yoga Alliance, so you can be assured that you are getting the breadth and depth of training needed to be an excellent yoga teacher for children.

How to Get Certified to Teach Children's Yoga

Remember, not all kids yoga teacher training programs are the same, and it is essential to do your research and check the qualifications and standards of any training program. Our online children's yoga teacher training is registered with Yoga Alliance to meet their training standards, ensuring that you will get the best training possible.

By completing our online children's yoga teacher training, you can upgrade your Yoga Alliance registration to an RCYT and gain the qualifications to teach yoga to children with confidence. Yoga for children is such a needed service in the world nowadays, and in this training, we will guide you through this process to becoming the best yoga teacher for kids that you can be! So, reach out to us for more information on our training and get started today!  

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