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How To Write A Kids Yoga Lesson Plan: 5 Simple Steps

how to write a kids yoga session plan

With the rise in popularity in yoga for all ages, you might be looking for a kids yoga lesson plan to kick off a niche yoga class in your area. Step by step, we’ll take you through everything you’ll need to know to create a thorough plan for your next kids yoga class:

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Step 1 - Start A Kids Yoga Lesson With An Introduction

kids yoga lesson plan

First off, a yoga for kids lesson plan needs to begin with a friendly introduction. One key thing to keep in mind is that, for the entirety of this article, we refer to ‘kids’ as ages around 5-12 years old.

The goal of this is to set the mood for the incoming session, meaning it's time to speak to the kids and calm them down to match the energy of the yoga practice. You need to try to ease them into the session, not simply begin with a physical opening sequence.

This is a good time to establish some ground rules in how you are the teacher and ask kindly for the class to listen to you at all times. It is important to approach your class in the correct manner, for example, shouting to try to gain control is not the route you want to go down.

Instead, do the hard work beforehand so that, as soon as the kids enter the class, the process of bringing down the high energy to a more tranquil setting has begun. This includes things like:

  • Have calming music playing to set the tone
  • Have warm lighting (no colours)
  • Model the correct behaviour

These are simply settings to create for your class to enter into a class where they feel comfortable in mimicking the energy that has already been set around them. 

kids yoga class plan

This is also a good time to let them know about some rules of the class. This includes:

  • Where the bathroom is
  • Where to put their shoes
  • Where to keep their water bottles or belongings

Things like mats should already be set out prior to students entering the class to avoid any confusion about where they should lay their mat. 

All of these small tasks will help you when it comes to step 2, which is actually getting started with some movement.

Step 2 - Open Your Yoga Sequence With A Warm Welcome

yoga lesson plan for children

Step 2 is all about starting the physical part of the kids yoga class plan. 

Once your class has entered the room and have said their hellos to their friends, it’s time to get moving. So what are the best movements and ways to physically open a yoga sequence for kids?

First off, pay attention to who is in your class. For instance, if your class is predominantly younger children (say, 5 year olds), you’re going to naturally cater to that population a little more. 

On the other hand, if you’re teaching older kids (say, older than 10), you might want to treat them a little more maturely. 

Let’s break each of these age ranges down a little more, and explore a strategy for each.

Opening A Yoga Class For Younger Children

For age ranges of around 5-10 years old, gaining and keeping their attention is probably going to be a little more intense. That's why it might be a good idea to play a song that they know to make sure all eyes are on you.

The good news is that there is a huge library of songs designed for this exact scenario. For example, here is just a small snippet of the songs and music available for you on Spotify.

yoga sequence for kids

This can be a great way to get them engaged and ready for a positive experience. 

During this time, you could ease them into some simple stretches on the floor of the mat before moving onto the standing movements. Some starting poses that you could instruct are:

  • Child's pose
  • Happy baby 
  • Table top

These are good ground level poses that will help build up the transfer into the main body of the session, and the standing poses you’ll move onto.

Opening A Yoga Sessions Aimed Towards Older Children

Since in this scenario your class will be over a higher age range, you could actually incorporate some more advanced poses and sequences.

This doesn’t mean you’ll mimic a Hatha yoga session you’ll see for adults, but encouraging this transition into more age appropriate practice can really help their progress.

A good way to do this is with a ‘Sun Salutation’ sequence. This sequence is actually very simple and will often be the starting point of many regular yoga classes, so why not introduce it to your older kids' yoga lesson plan?

Below, you can see what the Sun Salutation consists of.

kids lesson plan for yoga

These are a set of interlinked poses so they don’t take long to perform. Something to remember when offering this to your class is you might want to slow it down much more than the regular speed. 

You can slowly instruct the movements one by one and reassure your class that this is advanced movement so whatever they’re capable of is impressive.

Be encouraging and kind, and ensure that you’re looking out for any students that need more help than others so you can assist them.

Step 3 - Use Creativity & Engagement To Progress Your Kids Yoga Class Sequence

example kids yoga sequence

Once you have perfected your children's yoga sequence opener, you can progress into the main body of the class itself and use bouts of creativity to keep your class engaged. 

You want to ensure that you don’t lose the essence of yoga practice by making the ambiance too energetic and exciting. You need to strike a balance between keeping it engaging but peaceful.

