Kids Yoga Teacher Training Lesson Plan FREE

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Kids yoga teacher training for all teachers and instructors PLEASE use the following syllabus guiding you through the proper method to present a 6 Day Yoga program to your Kindergarten or Elementary School classroom ensuring these proven outcomes:

Yoga Mat

  • Kids Yoga Enhances Confidence
  • Kids Yoga Improves Concentration and Focus
  • Kids Yoga Helps Kids Manage Stress Through Breathing
  • Kids Yoga Promotes Inclusivity
  • Kids Yoga Introduces Kids to Mindfulness
  • Kids Yoga Promotes a Healthy Body
  • Kids Yoga Improves Coordination & Balance

Classroom Yoga ~ a solution to school violence and it works!

CALMING KIDS: Yoga and Mindfulness in the Classroom
2018-2019 Study Results

Students reported: 2018 – 2019
Feeling good about themselves 48%  increase     
Standing up for themselves 48%  increase 
Focusing in school 30%  increase 
Feeling angry for no reason 55%  decrease
Physical altercations in school 38%  decrease
Trouble controlling anger 35%  decrease 

In addition, three times the number of students reported that they could handle others making fun of them in school as compared to before learning the CALMING KIDS techniques (178% increase).
Statistics based on 100 students between the ages of 11 – 13 reporting their experience before and after 6 sessions of movement, mindfulness & meditation training and practice throughout the school year. CALMING KIDS (CK): Creating a Non-Violent World since 2004


Day One – What is Yoga?

The Balance of Body and Mind

Gather the kids into a circle and seated on the floor, ask: What is yoga? By beginning your presentation to the children with an explanation of the purpose of doing Yoga, you open their minds and begin the discussion regarding the benefits of yoga. This gives a foundational knowledge and they will be eager to learn what is next. The Day One, online training video gives a concrete image for the students to understand these concepts and get excited to learn more.

Game Plan: Here’s where the fun begins:

Begin with the CALMING KIDS Opening Pledge or a Namaste song, depending on the ages of your students. CK has some Namaste songs found in our “Songs & Pledges” booklet and soundtrack, or the CK Opening Pledge can be recited to engage the kids as we begin to unify the classroom.

Stand everybody up and begin some yoga balancing poses.You will then begin positions or exercises to limber, ground, strengthen and stretch the body. At the end of the movement session, you finish with the floor or seated relaxing stretches.

Explain that the yoga system gives us ways to come into balance.

The complete CALMING KIDS program for school classrooms includes videos of children and teens explaining how to help all aged students with mindfulness, movement, and body and breath awareness.

Our booklets “YOGA KEEPS ME Calm, Fit & Focused” and “YOGA KEEPS ME Feeling Just Right” demonstrate both easy and more difficult positions to practice balance.  The simple movement routines that you can all do together each day will calm the community and strengthen the connection in the classroom.

[From here, you would continue with your regularly scheduled classroom curriculum.]

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

Day Two – How Do You Breathe?

Practices to Regulate the Breath 

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

CALMING KIDS breathing videos explore the proper mechanics of breathing. Within the online training, simple visuals are explained as a way to convey breathing mechanics using various props and interactive skits. Age appropriate explanations of breathing correctly and the importance of good breathing are included because the breath connects the body and mind. Students enjoy this concept and they can be playful as they learn the breathing techniques which are also illustrated in our program booklets and our manual handouts.   

Kids Yoga Breathing

  • Basic Breath Training
  • Breathing Questions
  • Breathing Diagrams
  • Diaphragm Activity
  • Breathing for Self Regulation
  • Calming Breathing Techniques
  • Lion’s Breath 
  • Bees Hum
  • Rabbit Breath
  • Snake Breath
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing

Preschool, kindergarten and young elementary aged children love the CK “Body Awareness Tunes” downloadable from our website store. This keeps the momentum going and the learning fun. We have songs to move with and follow along called “Breathing,” “Two Little Holes,” “Belly Button” and “The Walk Song” among others. Then students lay down quietly so they can listen to their breathing and feel the Hum inside.

