Often, people look at me with wide-eyes and wonder when I say I teach kids yoga. They say things like, “Wow! I don’t know how you do that!” or, “Where do you find that kind of energy?!” or, “How on earth do you get children to sit… still?!” And I just smile because I think to myself, “How I could I not do this work?”
Teaching children yoga – or anything else – and getting the opportunity to learn from them is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. Working alongside kids is one of the most rewarding, invigorating, and inspiring experiences. They remind you to be playful, to remain honest, and to stay curious. They encourage you to be unique, to take a chance, and to believe in yourself. Kids make me feel like I used to feel when I was a kid. And it is… beautiful.
When I found that I could merge two of my passions – yoga and working with kids – it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. Or a spark was ignited. The idea of bringing what I learn in yoga to our younger generation made me so happy. I think that if I had learned some of the tools and techniques that yoga practice provides me now, when I had been younger, I would’ve saved myself a lot of heartache, body-image distortion, and self-criticism. Yoga helps us use mindfulness, lightheartedness, acceptance, balance, breathing, and so much more to make this journey more bearable. In fact, more beautiful. It so happens that instilling these concepts in a child might help them on a path towards deeper self-understanding, stronger compassion and fuller awareness of themselves and their purpose in this world.
I get this big ol’ grin on my face when I think about the Kids Yoga Teacher Training Danielle Barbeau-Cook and I are blessed to facilitate at The River. This training is great on so many levels. Not only does it give us (yoga teachers, social workers, history teachers, parents… you name it, we’ve had such a wide array of amazing adults wanting to bring the gift and joy of yoga into children’s lives) specific strategies and steps to succeed in leading a kids yoga class – which, may I mind you, looks nothing like an adult yoga class 😉 – ; this training also helps rekindle your inner-kid spirit. It takes you away from the pressures of being a grown-up, from the to-do lists, the obligations, the responsibilities, and instead teaches you in a playful and experiential way.
We have found that the best way to teach adults how to teach kids, is to be like kids ourselves. We get on the ground and move around like animals, we sing songs and learn rhymes, we make art and jokes and share stories and share in each other’s gifts and vibrancies. Though you will leave training with 25 hours of base-understanding in a manual form, notes, “take-aways” and methods that truly work in facilitating great yoga classes (of all ages)… it will also give you a feeling of being recharged and zealous for this beautiful life you’ve been given and the newly-cultivated gift you have to share with the world.
So when people ask me these questions of how I do it, now you can smile too. And if you join our kids yoga teacher training, you might just “get it”. It will shift your perspective and bring you back to that inspired and uplifted place you were when you were six years old and sharing what you wanted to be when you grew up. Little did I know, that what I’d grow up to be, is exactly what I was all along…
Are you inspired to share yoga with the youngest generation? Learn more and register to take the Young Warriors Kid Yoga Teacher Training on February 27th & 28th here.
There is an info session with Samy THIS Monday, February 8th. Attendees are invited to attend the 5:30pm class for FREE and to bring their little yogis the the kid yoga class that runs in tandem.
About Samy Mattei:
Samy’s Teaching Style: Magnetic, Fun, Accessible, Encouraging, and ‘Magical’!
Sam is a people-loving person, energy magnet, and firm believer in human possibility, especially if the “spark” is created from the beginning. She loves facilitating children to see their own potential. Teaching yoga to kids felt like the perfect fit. She’s completed both a 250hr Axis Ashtanga interdisciplinary training and a 200-hour Power Vinyasa flow training, Mind Body Solutions Adaptive Yoga training in Minnesota, and The Young Warriors Teacher Training in 2013… she loves teaching yoga into teaching a wide range of different people. She sees yoga as a means to bring out the best in us, and let life unfold in its fullest form… and what better way, than from the bottom-up, with our littlest and brightest lights?
Samy’s deep commitment to making “yoga for everyone” led her to establish an Accessible Yoga class at the River for people with physical disabilities. And in 2014, she began co-leading Young Warriors kids yoga teacher trainings to facilitate bringing yoga into young people’s lives. She has firm faith that bringing yoga into children’s lives will make a world of difference for our future! She aspires to create an ever-growing world of inclusion, community, and wellness.