One teacher’s experience as a student in a kids yoga teacher training
by Melissa Brooke Soltman
“If it’s good for the kids, it’s good for humanity,” declared our energetic, fearless facilitator, Cayetana Rodenas, at the Rainbow Kids Yoga three-day Yoga for Kids and Families Teacher Training in San Diego. Senior Trainer Rodenas steered 30 eager adults on a journey through laughter, exuberance, and fun—key elements of a kids yoga class.
Gopala and Angel Yaffa, the co-directors and owners of Rainbow Kids Yoga, are a passionate duo. They model their work after their dynamic family life, spreading the gift of yoga through play. Rainbow Kids Yoga takes a holistic approach, supporting the whole child and family; they believe that grown-ups are big kids so their trainings are as much for the adults participating as for the children they’ll reach.
By experiencing activities designed with props and music, we learned to support the mindset children live in: a dynamic place filled with curiosity and sensory experiences. As teachers, it is our role to stimulate their imaginations and validate their explorations hoping that they will keep the confidence they gain as they grow. The curriculum emphasizes teaching trust, confidence, sensory awareness, and concentration.
The application of kids yoga reaches beyond the studio. In our training circle, I exchanged smiles with a third grade classroom teacher, a woman opening a yoga studio in rural France, a husband and wife duo eager to bring this work to low-income communities in Mexico, a woman working in a juvenile detention facility, and another aspiring to teach military children. Particpant Kaela C. Saez will return to her studio Errobi Yoga, in rural Ustaritz, France. Her experience of the training, “Everything was hands-on, loving, and based around the principle of self-acceptance—with a fun twist.”
Gratitude filled the room when we took our positions for our final activity: Angel Walk. I closed my eyes and began my walk down a sacred aisle formed by strangers-turned-friends on either side. As I walked, they whispered compliments and appreciation, touched my hands and shoulders and offered squeezes of encouragement. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
For more information about Rainbow Kids Yoga, visit: rainbowkidsyoga.net
Melissa Brooke Soltman is a writer, sexual health educator, and yoga teacher: hellomelissabrooke.com