The CALMING KIDS music from our “Songs and Pledges” list includes, “The Sun Salutation Song” and “A Circle Dance.” Both offer ways to increase the respiration rate and breath awareness. If time permits, you can repeat some of the yoga asanas (postures) you practiced on Day One – focus the students’ attention on their breathing during this session and for all sessions from now on. Notice that they get a little better implementing the breathing with some of the standing still asanas (postures).

Next, take 2 – 3 minutes to sit or lie down to rest the body and become mindful of rhythmic breathing. “The Sleep Poem” from “Songs and Pledges” is great to recite to help their inward focus. 

The students start to understand that the connection of the body to the mind is their breath.

[As you return to the school curriculum, if you see some ‘fidgeting’ going on, mention a mindful breathing practice and have them practice it on the spot.]

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

 

Day Three – How Do You Feel?

Checking in: emotional awareness, communication and anti-bullying

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

Seated in a circle on the floor or at their desks, get students’ feedback by asking them: 

“What do you remember from what you have learned so far in yoga?”

“Have any of you started to be mindful of your breathing outside of class?”

“Has thinking about your breathing helped you control your energy, mood, or sleep?”


Then we listen to their answers and smile.

Then ask them if anyone has ever been bullied. Have them describe the situation and how they handled it. Discuss some of the bullying that the students see in the world and the feelings they experience around bullying behavior. Tell them about a time you were bullied and how you dealt with it.

Then, set up some anti-bullying role playing to help students learn effective communication and to help empower them for the rest of their lives. They can create the scripts based on their imagination, or they can use the bullying stories the kids have previously revealed. Or you could use the CALMING KIDS scripts which were created for us by elementary aged students, found within Day Three of the CK Online Teacher Training.

Print out copies for each of the actors involved, to read and play out the scenario. Skits and Role-Playing offer the kids a chance to learn together as a team. Once a skit is performed, the audience (other students) can suggest a good plan of action to solve the negative encounter. Remind them to use a strong grounded stance, speak with confidence, and take time to breathe.

The CK videos for role-playing within our online training are performed by The Rocky Mountain Theater for Kids. Bullying encounters happen in: The Lunchroom, On The Bus, On The Playground, In a Classroom, etc. These videos include confrontations with other students, with an adult, or self-bullying. Instruction is given on how to approach communication in a calm, centered, confident manner, with self awareness and compassion, as well as guidance for when it is important to ask for help.

[Before returning to the regular school curriculum, give a homework assignment: Teach anyone in the family something you have learned this week.]

  • Yoga Postures
  • Breath Awareness
  • Concentration Practices
  • Peaceful Communication Strategies 

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

[Here’s Naomi, a Calming Kids Yoga Teacher with a personal comment about A Chakra Guide Book]

Day Four – Community 

Finding Our Heart 

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

Next, Check In with how the students are feeling on this day. It is OK for a child not to say anything and not participate. Then, discuss the homework assignment to discover who has been ‘taking in’ the concepts and passing this knowledge on to their friends or families.

Day Four videos within the online training include ‘Inner Light Introduction’ in order to teach the concept of caring and compassion.

In order to keep it very child friendly and understandable, CALMING KIDS presents our connection to ourselves and our community as the word picture: Our Heart’s Inner Light.

We use metaphors and similes to describe the inner connectedness we have with ourselves and others in order to find connection and compassion. 

Kids yoga musicIt’s a great day to do teamwork activities. Circle dancing can be effective. CK has created choreography to music found on the “Playful Yoga” soundtrack. 

If you choose to repeat the standing and floor poses, begin to hold the poses longer than before. Encourage students to, “Hold this position and take 4 – 6 deep breaths.” Do this in order to deepen the students’ inward focus and connection to the feelings in their body and the feeling of their breath.

A wonderful concentration practice at this stage can be eye exercises in order to strengthen, stretch and ultimately tire the eyes from looking outward. Then, close the eyes and direct the attention inward with a guided journey or inward visualization. Our Inner Light is a metaphor: the sun, a candle, or a flashlight can be used.

