Virtual Kids Yoga: Staying motivated as an instructor & inspiring your yogis to show up

Around the globe, life came to a halting stop in February and March. Depending on where you live, you’ve been in lockdown, social distancing and most likely teaching your kids yoga classes virtually for at least three months. In the beginning, there was some excitement surrounding this new way to deliver your classes, to reach more kids in the comfort and safety of their homes, during a time when they needed the practice of yoga and mediation the most. Now, almost 100 days later, you and your little yogis may be feeling a bit burnt out, disengaged and disconnected.

For many of us, this form of delivery will continue into the fall (at least) either by choice or by force. Studios are not able to open to full capacity yet in many areas, schools are not allowing after school activities or ‘outsiders’ into their buildings and some families are making the personal choice to continue to social distance.

With this in mind, the questions arise: How do I stay motivated teaching kids yoga from behind my screen? As summer continues, and kids begin to tune out, how do I inspire my students to continue to sign up and attend my classes?

Kids have been Zoom-ing everything — school, dance class, music class, church, you name it. They miss their friends and their routines. In order to keep them interested and engaged, you may need to pull some new tricks out of your ‘bag of tricks’! Here are some ideas of ways to engage and excite your little yogis:

        • Use class themes to your advantage! Surprise them each class to build excitement and give hints throughout the week on your social media leading up to the class! You might choose a student at the end of each class to pick the theme for the following class. Or, when you begin a series, take a ‘vote’ on the themes for each class in the series.
        • Foster a sense of community among your students! Students will feel more engaged in your class if they feel they are part of the larger group. Create a hashtag that students can use to communicate and connect during and outside the class. This will work best with the older kids!
        • Focus on creating short, captivating classes! Just like you, they’ve been online for many, many months and they’re tired! You can deliver the same amazing class in 30 minutes!
        • Solicit feedback! If you want to know if your students feel engaged and are grasping the material, why not just ask? 

More importantly, kids feel your energy so it’s important that you’re feeling energized and inspired for each class. Here are some ways to keep yourself motivated:

        • Take care of your physical and mental health! Eat well and go for short walks on your breaks if you’re teaching multiple classes. Exercise. Socialize. Find joy in this format (even if you have to dig real deep!). Meditate and be mindful. 
        • Expand your learning horizons! Updating your skills and knowledge in different ways can give you a breath of fresh air. Learn and teach a new yoga pose or sequence. Dive into yoga philosophy. Check out our list of KAY online courses!
        • Break free of the plan! Try a totally new approach to escape from boredom. Maybe teach your class backward, starting with Secret Garden (a guided meditation). Your students need variety and challenge as much as you do.
        • Love it or leave it! If virtual is not for you, is there another way for you to deliver your classes that feel more comfortable for you? Maybe pre-record your classes and set up a YouTube channel, rather than teach live classes. 
        • Connect if you’re feeling disconnected! There’s something to be said for not being in the room with your yogis. It’s possible you may not even make eye contact with them in the virtual setting. Find a way to get to know more about your students and form a connection!

Like what you read here? There’s so much MORE to explore and learn with Kidding Around Yoga. Check out our website for our live and online teacher trainings, Yoga Alliance-approved 95-hour RCYT trainings, specialty online courses, original music, merchandise, and SO MUCH MORE!