Yoga helps children learn techniques for concentrating, reducing stress, and connecting to their bodies in a loving way while having fun. Yoga supports motor skills, language acquisition, and social-emotional development while helping children connect to their bodies in a loving way.
Classes for children ages 4-12 years incorporate age-appropriate poses, breathing, movement, games, music, and art. Classes often revolve around a philosophical theme and always include some form of quiet relaxation. These creative and fun classes encourage learning through social interaction, repetition, and play.
In this hybrid self-paced and live (in-person or zoom) Kids Teacher Training, Breathing Space founder Jen Mueller offers techniques for teaching child-friendly yoga philosophy, poses, breath work, concentration, relaxation, and mindful awareness practices, along with songs, stories, and games for you to offer in classes.
Breathing Space has specialized in teaching classes as an extracurricular activity in school, childcare, and community settings and as full-day camps in the racially, ethnically, and economically diverse Washington DC area. Our training features practical ways to implement positive classroom behavior expectations while honoring each child.
By completing the training and optional certification process, you will be prepared to offer group classes in multiple formats for children from 4-12 years or to incorporate yoga into your work with children in an educational setting. You can help children learn healthy habits and social-emotional skills that will last a lifetime.
Yoga & Child Development
Yoga appeals to the natural skills, abilities and interests of children as they explore their world, enhance their well-being, and develop body awareness, self-confidence, and language skills. You will deepen your understanding of child’s physical, cognitive, social, and verbal development as it relates to yoga for children from approximately 4-12 years.
Yoga Philosophy and Kids
First and foremost, Yoga is a philosophy for life. Every Breathing Space class has a philosophical theme as well as skills focus. We use inspirations from life, seasons, nature, stories, and from the ideas of our students to help students take yoga off the practice mat. Learn how to teach lessons that reinforce yogic values and build community among your students.
You will learn how to:
- properly teach and sequence dozens of age-appropriate poses, group activities, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques;
- use games, songs, rhymes and extension activities to keep children eager to participate in yoga;
- create a positive, non-competitive classroom environment;
- manage classroom behavior while nurturing self-respect, friendship and freedom of expression;
- personalize your classes around the unique personalities and needs of your students;
- explore yoga philosophy themes;
- Incorporate special activities and creative props to engage your students and enhance learning;
- share practical ways for families to incorporate yoga activities in their daily routines;
- tap your playful and creative side to build a weekly curriculum that keeps children and returning to class session after session!
Who Should Take This Training?
Anyone interested in offering an enriching experience and social-emotional skills for children. Activities are appropriate in groups, one-on-one, in education settings, and incorporated into family programming. The training is appropriate for yoga instructors, of course, but also educators and school-based professionals, medical professionals, physical, speech-language, or occupational therapists, family counselors, parent educators, and parents.
At least a year of personal yoga practice is recommended prior to taking this training. Certification requires demonstration of yoga postures, philosophy, and instruction principles. Participants who have not completed an adult yoga teacher training will need to complete and submit a yoga self-study exam ($25 fee) along with their certification packet (just once for any number of Breathing Space trainings). However, certification is not required and all are welcome to attend and benefit from the material.
Self-Paced and Experiential Learning
More than 12 hours of self-paced content includes child development information, several full-class videos of Jen teaching elementary school age yoga, lesson planning, sample class plans, video and photo resources for dozens of poses and activities, and more.
During our live workshop hours, we will thoroughly examine and practice the poses and class flows so you can embody the yoga you are teaching. We’ll also review and discuss the self-paced content. Completing the background modules in the self-paced content before the live workshop hours will ensure you get the most benefit from our time together.
After the live-workshop hours, additional self-paced modules and an optional certification process reinforces the training content and prepares you to share yoga with children in public classes, educational settings, or even one-on-one.
Registration costs $475 ($425 if you register more than 30 days prior) and includes:
- 12 hrs of live interactive training (usually over 2-days) with Jen Mueller, Breathing Space founder;
- 12 hrs of self-paced training modules;
- A printable 100+ page manual;
- Lifetime access to the online resources;
- A certification packet, which provides you with all the necessary tools you will need to become a certified Breathing Space Family Yoga instructor;
- A Breathing Space Family Yoga t-shirt.
All 2022 trainings are offered in a hybrid format, incorporating self-paced online material and live (in-person or zoom) workshops focused on experiential learning and practice teaching. In-person locations for live hours are listed below.
Because this training is held indoors for extended periods, we require in-person participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Please be prepared to show evidence of vaccination upon arrival. We will be following evolving public health guidelines for masking.
As of Oct 1, 2021, masks are required indoors for everyone in Washington DC, regardless of vaccination status with a few exceptions, including making presentations to a group. Your fully vaccinated trainer will unmask when presenting content from more than 6 feet away to improve auditory clarity both for participants in the room and those on Zoom. The trainer will mask whenever closer than 6 feet indoors such as when offering physical assists or in small group discussion. Questions?
About your Trainer
Jen Mueller (MPM, YA E-RYT 200, YA CRYT, CIEM, IBCLC) has been teaching yoga to families and children since 2008. She has trained with Budding Yogis, ChildLight Yoga, Itsy Bitsy Yoga, Cosmic Kids Yoga, Yoga 4 Classrooms, and YoKid to offer classes to families and children of all ages. Jen’s work with children inspired her to complete adult yoga teacher training at Willow Street Yoga in 2010 and train in Prenatal Yoga with Janice Clarfield (Urgan Yoga) and Jennifer More (Dolphin Method).
Before turning her attention to yoga full time by founding Breathing Space, Jen spent more than a decade working with non profit organizations in everything from daily operations, event and volunteer management, and finance to national policy advocacy and media relations. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Master in Public Management degree from the University of Maryland.
Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY). She was a children’s yoga teacher trainer with Childlight Yoga / Childight Education Company for 8 years and co-created their Yoga for Babies & Toddlers training. She is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) through Infant Massage USA and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Jen understands that good teachers are life-long students and has long worked to build professionalism within the children’s yoga field. Jen is the former executive director and emeritus board member of the National Kids Yoga Conference.