“We all have this light within. This light connects us to each other.”

Guide the children in a way that helps them understand that the light within each of them resonates in their heart and mind. And that light is important enough to respect in each other.

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

 

Day Five – Why Exercise?

The Benefits of Exercise

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

Check in: Get feedback from the class as to any changes in their lives due to what they have been learning. How or when have they been able to use the breathing or respectful compassion?

Day 5 is about moving the kids smoothly though the ‘asanas’ and “Vinyasanas” (series of poses). 

Guide them through the poses and encourage them to focus on their breathing while holding difficult poses. Practice moving poses, standing asanas, and floor asanas or seated positions for 20 – 30 minutes.

Yoga Exercise

There are CK supplemental kids yoga videos of children and teens practicing yoga which guide the class as they watch the postures and follow the routines.

While the students hold the asanas for a few moments, take them on a mental journey that brings  joy and peacefulness, and the remainder of the school day can go more smoothly.  

NOTE: If this routine (Opening pledge/song followed by the Vinyasanas) is regularly followed daily within a school curriculum, the results can be astounding. See the research results found on our website: calmingkids.org-StudyResults

Have a discussion at the end regarding the benefits of yoga. Explain how yoga has a multitude of benefits: not only can it improve flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina, it also reduces anxiety and stress, improves mental clarity, and even helps one to sleep better. When done regularly, it can help them to focus on their homework, and control their thoughts & feelings. The power of strengthening their inner core as well as their outer physical bodies while having an awareness of the breath allows for improved personal connection and communication. 

[At least 80% of the class will develop a new mindset from the program at this point.]

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

 

Day Six – Relationships 

Anti-Bullying – Relationship Games – Bring It All Together

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

Ask the question: “Who has been sharing the yoga information and concepts with their friends or families?”

“Has there been a time when you have personally used a CK yoga technique to help shift any situation?”

Once you hear what students report, then you can decide which area of the yoga practices need more attention. Review any specific concepts that you have presented over the past few weeks with an open discussion in order for students to understand how important it is to use these ideas within our lives: The yoga exercises help us to come into balance in our bodies and minds and breathe better. Good breathing allows us to focus our mind and balance our emotions. When we feel balanced we can communicate better and our relationships improve. With practice, we can deflate any negative confrontation.

Find a comfortable movement routine that your students respond to positively that can be done daily. Our CALMING KIDS supplemental videos include a simple range of motion sequence called the “AM Wake-Up” which can be done seated or standing.

Follow the exercise routine you have chosen with a mindfulness, reflection and relaxation session. The CALMING KIDS little book “Finding Calm in a Moment” has relaxation, creative visualization and mindful practices to read to your students. This book gives ideas on how to instruct the meditation.

Starting with movement and mindfulness is a great way to start each day!!

[As you return to the regular school curriculum, give the lifelong assignment: Teach your family and friends these yoga, mindfulness and communication skills. Share the tools that help you to calm down, self regulate and balance your mental health. Someday you may help someone in serious need.]

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.


Calming Kids

 

Allowing 10-15 mins at the start of every day for this type of centering will increase focus, social emotional balance, and positive communication skills.

 

 

 

 

 

The CALMING KIDS (CK) Six Day On-Line Kids Yoga Teacher Training Lesson Plans includes:

  • Handouts illustrating all the concepts presented with coloring pages, activity ideas and songs. 
  • Scripts with non-violent communication models for the play acting scenarios.
  • A discussion forum with thought provoking questions and insights shared by other teachers.
  • An easy quiz at the end of each module of learning to review what you have learned.
  • Open access to the online site for reference and to enhance your capacity to teach mindfulness and non-violent education to elementary age students.

CALMING KIDS offers two levels of certification. One is given upon the completion of the online course. Participants are issued a downloadable certificate to hang in the classroom, school or studio. For teachers who would like to receive continuing education credit, CALMING KIDS offers a deeper level certification in order to become a nationally accredited CALMING KIDS Children’s Yoga Educator for Elementary Age students. This is achieved by teaching a minimum of six hours of the CK program to children and keeping a detailed log. This log is submitted to CALMING KIDS for evaluation and certification. A small additional fee is applied. To enroll in the full course please CLICK HERE.

