At the end of April 2016, over a long weekend in Brighton I became a Kid’s Yoga teacher through Luna Joy’s Yogadance® Kids training program. The program is an organization providing yogadance classes in schools, nurseries and the community and is associated with the YouthMindfulness Kids and the Yoga4Classrooms Programmes for Schools. This 3 Day Intensive Teacher Training Course is offered worldwide for yoga teachers, school teachers and all people and professionals whose work supports the well-being of children.
My teacher Luna Joy is a fully qualified Primary School Teacher (Mainstream and Steiner), a Kids Yoga Teacher, a 200hr Yoga Elder registered with IYN (Independent Yoga Network) and a fully trained VitalDanza® Facilitator for children and adults.
She trained to be a Kids Yoga Teacher with Dolfijn Wellness in Holland and three other Kids Yoga Trainings in the UK and Ireland.
She developed the Yogadance® Kids Teacher Training Course based on her 20 years of experience in working with children in all kinds of settings, as a Class Teacher, a Dance Teacher for Children/Adults, a Kids Yoga Teacher, and as a Project Manager and Educator working in a Social-Educational Project for children working in the streets in Nicaragua, Central America.
I thoroughly enjoyed this intensive training although it did come with it’s challenges. It is in trainings like this that you learn about parts of yourself you weren’t aware of and you find out what your teaching style and voice is. I realized that the story telling and teaching very little kids was extremely hard for me, perhaps because I am not a mother yet and so that “Mum voice” women use when telling a story just did not come natural to me. However, I relished in learning how to teach yoga to tweens (10-13) and loved that teaching older kids was more about acro-yoga partner games and yoga dancing than telling stories and using props so I knew straight away that this was the age group I wanted to teach and further fueled my desire to eventually do a teenager yoga teacher training and along the way continue learning about mental health, eating disorders and body dysmorphia so that I can show children (particularly tween girls) that they are beautiful and be a part of the fight against teenage depression, bullying and negative body image.
I have ideas already that incorporate belly dance, art making and even Indian head massage techniques with the yoga. How beautiful would it be if I not only performed Indian head massage on my pupils but showed them how to do it themselves so they can give their parents a head & shoulder massage? This would teach the kids kindness and empathy, don’t you think?
The great thing about this kids yoga teacher training was Luna’s free flowing style within a structure. Meaning, she gave us the bare bones framework of how to facilitate a class but encouraged us all to find out what kind of teachers we are. Some of us were naturals at story telling and using puppets and therefore couldnt wait to set up ‘Mum & toddler’ yoga groups, others who worked with children as support workers wanted to teach yoga to kids from turbulent homes, others wanted to reach out to kindergartens and a few like me wanted to teach older kids within community and educational settings.
Luna’s training gave me so much confidence in myself and life path. This is the beginning of greatness I, for a long time didn’t believe I had because it was knocked out of me by certain people through out my childhood and early adulthood, and now I can look to the future with hope and a courage that grows inside my heart every day like a little flame.
I am now creating new business cards, flyers and a website. I am also finally about to enroll on the Dance Therapy (theory) diploma which consists of six modules and if I do well and want to go on to do the practical side to this diploma I have to set up 12 one hour sessions teaching therapeutic dance movement lessons to kids in my local community who are perhaps underprivileged or struggling with mental health. This diploma will fit beautifully with my YogaDance qualification so I am very excited and eager to set up my own classes.
I am also willing to travel around the UK and abroad, my mum lives in Bulgaria so I am currently discussing the possibility of teaching out there. I have also lived & worked in Cyprus and I am in talk with a good friend of mine who runs BloomArt (which is a community school of theatre & music) to teach yoga to her pupils. As long as someone can host me (airport pick up/accommodation) and you believe your school, centre or organization would benefit from my skills lets organize a workshop together?
And with that, stay tuned for further updates and progress on my new found teaching qualification, watch out for more yoga related announcements coming soon!