One of the most rewarding parts of my job is that I teach yoga once a week at One International School, situated on site at Atmosphere Resorts. The kids range from three to six years old and it is incredible how receptive they are at such a young age to the yoga classes. Each week I conjure up a different theme to keep them all interested and engaged.
We often go on magical mystery tours, using the vast expanse of imagination that they all seem to have to visit places like the moon in a rocket ship or the depth of the ocean in a submarine. Or we play musical yoga statues, or Yogini Rae says… Quite often the classes reflect current topics that the children are studying, such as modes of transportation and hibernation to facilitate learning.
Yet for me, what is the most surprising of all is how much they love to partake in the relaxation. We have a song that we sing together at the end of the class as they lie on their mats in savasana, whilst I massage their heads or swing their legs to promote deeper relaxation. They can stay like this for ages and I have even had complaints from them when it is over too quickly, which does make me smile!
In modern times with endless amounts of stimulating activities surrounding television’s and computers it is such an important concept to teach children how to relax, to bring them to a quiet ‘space’, still and at peace. I love that they often report feeling sleepy after or that they feel like they are just waking up, they really do experience the effect of relaxing.
Whilst I see the benefits when they are lost in imagination, lying still in relaxation or feeling the stretches when we do the yoga poses, nothing is more rewarding than hearing a chorus of young kids shout “teacher Rae’s here, it’s yoga time!” with squeals of delight. This can be taken as a gentle reminder to all, that one is never too young to start yoga.
As a result of the positive feedback from the teachers at One International school I have started offering kids yoga twice weekly at Atmosphere for the children of our guests. Classes are aimed at 7-11 year olds and are thirty minutes in duration. I am hoping they will prove to be a successful addition to an already diverse yoga schedule that we offer at the Sanctuary Spa.