Teaching Children ESL through Yoga

4 Sep

I’m so excited to have the opportunity of bringing together two of my interests, yoga and teaching, this September here in Seoul.  I will be teaching children English Yoga at a studio not far from our villa in Hwagok-Dong.  Actually, it’s my husband’s new Fitness Studio – very exciting!

So, here I am preparing lesson plans for these English Kids Yoga classes that will integrate functional English vocabulary, conversational English skills, relaxation, enjoyment, and a breath of light into world of yoga poses and philosophies.

I thought I would share some of the online resources I’ve come across in my preparations and research:

Prep & Lesson Planning for Teaching Kids Yoga:

General Yoga Resources I Refer to:

  • Teaching Yoga by Mark Stephens
  • Light on Life – B.K.S. Iyengar:  Great for intricate knowledge into correct positioning and the yogic lifestyle (in other words, not eating a cookie while I write this^^).
  • Yoga Journal : Nothing beats sitting down with a copy of this magazine and a pot of herbal tea!
If you teach yoga for children, ESL or otherwise, please leave a comment and tell me about your classes!  I’d love to see your blog or website!  Thanks, and …. namaste.

8 Responses to “Teaching Children ESL through Yoga”

  1. Donna Freeman September 5, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    So glad you are enjoying and using the resources on YogaInMySchool. I taught English in Taiwan and Japan for a total of 4 years. Loved it. I’m sure your students will flourish in your ESL yoga classes, learning both the language and yoga skills quickly and having fun while doing it. Enjoy!

    • JenniferTeacher September 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

      Thanks for your comment, Donna. I’m always happy to share resources that I feel are helpful to others, including yours at YogaInMySchool. I’m really looking forward to teaching ESL through yoga, growing professionally, and continuing to love my job! Teaching ESL is so very rewarding, isn’t it? 🙂

  2. Alen May 22, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Hi, I’m an ESL teacher in Seoul and I have tried many different type of methods to teach English to kids and I love working with kids as long there is no book involved. I tried 2 months esl through “project based learning” with 8 years old kids and they just loved it.

    Now as I love my self yoga I’m looking to teach En through yoga and gladly I come across your blog. Thanks for sharing all this sources I know some of them but not all of them.

    I don’t have any studio where I could teach so I’m thinking to find some kindergartens who are interested in my program.
    I’m wondering how was the respond to your program? Are u still teaching yoga to kids? Do you have any helpful tips for me?

    Happiness and love

    • JenniferTeacher May 22, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      Hi Alen,

      Namaste. Yes, I’m still teaching ESL through Yoga once a week at our English Kids Gym, and it’s going really, really well.

      As for learning English with yoga, because I have true beginners, it was a lot of vocabulary and repetition at first. I also adjusted some of the pose names to make it more descriptive and visual for them. I used sound effects to get them involved – barking in down dog for example and hissing in cobra… But now, they are helping to design and create new poses and creating words for them, they’re starting to describe their movements and feelings during poses.

      THINGS THEY LOVE: They love trying to do letters from the alphabet with a partner by shaping their bodies. They seem to really love the poses where they can work with a partner. So, I do a connected tree pose for example. They also love to imitate growing from a seed into a flower, a very slow movement upwards. They say it “feels happy pose.” They love doing “Namaste” to their friends and I have been teaching them phrases for cooperation like – “Let’s share the ___” and a little songette that goes “What’s going to work? TEAMWORK!” which they sing at every opportunity. I have them carry a large, heavy foam block as a team.

      Teaching breathing and meditation is only for about 2 minutes, and I’ve had to work up to that. They are starting to stay calmer (read: less fart sounds and giggles^^). I really exaggerate the “in the nose, out the mouth” and they enjoy “balloon breath.”

      My main piece of advice would be this: Start small but don’t underestimate their comprehension and abilities with yoga. I’m sure as a yoga-practicing ESL Educator this is something you’re already practicing! ^^ You also want to be aware of the poses that aren’t appropriate for little, growing bodies!

      I think Kindergarten’s would be very responsive to your program! Just don’t undersell yourself. You’d be offering a unique glimpse into the culture of yoga and through English. It’s a wonderful thing. Enjoy and please let me know how it turns out.

      • Alen May 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

        Hey Jennifer

        I really appreciate your advices and your positive writing motivate me more.
        One opurtunaty is opening where I can practis teaching yoga 🙂 I’m very exited and happy about that. Kids are 6 years old and fortunately they know me well as I was last semester their teacher.
        I’ll definitely share my progress and maybe come up with more questions.

        I do my self kundalini yoga they would say “sad nam” 😉


      • JenniferTeacher May 30, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

        Great Alen! I wish you luck in your new ESL yoga venture~ Please keep me posted and share your progresses. I’m still learning, too! 🙂


  3. Diisha Hicks December 26, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    I will do a winter camp this year and will use some of your ideas from the http://yogainmyschool.com/yoga-classroom/yoga-games/
    Thanks for sharing these links.

  4. Nadiya Fathima June 15, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Iam a new as yoga teacher,l need your help .

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