During the first half of the session, you should focus on trying to expend the energy through movement. This is so that the transition into the meditative latter half of the session is more effective.

Here are 3 tips on using creativity to make for a more enticing and enjoyable session.

#1 - Use A Story That Coincides With Particular Movements In Your Lesson Plan

kids yoga sequence

A good way to keep everyone not just engaged, but actually learning and progressing, is by using storytelling that coincides with certain poses. 

This practice makes it easier for younger learners to remember what they’re being taught and, in turn, helps them progress and get better week on week. This doesn’t have to be done in every session, but use your initiative to find where this is necessary.

To see this in action, take a look at this example from a yoga teacher who links her yoga poses with the book she’s reading. 

As you can see in this example, she uses the “bear” character to transition the class into a ‘bear pose’.

You could do classes specially dedicated to story telling for a younger audience, or if your class is looking unusually disengaged, it might help to have a story telling section in the session.

It keeps it exciting and imaginative for the kids and this is exactly the feelings of positivity you want to have in the studio.

#2 - Instructing Poses Gradually Is Essential In A Kids Yoga Lesson Plan 

yoga sequence for kids

Yoga is difficult, particularly when there are so many kinds of names for poses and such a huge variety of yoga styles. Thus, you should expect it to take time for kids to get to grips with how to learn the intricacy of yoga and remember them.

That being said, another important thing to remember with this is that you teach the correct poses for the right age group. 

Some poses are generally off limits due to their difficulty, but some are easily replicated for any age group but still need to be explained properly. 

While in a regular yoga class you would simply call out the name of the pose and coach by doing the movement yourself, you will need to put more thought and effort into doing the same for children.

For example, the tree pose, an easy pose that could come after your opening sequence. Though children may find it difficult to balance as easily as adults, giving them some tips on how to can be hugely beneficial for their engagement levels.

 

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Instead of simply saying Transition into the tree pose while demonstrating, you could say:

Next, we are going to go into the tree pose. So stand nice and tall and lift one leg off the ground. Be careful not to lose your balance! You might want to find a spot on the wall in front of you to help you stay balanced but don’t worry if you wobble.

As you can see, the language used is much more gentle, it gives encouragement while validating any fears of wobbling, and provides a solution

Keep this sort of language going throughout the session and you’ll keep a consistent good energy flowing.

#3 - Incorporate Different Poses Into A Game To Keep Kids Yoga Entertaining

children's yoga sequence

Finally, another tip when teaching kids yoga is using games. However, you must choose your times to implement this wisely. 

A popular kids game is the infamous musical statues, which can actually become hugely accommodating when it comes to teaching the ways of yoga. So how could you implement this for your class?

As you’re aware, there are different styles of yoga, though you’re not going to be advancing any children onto an intricate yoga class, you might find it useful for their progress to introduce poses from different kinds of styles.

One example is yin yoga, a style that typically requires longer holding times than others. Using a game into this introduction of a new style could help demonstrate this more memorably.

For example, the Cobra pose is often used in a Yin class and is certainly suitable for children since it's floor based and doesn’t demand much from the body. 

children's yoga sequence

You could use relaxing music and pause the music when you want the class to hold the pose.

This gives them the indication that they should hold while the music is off and relax again when the music is on (just like musical statues!). You don’t have to push them to their limits, but it is a good way of introducing the principles of different yoga types for their future progress.

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For more helpful resources on leading yoga sessions for children, check out these articles

Step 4 - Introduce Elements Of Meditation Into Your Kids Yoga Class Plan

examples of a children's yoga sequence

Next, as you’re in the latter half of your yoga lesson plan for children, you’re going to need to start toning down the energy even further so that they can prepare for some meditative practice.

Calming children down if they’re happy and excited could be a challenge. The key thing to do is to let them calm in their own time. 

Don’t force it upon them - let them follow the lead of their class when they’re ready. For instance, you could start with a yoga class ending sounding something like this:

Now, we're going to slow down and lie down comfortably on the mat. You can lie however feels comfortable for you, but I like to go on my back and face the ceiling.

We are going to do some breathing exercises. These will make us feel relaxed and ready for bedtime.

With this sort of language, you’re associating the feelings that they are going to feel with a familiarity that they already know, like bedtime. 

breathing exercises for kids yoga

This will really reinforce the purpose of yoga, which is to take energy levels down and find a more tranquil and peaceful place within. This can be hugely beneficial for young kids as it can help life at home when it comes to calming kids down.

