Are you interested in teaching yoga to kids, but don’t know where to start?

Have you tried teaching kids yoga a few times and it went ok but not great?

Finished your teacher training for adults but really you just want to hang with kids?

Do you have a child at home who could really benefit from the calm-down practices of yoga?

Teaching kids yoga is not easy, but it sure is fun and beneficial for kids AND their adults.

Getting started with teaching yoga to kids is simpler than you think, but there are some important tips to remember.

top tips and tricks for teaching kids yoga, how to teach yoga for kids, teaching yoga to children, kids yoga pose

Establish Ground Rules (or Mat Rules)

No matter where you are, classroom or living room, studio or gymnasium, kids need ground rules. Kids do better and feel more comfortable when they know the boundaries.

These are some simple rules I use in my classroom:

  • Stay on Your Mat
  • Keep Your Mat on the Floor
  • Respect the Speaker
  • Be Safe
  • Be Kind to Yourself and Others

Consider child development

Think about age-appropriate games and stories.  A three-year-old can copy basic shapes and poses, but will not be great at balancing or taking verbal cues. 

A five-year-old loves to play and imagine and create, but probably won’t know left vs right or care about how their abdomen strength keeps them from slouching.

Check out this DETAILED post on how to teach yoga to babies, toddlers, 4-6 yr olds, 7-8 yr olds, 9-11 yr olds, and 12 and up:

how to teach kids yoga, yoga for toddlers, yoga for elementary

Practice yoga WITH your kids

Kids like to copy movements that they see you doing, and usually NEED to, in order to learn poses the right way!  No matter what age, kiddos love doing what the grown-up is doing.

It’s impossible for me to have 100% engagement in my classes if I’m just standing there barking orders at them.  They do so much better when you are talking them through the poses and showing them at the same time.

Get some great music going to motivate yourself, and make sure you are wearing comfortable and appropriate clothing.

Use visuals like yoga pose cards

I definitely couldn’t teach yoga to kids without visual representations of the poses in the form of cards.  Partly because it keeps kids engaged, partly because sometimes I’m too tired to do all the poses with them for the whole day.

Also, kids are super excited to play with the yoga cards on their own and having them as a resource gives kiddos autonomy, which they need!

My favorite decks of cards are reviewed here in this post and also listed below! 

It can also be helpful to create your own visual posters of the expectations in your classroom or studio, written in nice bold letters and with little pictures to show the rules.

I work at a school where 90% of my students are English Language Learners, so visuals are imperative. It’s super helpful to refer back to in times of a bit more chaos.

Check out this digital set of 30 beautiful kids yoga cards in the Kids Yoga Flow.

You can print them and laminate for use on your computer or put them into slideshows or PowerPoint presentations!

yoga flow poses for kids

Let literacy be a part of the yoga practice

My school is hugely focused on literacy for our students, especially with so many kids learning English.  In order to help out our kiddos, I do lots of reading with the kiddos, and I weave Yoga in wherever I can.

Also, kids just LOVE hearing stories! And if you don't yet feel comfortable making one up, use a published book first 😉

Here are some books that I have easily adapted to teaching kids yoga:

You can also choose a favorite book or fairytale and “act out” the story, adding poses wherever you can. This works better for kids age 7+, who are a bit better at naming points on a plot line.

There are also tons of kids yoga books that have become popular in the last few years! Check out my favorites here:

the best kids yoga books, adorable books to teach kids yoga

Loosely follow the structure of a traditional yoga sequence

It's a good idea to structure your class with a “hill” format in terms of energy use. Start slow, build up to a peak, then come back down to calmer levels.

Some classes may need a higher energy activity right away, depending on the time of day you see them or what they were doing before they have class.

Use a yoga sequence to help warm them up and use energy right away, usually within the first few minutes. This mini spike in movement should help balance out the energy of all kiddos, no matter how they are feeling

Here is the exact yoga sequence I use with my kiddos called a Yoga Flow. Check out the teaching tips and flow images here!!

Here is a good outline for a yoga class with kids ages 4-12:

  1. A grounding in pose (child’s pose or butterfly)
  2. Breathing activity
  3. Warm up actions or a Yoga Flow
  4. A game, story, or activity
  5. Balancing poses
  6. Cool down poses or a song (reclining or forward folding)
  7. Savasana (resting pose)
students sitting on mats facing yoga teacher, sitting in easy seated yoga pose with hands in a mindfulness mudra on knees

Use breathing techniques to start and finish

As noted in the class structure above, it's a good idea to use breathing activities at the beginning of class. This helps to center them and get them ready to focus.  Then at the end, you can cue calming breaths during the resting pose (savasana).

I let my kiddos have a Beanie Baby stuffed animal to put on their tummy during savasana. This helps them notice if they are using belly breaths to calm their brains and bodies.

Check out these 14 Clever Ways to Breathe with Your Kids to Calm Down.

Also, download cute visuals of these techniques from my Free Resources Library!

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    Thanks for reading these tips and tricks to teach kids yoga!

    I hope you are inspired to get out there and teach your first classes or to continue teaching with some fresh ideas and perspectives.

    Please comment or ask questions below 🙂


    1. Thank you so much for these tips! I start teaching kids yoga in a few weeks and your tips and website have helped me feel more prepared

      1. You are welcome, Sara! I’m glad you are feeling prepared to starting teaching kids yoga! Good luck and let me know what else you need 🙂

    2. You have done such an amazing job putting information together. I have been toying with the idea of teaching kids yoga and I am get more excited about it when I read your blog. Thank you for taking your time to do this.

      1. Thank you, Mica! I’m glad to hear it has been helpful to you, and I hope you are inspired to start teaching yoga to kids soon! It’s so great for them, and it’s the best career move I ever made 🙂 Good luck to yoU!

      2. Thank you, Mica! I’m so happy to hear find everything useful. I hope it inspires you enough to start teaching yoga to kids soon! It’s so good for them, and it’s the best career move I’ve ever made 🙂

    3. These tips are really helpful and I love the beanie baby breathing idea! I’m going to see if my parents have any beanie babies lying around their house from our childhood and try that! A big question I have is how to implement more difficult poses into the class if that’s what the kids want to do?

      1. Hey Savannah!
        Yes, using Beanie Babies was a genius idea I had that led to a lot of successful calming and relaxing time with the kiddos. Plus, it felt like I was bringing back a part of my childhood to share with my kids and that’s always nice!

        For more difficult yoga poses, I always tried my best to give them time to try them out after I show them first. I didn’t let them try things I couldn’t do myself unless they did it successfully first (i.e. I have had some kids who could do headstands). Since I have my 200hr teacher training I knew the best poses to start with for leading up to trickier poses, so that helped, too. No matter what, always make sure to reinforce safe positioning and building strength to keep yourself safe while trying trickier poses. You have to walk before you can run is what I say to eager kids.. use a growth mindset to build up to poses that are more challenging and always have an adult to help with balance poses if needed!

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