Guest Blogger – Stacey Loop from Yoga Yoga
Let me introduce the importance of teaching Children’s Yoga with this quote by the Dalai Lama:
“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”
I often joke with my students in the Children’s Yoga Teacher Training program that we should get t-shirts with that quote on the front. Could it really be that simple to create a universal shift from a world of violence and separation to one of compassion and connection with something like meditation that’s available to everyone?
I am so passionate about training teachers and educating others on the topic of Children’s Yoga because of the potential it has to foster the development of children on a multi-dimensional level. Having spent many years teaching Special Education in public schools, I believe that every child matters and has an important voice and perspective in the way they see the world. Teaching a child how to tune into their ‘Inner GPS’ through a mindfulness program using the tools of yoga and meditation, will serve them for a lifetime, while benefiting families and communities. How?
There is a wonderful YouTube video featuring the Robert W. Coleman School in Baltimore and their success with integrating an after-school Mindfulness Program using postures, breathwork, and meditation. Since implementing this program two years ago that replaces detention with meditation, the school has had ZERO suspensions. The children learn how to identify emotions and regulate their nervous systems, using breath techniques, and to channel positive thinking through meditation, while being empowered to take responsibility for their feelings and actions.
Now, sit with that for a moment! Replacing detention with meditation… YES! One of the biggest problems that school teachers face is spending time on redirecting behavioral issues versus teaching the students. Could this be an inexpensive solution to a long standing problem?
In the Children’s Yoga Teacher Training, my team and I wholeheartedly believe that this work is incredibly valuable in giving back to society. Not only do we teach developmentally appropriate practices for different age groups of kids, and playful ways to bring yogic philosophy to life, but we go into the depths of issues involving neuro-healthy methods of talking and listening to kids. Our program explores therapeutic strategies involving anxiety in children, as well as adapting classes for special needs children. This summer, we will even go into the gut/brain connection and touch upon the value of mindful eating. These are only SOME of the many aspects of this program.
My colleagues and I are often told from students that this training deeply changed their lives for the better. I believe that when we are willing to tap into our inner child and learn to play again, profound changes can take place.
Whether a school or yoga teacher, counselor, speech, occupational, or physical therapist, social worker, physical education teacher, or parent, this 95-hour training will increase every participant’s understanding of how to apply appropriate yoga techniques in working with children. Our mission is to playfully teach everyone the importance of yoga postures, breath, and meditation in changing children’s lives, so they develop physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually in a way that integrates the Whole Child! And who knows… maybe, just maybe we can affect the change the Dalai Lama believes we can.
I hope you join us this July to kick off round three of our Children’s Yoga Teacher Training program!