 

Dee Marie at Yoga International

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teendramadee
Teenage years aren’t for the faint of heart. During this time, there are many physical and energetic changes that cause imbalances. Reactions to external stimuli may be heightened, and teens require rest from day-to-day demands. Relaxation and restorative asana poses are most effective for rebalancing frazzled teens; and tuning in to yoga media, as well as positive, uplifting music, helps them utilize their technologies as a bridge to a more nurturing lifestyle. At the end of the day, knowing where they are and simply being there for them is everything!

Effective Breathing: How DO We Take Deep Breaths?

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From a yogic perspective, the breath is regarded as Prana, or the “vital force.” The breath is what governs our mental and emotional well-beings, having the capability to quiet our rage and soothe our nerves.

In the CALMING KIDS curriculum, we train instructors to teach breathing exercises to children and teens. On numerous reported occasions, these lessons have resulted in a decrease of bullying and violence — such as when children stop to take a deep breath and check-in when frustrated, rather than lashing out at others. It’s the deep breath that acts as a momentary reprieve, or gap, to recenter the self.

For this deep breath to be most effective, it must be executed properly:

Sit or stand with a tall spine, and imagine your lungs as balloons that expand and collapse as you inhale and exhale through your nose. Visualize the expansion of the balloon as the air fills your lungs, traveling through your chest, waist, abdomen, and back during inhalation — and then visualize the inward softening of your body as the air leaves it upon exhalation.

There are numerous techniques for teaching children the importance of breathing and how to breathe effectively. To learn how to teach mindful breathing to children, enroll in our CALMING KIDS Teacher Training

MC Yogi ~ Pilgrimage CD

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Pilgrimage CD by MC Yogi offers Yoga Music with the styles of world beat, hip-hop, Bollywood, reggae, dancehall, house and dub music.

“I’m just a working class mystic,” shrugs the enviably laid back MC Yogi, grinning a little as he adjusts his trademark fedora, kicks up his Adidas and cranks the volume on “Give Love,” an instantly addictive track off his stunning dance-floor grenade of a new record, Pilgrimage. You may have heard his 2008 debut, Elephant Power, a certified phenom that still hovers near the top of the world music charts. The album’s extraordinary success earned Yogi invitations to play in clubs and yoga festivals all over the world.

Helping Kids Work Through Bullying Issues With Yoga

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Bullying is much more common than most people realize: around a quarter of children are bullied at school, and around a third of adults experience bullying in the workplace. Bullying has an incredibly strong impact on children in particular, because it’s happening at a time when they’re particularly vulnerable to the psychological problems it can cause. For kids who are being bullied, or who are vulnerable in other ways, practicing yoga regularly can provide some important benefits.

Exercise in general improves mental and physical health, not only because of improved fitness, but also because regular physical activity helps strengthen the body-mind connection and helps people feel good about their bodies. The emphasis that yoga places on strength, flexibility, and coordination is especially beneficial for improving body image, self-confidence, and self-esteem, which are all things that most children and teens struggle with, and are things that bullied children are even more in need of.

Yoga is also an excellent stress-buster; while many people believe that children don’t get severely stressed the way adults can, unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. Children are more than capable of suffering from high levels of stress; it’s just that their stress results from different causes. And when people of all ages are bullied, they suffer from a wide range of physical problems as well as psychological ones: high stress levels, which contributed to headaches, stomach aches and digestive problems, muscle pain, anxiety, impaired immune function, and weight loss or gain.

How Can Yoga Help Vulnerable Kids?
Exercise is important for both mental and physical health, and regular exercise can also be an important part of building healthy self-esteem as well as a healthy lifestyle. All kinds of exercise can provide these benefits, even if they don’t have a cardiovascular component, but when it comes to yoga, regular practice is of special benefit to the mind, body, and spirit.
One of the most important benefits of yoga is that it’s a non-competitive type of exercise, which means it’s great for encouraging children and teens to practice yoga not to win, but just because it feels good to do it. When you practice yoga there’s no winning or losing, and no measuring yourself against other people; there’s just the satisfaction of getting stronger, of achieving new poses, of relieving stress and stretching muscles.

