Q & A With A Children’s Yoga Teacher Trainer
Here’s Melissa Curtis talking about what inspired her to become a children’s yoga teacher, why she loves yoga and much, much more.
How did you start teaching children’s yoga?
I started teaching children’s yoga as soon as my first child (who is now nearly 11) was able to walk and was interested in what her Mum was doing on a yoga mat. After my second child was born I took myself to a children’s’ yoga teacher training course which inspired me to start teaching children’s yoga regularly. I have taught in parents houses, schools, sports days, youth clubs, parks and studios.
What are the benefits for those who start Children’s yoga teacher training?
Firstly its great fun and you certainly will find your inner child whilst hopping around in monkey pose or swopping through imaginary trees in bird pose! I remember being quite worried before I trained that I didn’t have much of an imagination but it’s amazing how it all comes back.
I think the best benefit as a mother was learning all the breathing, relaxation and mindfulness techniques as I really do incorporate them into our daily family life.
From a teacher’s perspective, just becoming a kids yoga teacher, it opened up so many doors to another career. You can take children’s yoga anywhere and as I said earlier, I have taught in all sorts of locations, so you are not just confined to teaching in one place.
At the end of each training course, all the trainees tell me that the course has changed their lives for the better. Whether it’s a mother learning new techniques for her child with additional needs or a primary or secondary teacher, we have even had a few school principles join the training, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, children’s nurses, special needs assistants trying to learn a skill to benefit their profession. There really is beneficially lessons for anyone who comes along.
Q: With all your years of experience as a teacher, can I get a great tip for new teachers?
Have fun! As soon as the class is dragging you down, take a break. Even if it’s only for one or two classes. I am just back from a weeks break from teaching and I feel completely refreshed and can’t wait to get back to it.
Also, you will learn so much from your students, I cannot emphasise this enough. Some of my best ideas have come to mind in the midst of teaching a class full of kids as their imaginations are so much more colourful than us adults.
I love to ask the kids what they would like to do and just take it from there. Having an idea of a story theme or sequence of poses you would like to teach is helpful but try to let go of things going to plan as they rarely do!
Q: What do you love most about teaching children’s yoga?
The most rewarding thing is when parents come up to me and tell me how children’s yoga has changed their child’s challenging behaviour, anxiety levels, body image or sleep issues. Sometimes parents may tell me of the yoga their little one is now teaching them at home. To think that what they have learnt in class inspired them to show their family at home makes my heart smile.
I also love to listen to the kids when they are involved in telling a yoga story as I learn so much from their imagination or how their body felt after the yoga or relaxation. Each child is so unique which means that all their explanations are so different and sometimes hilarious!
The elbowroom prides itself in offering the most comprehensive children’s yoga teacher training course in Ireland. We are accepting applications for our upcoming course starting February 2018. For more information about how to become a children’s yoga teacher trainer contact training@the-elbowroom or call 01-6779859.