Let’s face it, being a tween is hard! You are not a kid anymore and you are not quite a teenager. Tweens come to Yoga class each week, like adults, with many issues or concerns. Last spring I had a girl come into class crying because she was upset that her younger brother was getting an iPhone for his birthday, she didn’t think it was fair. Another day a couple of girls arrived very upset because there had been an issue on their bus ride home from school.
All these situations, big or small cause stress for today’s tweens. Coming to yoga can help alleviate some of that stress while also teaching them techniques to manage their stress.
Tweens Live Somewhere in the Land Between
Tweens are described as youth between the ages of 9-12 or 10-13. They are stuck in this sort of “in between” land, trying to navigate their way from childhood to teen land.
My name is Maura Bradley and I am the founder of Bee You Yoga. I teach kids of all ages with a primary focus on “tweens” because while this age group is growing up quick, they still like to play games, act silly and have fun!
After teaching “Tween Yoga” for years I have developed these 5 Tips for Teaching Yoga to Tweens.
5 Tips for Teaching Yoga to Tweens
- Relax – Tweens are smart; they can smell fear a mile away and they catch on real quick if you try to be something you are not. Just be yourself with the kids, learn to laugh at yourself and realize each and every class will not go 100% as planned. Let go of your expectations.
- Make it Fun – Tweens are still kids and kids love nothing more than to have fun! I include games in all of my yoga classes and camps and the kids LOVE it. Playing games during yoga class helps to build confidence, build camaraderie between the kids and the games also work as a great icebreaker for larger groups or shy kids.
- Share – Tweens want to learn more about you. This helps them relate to you on a personal level. They begin to see you more as a person and less as a scary adult/teacher. Often times, I share stories with my tweens about my own kids. I’ll tell them funny things that have happened in our house or maybe a joke one of my kids told me, they love this! The kids will relax and share more if they relate to you.
Challenge Tweens to master difficult poses.
- Challenge Them – Tweens love a challenge, whether it’s mastering a difficult posture, winning a friendly tree pose competition to see who can hold the pose longest, or sharing about themselves. All challenges lead to growth, which helps to build confidence.
- Savasana – Tweens today are busy! Introduce your students to savasana during the first class. I love to watch the kids fidget and giggle and move around during their first experience with savasana….as the weeks go on, they get quieter and quieter and more and more still. They now ask for savasana in the beginning of class! Kids need time to unplug, relax, and be still. Be sure to offer them this time in each and every class.
These are a few of my top tips for teaching yoga to tweens. I hope you have found this interesting and helpful to you as you share yoga with your students.
Please share in the comments below any tips that you have for teaching tweens.
About the Author
After years of working with cancer patients, Maura Bradley was introduced to kids yoga while teaching at a summer camp for children affected by cancer. This was such an amazing experience Maura is completing her 95-hour children’s yoga teacher certification.
Maura has taught hundreds of children in weekly classes, summer camps and specialty workshops. Currently, Maura teaches kids & family yoga in a variety of studios and schools throughout Monmouth County, NJ.
The founder of Bee YOU Yoga for kids, located in Manasquan, NJ, Maura has completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training with YogaWorks, Levels 1 & 2 of Yoga for Cancer Teacher Training with Tari Prinster in New York City, and is currently completing her 95 Hour Childrens Yoga Teacher Certification with Little Flower Yoga.
Please be sure to like Bee You yoga on:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/YogaMaura
- Instagram @beeyou_kidsyoga
- and visit her website: www.beeyouyoga.com
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