The opportunity to take part in activities that don’t focus on winning or losing is hugely important for kids; for children who are being bullied, it’s even more so, because of the severe psychological effects that bullying can have. Poor self-esteem, low confidence, poor body image, anxiety, fearfulness, depression, and social isolation can also result from bullying; the unique qualities of yoga can help mitigate those effects and give bullied kids a chance to relieve stress and improve the way they feel about themselves.

There’s an increasingly large body of scientific evidence showing that yoga can help improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. It’s so beneficial that many therapists recommend yoga to their patients; some even undergo therapeutic yoga training and directly incorporate the exercise into therapy sessions. The deep state of relaxation that practicing yoga induces is a type of relaxation that you can’t achieve through normal activities like socializing or spending quiet time alone, and helps promote benefits like reduced stress and tension, better mental clarity, better quality of sleep.

When kids practice yoga regularly, they also develop an improved ability to handle stressful situations; that means kids who are vulnerable to bullying are better able to cope with it when it happens, and may be less susceptible to the psychological trauma that bullying can cause.

Yet another benefit of regular yoga practice is that it provides relief from thinking about those stressful situations. When practicing yoga it’s necessary to concentrate not on thinking, but on what your body is doing, about which muscles to contract, about maintaining breathing and balance. Yoga may not be an intense cardiovascular exercise but it is both physically and mentally demanding, requiring that the practitioner focus all their attention on their body. When a child is practicing yoga, they’re not worrying about bullying, about being stressed or anxious; they’re just focused on the pose and on their body. Each session gives the child a much-needed chance to relax, and over time, the accumulated benefits of stress reduction, physical strength, and mental resilience help them thrive.

This is a freelance article by Helen Murchison.

Yoga for Children with ADHD

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Yoga for Children with ADHD
Recent findings across the globe on the beneficial effects of yoga have led this practice to be embraced by adults and children alike. Yoga is used to provide pain relief for migraines and backache, to relieve stress and to increase vitality. It is also considered a complementary therapy for illnesses such as atherosclerosis, breast cancer and many mental conditions (such as anxiety, depression and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), with powerful stress- and fatigue-fighting effects. Yoga is also used with children, to help increase concentration and decrease bullying; learning the art of pranayamic breathing enables little ones to remain focused and positive in the most difficult of times. Studies have also shown that yoga can be used with children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
ADHD: A Condition Affecting Millions of Children
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the US, approximately 11 per cent of children aged between four and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD since 2011, with numbers increasing as the years progress. The average ADHD diagnosis is made when a child is seven, and boys are more likely than girls to be affected (13.2% of boys vs 5.6% of girls). Children with ADHD display an array of symptoms, including frequent forgetfulness, squirming or fidgeting, talking a lot, finding it hard to resist temptation, having trouble with turn-taking, etc. This can lead to difficulties in relationships with others, both at home and in a school/social setting. Despite a plethora of studies, the precise causes of/risk factors for ADHD are unknown, though research suggests that the condition is related to genetics. Additional risk factors can include premature delivery, low birth weight and the use of alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy. There are three types of ADHD patients: those who are mainly hyperactive, those who find it difficult to concentrate, and those who display a combination of these qualities. Treatment is varied and can include medication, therapy or a combination of these approaches. Recent studies have shown that yoga can also have an important role to play in soothing many of ADHD’s most difficult symptoms.
Yoga Helps Kids with ADHD: The Findings
A 2013 study published in the journal, ISRN Pediatrics, found that yoga improved school performance in a group of children with diagnosed ADHD. The study involved 69 participants, who took part in a program called Climb-Up, which involved yoga, meditation and play therapy. Parents and teachers were then asked to assess the behavior of the children using the Vanderbilt questionnaire for ADHD. The researchers found that 46% of children improved significantly in terms of their behavior (according to their teachers) and 92% improved (according to their parents). The authors concluded that yoga could form part of cost-effective programs to tackle ADHD at schools.
Another study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders sought to study the effect of yoga on 19 school-aged boys with ADHD, who were on medication. The kids took part in either 20 sessions of yoga or in control activities. Researchers found a significant improvement in behavior of children in the yoga group, and those who practiced yoga at home in addition to taking part in the program, showed an even greater level of improvement.
A third study published by German scientists separated a group of 19 children into two groups: one took part in regular yoga sessions and the other performed traditional exercise routines. The study found that those in the yoga group once again displayed significantly reduced symptoms. They were found to improve in behavior and in the ability to concentrate.
Why Yoga?
The exact mechanisms that make yoga so successful at dealing with ADHD are unknown, though it is suspected that it may be related to yoga’s powerful ability to augment concentration and reduce cortisol (stress hormone levels) through a combination of pranayamic breathing, asanas and meditation. Yoga enhances our ability to be ‘in the here and now’, a skill which is so vitally needed in particular by ADHD sufferers with concentration difficulties. Yoga also enhances the mind’s ability to control thoughts, feelings and actions, thereby enabling children and adults alike to prevent conflicting thoughts and desires from disturbing their concentration and tranquility. Yoga has the unique ability to teach us how to concentrate and relax at the same time… it encourages a way of living that children can embrace and flourish through for the rest of their lives.
This is a freelance article by Helen Murchison

