How To Integrate Miss Molly In Your Kids Yoga Class
As a classroom teacher and children’s yoga teacher I know how valuable and engaging a teaching tool can be. I quickly fell in love with Miss Molly Myga and her accompanying card deck when I had the privilege of sharing her with the young Yogis at Om Yoga Show London. As well as children, a number of fellow children’s yoga teachers came to my class to see how I used Molly and I thought it would be helpful to share some of my ideas in case they help you to share yoga with the children in your life. I’d love to hear any of your ideas as well so please do leave a comment or send me an email/dm with any of your ideas. I’m on a mission to enable every child to have access to the benefits of yoga and Molly is a fantastic tool for introducing yoga both in specialised children’s yoga classes but also at home.
Molly is a great tool to demonstrate the poses with. Children’s yoga teachers know that many children struggle to compute verbal cues into their body movements. With Molly, the children can put her into the pose or direct you to. By noticing that Molly needs to lift up her leg or turn out her toes, the children are able to bring focus to those movements in their own bodies. Children enjoy being given one of Molly’s pose cards (perhaps they can find a card hidden under their mat or hunt around the studio for cards) and then they can put Molly into the pose and then bring themselves into the same position. The older children I teach, enjoy designing their own flows and incorporating Molly into their flow adds extra challenge - can they balance her on their back in Warrior 3 or on their feet while they rest in feet up the wall pose?
Something which sets Molly apart is her beautiful accompanying card deck. Great for children to play with and learn from, but also a super tool for planning your lessons. When planning my class at Om Show I throughly enjoyed reading Molly’s cards and incorporating her favourite games into my class. I also love how educational the cards are, teaching about the chakras, the roots of yogic words such as Namaste and giving lots of ideas for being mindful. Unfortunately, children’s yoga sometimes moves far away from yoga philosophy and roots and it’s something I try to rectify in my classes. While we want yoga to be fun, children are usually fascinated by yoga transitions and the cards make this kind of learning fun, bite sized and accessible.
Have you ever had a class which has got out of control, you’re struggling to bring the children back to the mat after a game or everyone is busy chatting rather than engaging? I think we have all had one at some point! I love using Molly as an extra behaviour management tool in class. We can all do a “shhhh” breath or listen carefully to hear what Molly has to say. Molly can be passed around the group and the child holding her can speak or each child can write a secret message or worry to give to Molly. Molly can also be watching all class to find her “yoga star” of the week. Molly is very engaging and I found the children loved giving her a cuddle. She is great for encouraging shy children to settle onto the mat at the start of class and also useful for calming more excitable members of your class. I had the privilege of teaching classes with enough Mollies for each child but you only need one to engage your class.
Molly comes with some breathing techniques, my favourite of which, is the Molly breath. Laying with Molly on their tummies children take a deep belly breath and watch or feel Molly rise and fall with their breath. I love anything that makes the breath visual. This is a lovely breath to enjoy right before children go to bed to help them sleep, and they could even snuggle up with Molly afterwards.
I hope some of these ideas help you incorporate Molly into your yoga classes or family time, I’d love to know how you get on. You can find more inspiration for your yoga classes on my website and on my social media.
Victoria Tso is a specialist children’s yoga teacher, experienced classroom teacher and the founder of Inner Child Yoga School. She is on a mission to make children’s yoga accessible to all children and has designed online yoga programs to help children build their attention spans through yoga and journaling and has created resources to help teachers share yoga in their schools.
Find out more on her website www.innerchildyogaschool.com or follow her on social media @inner_child_yoga_school
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