The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast
111: Teaching Children's Yoga with Shakta Khalsa
Have you ever shared yoga with children? If you have, you might have realized that teaching yoga to adults, and sharing yoga with a room full of children are completely different. Shakta Khalsa is a leading expert on children and yoga, and on this episode the “fairy godmother” of children’s yoga shares tips and strategies for teaching children’s yoga more effectively.
Shakta is the Founder and Director of Radiant Child® Yoga, an internationally-known training program for teaching children’s yoga and working with children consciously. She is a parent, Montessori educator and a yoga professional recognized by Yoga Journal magazine as one of the top five Kundalini Yoga teachers in the world. She has also authored multiple books, and produced albums and award-winning DVDs
On this episode Shakta shares her journey to yoga through Kundalini yoga, and explains how that formed the basis for her to start sharing yoga with children. She explains the differences between teaching yoga to adults vs children, as well as her unique strategies and tips for working with children. She reveals the inspiration behind some of her books, shares tips on how you can go about writing your own book, and talks about her own challenges in running and scaling a yoga business.
If you are involved in children’s yoga in any form or fashion, or if you need some tips on running and scaling a yoga business, or if you need inspiration to write a book, you will surely get lots of great nuggets of wisdom from this interview with Shakta.
[3:47] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Shakta Khalsa.
[5:55] Shakta shares the experience of her first yoga class in 1972.
[7:39] Who was Shakta's first Kundalini yoga teacher?
[9:11] What was Shakta's journey of becoming a yoga teacher?
[11:52] What did Shakta's friends and family think when she went down the path of being a yoga teacher?
[13:51] Shakta was also a Montessori teacher. She explains how she realized she should be sharing yoga with children.
[18:31] Shannon and Shakta discuss how to share yoga with children - what works with adults, doesn't work with children!
[19:42] What is the basis for the book Fly like a Butterfly?
[22:45] Shakta explains how she uses yoga to control the class when sharing children's yoga.
[24:48] How does relaxation in a children’s yoga class, for example, look different from the adult Savasana?
[27:18] What made Shakta think that children can begin yoga?
[30:08] When children go through a phase of resisting yoga, Shakta has a set of yoga warrior cards she uses.
[31:44] What are some of Shakta's biggest tips for teaching children's yoga?
[35:08] What are some things to consider when deciding which children's yoga teacher training to take?
[38:23] Shakta teaches a 200-hour Radiant Child Family. She explains more about the course.
[40:45] What is Shakta's advice for someone who is struggling with mindset issues around treating yoga as a business?
[45:17] What has Shakta learned about marketing and scaling up her yoga business?
[50:41] What helps Shakta to write a book?
[57:42] Learn more about Shakta's work and check out her training sessions on her website.
[58:36] Leave a comment to stand a chance to win Shakta's book or the Yoga Warrior Cards.
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Quotes from this episode:
"I don't know any paths of yoga that had a formal teacher training like that. It was basically you lived your yoga."
"The yoga that [the child] had been doing for those five years, that that yoga was the crowning glory of her Montessori time."
"For [the children], it's just fun. But they're using all the yoga tools."
"We use the yoga to control the class."
"You can try to stop a rushing river, but you aren't going to stop the rushing river very easily, so why not go with the flow of it?"
"How do you playfully, and still honoring the child's desire to move their bodies and be joyful, how do you take that enthusiasm and then organize it and we do that all through the yoga."
"When you start early, [yoga meditation] is just as normal as brushing your teeth every morning. It just becomes normal."
"It's important to have form to it, structure and form, and then bring in the fun element as well."
"Inspiration, information - those two things together make a really good book."