HUFFPOST HEALTHY LIVING – Bullying Can Be Stopped With Yoga

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Bullying Can Be Stopped With Yoga

This is an interview with Dee Marie, MA, CYT who has been practicing yoga therapy in clinical settings since 1986 and instructing classes for students comprised of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. In the middle of a professional dance career she suffered a freak accident, after which she was forced to look for therapies to help counteract the news: “You will never walk again.” Therefore she decided to train in classical yoga therapy with Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayan Institute starting in 1990, received a master’s degree from New York University in Exercise Therapy, Child and Motor Development in 1993, and studied with Mukunda Stiles in Structural Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda from 2003 to the present. Today, she is able to dance, ski, and hike in Boulder, Colo.

Rob Schware: What motivated you to start Calming Kids (CK): Creating a Non-Violent World? Where were you in your life at the time?

In 2004, I attended the annual meeting in Denver of the American Medical Association Alliance, which is a division of the American Medical Association that implements community-based health care programs addressing aspects of the nation’s well-being. The alarming rise of bullying in the schools was the focus of the meeting, which inspired me to address bullying with an educationally-based yoga program during the school-day curriculum to teach ahimsa — nonviolence to self and others. In 2004, yoga was not as mainstream in the schools as it is today.

Is there evidence that what you are teaching kids works?

Yes. I set up a pilot study to determine if yoga would result in a decrease in bullying. And it did. I spent four years gathering information while teaching 4th and 5th grade students during the school day. The students were surveyed before and after my instruction period. Statistical evaluation of the questionnaires addressed topics related to bullying as well as interpersonal relationships, stress management, and concentration abilities, and showed a dramatic decrease in violent behavior. I also interviewed the teachers and the principal to determine the effectiveness of the program. They enthusiastically endorsed the changes observed in the students.

The CK curriculum was created after the first year of research, because our pilot study [indicated] that children taught to relax, self-regulate, communicate, and have compassion for others could dramatically increase their abilities to manage their anger.

[See four-year research study results here.]

Is it an adult idea that kids should practice yoga?

No. There is a huge need for this type of education for kids. With the constant advancement in technology, kids and teens are continually bombarded with external stimuli. But their communication skills are often lacking, self-awareness is difficult, and relaxation/centering techniques are nonexistent. Therefore, Calming Kids: Creating a Non-Violent World definitely works for kids and teens.

Students of all ages love yoga. It is fun and very relaxing. The CK system teaches children how to balance their lives and how to communicate effectively. Students do not ask for asanas (yoga postures); they do ask for relaxation, concentration or conflict resolution scenarios. It is the lifestyle of yoga that sparks their interest. Yoga is an enjoyable way to learn self-reflection, introspection, and relaxation, which most children greatly appreciate. It helps them to counterbalance their reaction to the busy world they live in.

