Om Schooled Teachers' Lounge

TEACHERS' LOUNGE

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Drawbridge and Boat!  At OM Schooled Summer Teacher Training in NYC (held at Yogavida SOHO)

Drawbridge and Boat!  At OM Schooled Summer Teacher Training in NYC (held at Yogavida SOHO)

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from the December NYC OM Schooled teacher training!  linking our twists to go further w/ friends….forming a necklace. :)

from the December NYC OM Schooled teacher training!  linking our twists to go further w/ friends….forming a necklace. :)

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Lessons from my Students -by Becca


There are so many things I’ve been learning from my students!  As I teach them, they are teaching me.

Fearlessness and Harmony:

My 5-8 year-old students love practicing inversions… Handstands! Headstands! You name it, they want to learn it. They can barely wait for me to explain the poses to them before they fly their legs up in the air or on the wall. It is amazing to see such fearlessness in them. I envy their ability to trust the ground beneath them, and to trust their own bodies in order to kick up into handstands. Little do they know, they are teaching me a great deal. One day, after chanting a few OMs, I asked the little ones what they thought the word meant. One extremely bright yogi said Harmony. His answer allowed me to better explain the meaning of the word in a way that they could grasp. I basically told them that OM is the sound of the whole entire world, and chanting OM brings everyone in the whole entire world in harmony with each other, and connects everyone together.

Chakras, and taking the moment to teach:

During another class, I taught a girl with some developmental disabilities. It was a private class so I was lucky enough to be able to practice some partner poses with her. She especially loved Seesaw, whereby we sat back to back and took turns forward folding while the other person leaned back to allow the other person to deepen into their forward fold. Later on, she noticed a picture of the Chakras on the wall. She was so curious about all of the different Chakras and their meanings and she begged me to explain to her what they meant. I hadn’t planned on teaching her the Chakras, but it seemed to be a perfect opportunity to share one of my favorite things with her! I explained to her the different Chakras, or main energy centers along the center of the body, and their meanings, and the colors associated with them. We began with the 1st Chakra and worked our way up to the 7th Chakra, stopping after I explained every Chakra to practice a song, pose, or breathing technique associated with the Chakra. I was so, so glad to have been able to share this with her! She even told me at the end that she thinks her 1st Chakra is blocked and that she wants to get more rooted! 

Sattvic amid chaos:

Today, during one one of my classes, I taught Tree pose, and one of my students always closes his eyes while practicing the pose. While the other kids were practically flailing about, he stood there, literally as strong as a tree, with his eyes closed. It was amazing to watch. The same boy, at the beginning of every class, always looks so peaceful with his eyes closed when we practice our breathing. Most of the other students ALWAYS peak, but he keeps his eyes squeezed tight. He inspires me to be more sattvic, or peaceful.

I can go on for hours about all of the things I have learned from my little yogis, but there is more to come!

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Teaching 6 Kids Classes in a Row! And What I Learned…. - by Liz

 When I heard of an opportunity to sub for some preschool yoga classes I jumped in and learned the morning of that I would be teaching 6 back-to-back classes for ages one-and-a-half to five. Here are some big things I learned from little yogis: 

1) Plan. I am so glad I had a lesson plan. Having prepared as best I could for the classes made me a more confident, more focused teacher.

2) Forget the plan! Little yogis do not care how much time you’ve spent preparing a lesson. Maybe you thought you were teaching Tree Pose that day, but if the five-year-olds in front of you won’t stop talking about how some of them are going to Disney World they will have way more fun inventing Mickey Mouse pose and you will have a much easier time engaging your class. 

3) Animal sounds. Let them go on and on because they are a HIT with preschoolers!

4) Savasana Tests! I used Sarah’s “Noodle Test” technique with everyone. I was surprised to see that kids have a really hard time letting go of their muscles, and by coming over to each child individually and seeing how noodle-y their legs were I was able to help them actually relax. 

5) Singing is magical. I have never seen wider eyes on two-year-olds than when sitting in front of them singing the namaste song. Suddenly, I was a rockstar and I had yoga groupies trying to follow me out the door!

The biggest surprise to me was how resistant kids were to singing along with me. My singing was immediately captivating to them but they didn’t get the repeat-after-me thing right away, and some of them wouldn’t even try. I’m not sure if this is a reflection on the preschool itself or just a general trend away from singing in the classroom, but help keep singing alive, teachers! It is a beautiful way to reach your students. Has anyone else experienced that with kids yoga? It really came as a shock to me! 

Namaste, Om Schoolers :)

-Liz is a graduate of Three Sisters Yoga and OM Schooled.  You can find her at: www.lizdoesyoga.wordpress.com