Yoga for kids, teens & young people

Yoga butterflies

Sarah completed a Yoga Kids certified training course in 2009, and offers yoga sessions for children of all ages. Between 2011 and 2013 she worked as a kids yoga coach for Sports Academies at Brighton College during the school holidays. She currently runs a Yoga Butterflies after-school class at Brunswick Primary School, Hove, on Fridays, 3.15pm till 4.15pm for Reception, Y1,2,3 & 4. Do get in touch if your child goes to Brunswick and you would like to enrol in the after-school club:)

“The children love it! It is a great opportunity for children to receive expert tuition in yoga and breathing in a fun and calm environment. Sarah makes all lessons age specific, and we love having her as part of the team” Paul Clarke, Director, Sport Academies Ltd.

Kids yoga sessions are age-specific, with an emphasis on having fun through learning.
Yoga has a tremendous effect on children with special needs from autism (building connections, boosting self-esteem), to ADHD/ADD (exercises that promote focus, and relaxation for calm).

With the young ones (4-6) it’s about storytelling, as yoga comes alive through reading, and role-playing the characters in the books, for example, roaring loudly like a lion, taking Dusty the down-ward facing dog for a walk, stretching like Callie the cat, and taking an imaginary trip into space, or to the zoo.

For ages 7 upwards, the children experience strengthening yoga poses like the warrior, courageous poses like shoulderstand and balancing postures such as tree, eagle and flamingo which are performed in a flowing way, from one move to another, to music, and often as a game, like yoga musical statues. The various postures help build confidence, strength, focus, body awareness, and boost self-esteem, while the games encourage cooperation – taking an imaginary ride on the roller coaster boosts interpersonal skills, and rowing the boat in sequence helps with team-building.

Learning is great fun in yoga, visualising the diaphragm as an elevator going up and down as we breathe in and out, and pretending to fly around the world on an imaginary hot air balloon allows the children to learn about countries, nature and language, while exercising their bodies and having fun. And after lots of running around and movement the relaxation, positive affirmations, visualisations and breathing techniques refresh, renew and deeply relax the children.

Yoga for teens and young people

Between June 2010 and December 2013 Sarah led the ‘Chill Out’ activity for YMCA Central as part of Right Here, a £6m programme funded by the Paul Hamlyn & the Mental Health Foundation to improve the emotional well-being of 16-25 year old’s, leading students through flowing, easy-to-do movements (to music), yoga poses & sequences with different benefits such as postures to build courage, boost confidence, improve sleep, reduce anxiety/panic.

The evaluation forms and feedback sheets showed how greatly the Chill Out sessions benefited the students who reported positive shifts in their attitudes, feeling calmer and happier, improved sleep, better ability to deal with pressures/stress from bullying and exams – see some of the comments from the feedback forms, below.

Sarah continues to run sessions for young people in International Language Colleges, schools and private organisations, which include guided meditations, relaxation/breathing techniques, visualisations and positive affirmations to boost self esteem, courage and and set goals for events like passing exams and driving tests.

“It has helped me more than I can imagine, and has helped take away the physical and mental stress from my hectic daytime responsibility of caring for three family members”

“”I always feel really positive and capable afterwards”

“The chill out sessions have helped me keep balanced over a difficult period of intensive study”

“I liked that not only were we taught yoga postures but also provided with things to practice at home”

“The chill out sessions have helped me keep balanced over a difficult period of intensive study”

“The chill out course has helped me get through some very tough moments”

“The yoga was really relaxing and afterwards I found myself concentrating at college more easily”