Nowadays, everyone is teaching “kids yoga.” Please compare and contrast what you teach with the way it’s being taught by more-recently trained instructors.

Many of the current children’s yoga approaches become just another movement experience in childlike form — “Be a tree, jump like a frog, stand like a flamingo.” All of this has its place, and children respond joyfully to the animal imagery of yoga asana. Addressing the physical body is a way into the energetic and emotional bodies, but what about the student who cannot walk, has a special need, or just came back from soccer practice, or the teen who does not like to sweat? How do we reach this population? Calming Kids yoga looks at a deeper aspect of managing one’s life by giving techniques not only with exercise, but with a traditional approach to yoga education by teaching practices for the body, the breath, the mind, and nonviolent communication strategies.

Yoga used to be a practice to prepare the body for meditation. What is it you are teaching kids? Is there anything spiritual about your teaching or is it strictly about stretching and breathing?

The spiritual aspect of Calming Kids emphasizes to the students how to have positive social interactions with their families, peers, community and world.

CK is taught within the school-day curriculum. And it addresses more than stretching and breathing. CK explores five out of the eight classical Ashtanga limbs. Since students learn in different ways, the CK system addresses all learning styles by presenting yoga education in a variety of forms: visually, physically, orally and intellectually. The CK program introduces how the regulation of involuntary breathing will create a comfortable body and a focused mind subsequently developing compassion for oneself and others.

What is your vision for yoga with the kids you are trying to serve? What would you like to see happen?

To have yoga education mainstream in every school nationally by 2020, in order to offer school-age students an alternative to sex and guns as communication techniques. I want the schools to teach ahimsa (nonviolence to self and others). And this would certainly not be an exercise system, but rather the ability to relax and communicate effectively in stressful situations. To take a few moments to breathe, center, reflect, and gather one’s thoughts before reacting in a violent manner.

What continues to motivate you?

I live in one of the largest yoga-populated cities in America: Boulder, Colo. Yet there are still so many individuals here — children, teens, young adults, seniors, families, brain-injury survivors, wheelchair-bound students — who cry out for the knowledge to calm down, relax, focus, release, and communicate effectively. What motivates me is helping to address these cries, to help those who want to learn a lifestyle of freedom within their body and mind. I am continually motivated to help the youth who have nowhere else to turn in order to learn svadhyaya (self-study) and ahimsa (nonviolence to self and others). There is clearly an intense need to offer solutions in response to the loud cries because of the number of shootings we have in Colorado.

I’m interested in your thoughts on service, and the types of service that come from a yoga practice. What kind of service opportunity does a yoga practice offer to a teacher in a place like Boulder?

Typically we start our journey into yoga for self-satisfaction and balance, and after many years of practice we attain a comfortable, confident, balanced attitude within our own lives. We can then turn to helping others who are struggling. Yoga is for everyone. When we say, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear,” it means that if we are ready to serve in any situation, the opportunity will present itself.

Besides training youth providers and children nationally, Calming Kids is developing an online Children’s Yoga and Bully-Proofing Training for elementary-age youth professionals, as well as, a Spanish version of our CK Training Manual.

Dee Marie, MA, CYT 303-530-3860 dee@calmingkidyoga.org.
www.calmingkidsyoga.org 
facebook.com/calmingkidsyoga
twitter: @calmingkidsyoga

Editor: Alice Trembour

Are you a yoga instructor giving back to underserved or un-served populations? Email rschware@gmail.com if you’re interested in being interviewed for this series. Thank you for all you do in the name of service!

Hot-Off-The-Press

Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Coping with Trauma, a collection of simple but effective yoga practices developed by Suzanne Manafort and Dr. Daniel Libby through practical and clinical experience working with veterans coping with PTSD and other psycho-emotional stress. While benefiting trauma patients safely and comfortably, the practices can be used by anyone dealing with stress.