You will just be instructing very simple pranayama and breathing techniques. You want to ensure that you lead by example and make it as clear as possible. 

Here is an example of how to be extra clear when directing meditation.

First we are going to relax on our mat, lie down and release all of your muscles. Then, take any one of your hands and rest it on your tummy like this. *do the movement*

Then take a really deep breath in for 1..2..3..4. Now we are going to hold our breath like this just like we’re underwater and remember to breathe out whenever you like, so now everyone breathes out and relax…how does that feel everybody?

As you can see there are some staple features here to take note of, including:

  • Leading with demonstration
  • Talking them through each step
  • Asking for feedback and clarification

Again, gauge how long it is sensible for you to ask the children to hold their breath and ensure you tell them they don’t have to push themselves. They of course aren't expected to take part in the same advancement level of pranayama for adults.

 

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Get industry-ready with a level 3 diploma in yoga instructing here at OriGym!

Step 5 - Close Out Your Kids Yoga Sequence Effectively

best breathing exercises for kids yoga

Finally, it is time to close out your kids yoga sequence with a calming and effective ending. 

Below, you can find the benefits of a good and well thought out ending and also some ways to actually put it in place.

The Benefits Of Conducting An Effective Kids' Yoga Closing Sequence

#1 - The Kids Will Leave Your Yoga Class Calmy & Safely

breathing exercises for a kids yoga class

You want your students to leave their class feeling calm and happy and excited to tell their parents all about their new hobby!

After a journey of emotions and taking part in what is likely a new experience to them, they’re going to have so many different feelings running through their minds. 

Closing out your class with just a couple of minutes of activity can help to round off the session and avoid a sudden end which could somewhat confuse your class.

Ultimately, you want a smooth transition from your class, to handing over the kids to their parents or guardians. 

The last thing you want is your class running out with no organisation. You will be responsible for ensuring a safe exit so a well organised close out can be incredibly helpful. 

#2 - Ending Your Kids Yoga Class Properly Rounds Out A Positive Overall Experience

children's yoga class plan

One of the main differences between a kids yoga lesson plan and a regular one is that you might have to put more effort into teaching the purpose of yoga to ensure they’re progressing week on week.

It doesn’t have to be a lecture on the history of yoga, but you should be focusing on how it is a practice to increase positivity and to take this into their everyday life. 

This is a big life lesson to learn and, over time, the children can be taught to become kinder, more thoughtful and to think about their feelings. 

We’d suggest closing out your session with a positive ending like a “om shanti, shanti, shanti” meaning peace, peace, peace. 

You could teach one of these at the end of each lesson, building a little library in their memory of various positive mantras that they can tell their parents after their class.

#3 - You Can Ask Students To Store Away Equipment After The Kids' Yoga Session

children's yoga class lesson plan

Giving the kids a little responsibility can be beneficial for their progress.

You could have designated equipment officers that change every week, so every child gets the opportunity to experience some feelings of responsibility. 

This not only teaches them how to help and to be polite to finish off the class, but it gives them a chance at the end to socialise with their friends and ask them if they liked the class.

We’re sure that parents are probably going to appreciate these little life lessons embedded into the class too so that they can embed this into their everyday life at home!

#4 - A Closing Sequence In Kids Yoga Provides Time For Reflection 

children's yoga class lesson plans

Finally, closing out your kids yoga lesson plan provides a vital time period for reflection. 

This can either be between the class or on their own, and you can give them the freedom to choose. For example, you may want a couple of minutes at the end of the session to ask:

“What was your favourite part about today? Either ask your classmates, tell me or just think about it on your own”

A key component of yoga practice is learning to look within, by allowing time for this reflection, you’re teaching them ways from a young age to handle their emotions and to address them. 

They don’t have to be deep emotions, but just the mechanism of thinking about emotion without being distracted can be a really beneficial thing for them to learn, and take into everyday life.

Before You Go!

With our help, you can feel confident in putting together a yoga for kids session plan. It can be a hugely rewarding position to be in catering for little ones, so why not start offering it in your area? 

If you’re ready for that step, completing OriGym’s recognised Level 3 diploma in yoga instructing is the first step on your journey to a rewarding and prosperous career.

Find this and many other health and fitness courses here in our downloadable course prospectus.

Written by Kimberley Mitchell

Editor

Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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