The Give Back Yoga Foundation is making this manual available free to veterans and VA hospitals. It is also available on the GBYF website, if you would like to purchase the book and support free distribution to veterans. This practice guide includes a supplement (poster-size) of the yoga practices.

Join us at the Yoga Service Conference at Omega June 7-9th http://yogaservicecouncil.org/?page_id=5

For more by Rob Schware, click here.

For more on yoga, click here.

yogapose1nu

Boulder Source of Good News

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Calming Kids: Creating a Non-Violent World offers classical yoga education that focuses on “self-regulation, relaxation and communication,” says CK founder, Dee Marie.

SAVE (Stop America’s Violence Everywhere) Colorado representative, Dee Marie has been a Masters Certified Yoga Therapist for 28 years. She’s worked with kids and adults from all walks of life and has dedicated her practice to preventing violence in schools. Designed for educators, health care providers, all youth facilitators, yoga teachers and parents, the Calming Kids Yoga teacher training teaches adults how to implement an award winning yoga curriculum that reduces bullying, improves anger management, concentration and relaxation in pre-school through high school age students.

Through four years of research in conjunction with American Medical Association, Boulder County Medical Society Alliance, Harvard University, and Boulder’s Heatherwood Elementary, Calming Kids proved that a 4.5 hour exposure to yoga over a period of two weeks has been shown to result in up to a 93% decrease in aggressive behavior in 4th and 5th grade children as well as improved concentration and relaxation. Since its conception, teachers from Cherry Creek, St. Vrain, Denver, Summit County, Boulder and Ouray School Districts have participated in the Calming Kids training and have been joined by educators throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Canada.

Yoga in schools is not a new concept—it’s often incorporated into PE curriculum as a form of exercise. Though staying physically fit is indeed a benefit of yoga, the Calming Kids program initiates yoga as a way to reduce violence and anxiety in schools and improve concentration. Boulder Valley School District has engaged Dee Marie to create a district wide curriculum for middle and high school Physical Education and health teachers for 2013.

Yoga Fool Presents Calming Kids

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The mission of Calming Kids is “to train and certify educational and healthcare professionals how to teach yoga in the school systems and clinics.”  CK addresses and manages childhood obesity, stress, self-abuse, bullying and violent behavior with a comprehensive, nondenominational, classically-based yoga program in the school and healthcare systems.  The methods include yoga psychology, breathing practices, concentration techniques, exercise postures, conflict resolution skits to control violence and aggression, and increase concentration.  CK targets preschool through high school students, with emphasis on not harming oneself or others, learning to respect personal space and high-level concentration practices to enhance academics and encourage non-violent behavior.

 

 

Dee Marie, a Boulder resident and yoga therapist for 20 years, as well as Colorado’s Stop America’s Violence Everywhere representative, created the classical yoga program and booklet under the American Medical Alliance that specifically targets the issues of violence and bullying in schools.  Ms. Marie performed a study of 4th and 5th graders in Boulder County, showing a 93% decrease in hitting in school, 68% decrease in feeling angry for no reason, a 57% increase in the ability to control anger, and an overall improved ability to sleep, in only six 45-minute sessions.
The CK program received the Ester Long Award from the Colorado Medical Society Alliance for innovative community health programs in 2005.  In 2006, CK received the Health Awareness Promotion Award from the national division of the American Medical Association Alliance.
The CK program has been incorporated into academic curriculums in Boulder, Lyons, Denver, and Summit County, Colorado, as well as in Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, and Delaware.  Dee Marie’s program is also gaining attention globally, with many requests from various other countries with bullying issues such as Canada, Columbia, and Europe.
Jes Lucero currently offers the CK Yoga program to all ages of children; pre-school through high school.
For more information about Calming Kids: Creating A Non-Violent World, and Dee Marie, visit:http://www.calmingkidsyoga.org/

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Calming Kids found at 4Kids

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4Kids.org – Ask Amy

4Kids.org is a cool place for kids to go and learn stuff.

Ask Amy is a popular column that kids might check out and in this case, learn about health or other fitness ideas in general.

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