GroovyKids™ Yoga in schools? Yes please!

More and more recent studies are coming to the same conclusions.

Sitting still in a classroom is not helping kids learn. 

Here's what the Washington Post had to say about it. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/01/19/letting-kids-move-in-class-isnt-a-break-from-learning-it-is-learning/

When children are active in the classroom, their grades improve.

Even if they're not following a formal program, such as a GroovyKids™ Yoga class, whether it be the downloadable version or an actual live teacher. Their grades improve. And that's the point of school, isn't it? 

 

Yes, but not the only point. 

We prefer to imagine that a school could be a place of effortless learning, an institution built around the ideas of enhancing a child's ability to think for themselves. Something that when kids look back at their education, they do so with a glowing heart. 

Sounds fantastic, right? A little different than being stuck behind a desk all day, the only activity being to raise a hand when you have the answer to a question, not arrived at through conscious working out of a problem, but just a learned repetition, recitation that robs the child's mind of opportunities to blossom. 

Here's what the National Education Authority in the US said about it. 

http://www.nea.org/tools/47003.htm

Enforced learning, or enforced anything isn't ultimately helpful to a child's mind. Nor is being made to sit in one spot for hours on end. 

GroovyKids Yoga changes all that! it offers the kids a 30-60 minute full range of motion workout. 

We heard a discussion in Denmark about the Education System considering the possibilities of having 45 minutes of movement incorporated into daily life at school, and you can be certain that the studies played a  part. If the educators are at a loss for an ideal activity, recommend yoga to them! Even better, GroovyKids Yoga. With a license to teach GroovyKids Yoga, armed with inspiration and enthusiasm, you can bring Yoga into your classroom anytime you choose once you have the confidence. 

And it's healthier for your entire body and mind. 

Yoga. GroovyKids Yoga. 

Here's a class from Tokyo showing us they don't need mats, yoga clothes or previous knowledge of yoga to have themselves a whole load of fun!

For our next Teacher Trainings  visit www.groovykidsyoga.com/teachertrainings/




Japan we love you!

Nihon wa, daisuki!

 

Our fifth trip to the wonderful Japan has come to an end but like all the previous ones it’s already led to new beginnings.

After four fun filled days in Tokyo with 2 Level 1 and 2 trainings, we headed south to the island of Kyushu for our second trip to Fukuoka.

 

We dug deep into our thoughts and wishes, explored the way we think and what our impulses are, and applied it all to offer the kids two classes, to everyone’s deligh 

 

The kids demonstrated as ever the way to really enjoy yoga. Nothing is as serious as a child at play!  And for the graduates too, we realized of course it’s more about life than Kids yoga. We shared personal growth, personal stories and we shared a pizza.

 

If you want to see more photos, click here for a link to the Facebook event page.

https://www.facebook.com/events/902755476470527/

In between we dropped in to visit some old friends in Shimoda, at the scene of the very first GroovyKids Yoga TT in 2006. We brought with us Kanako Tachikawa from those graduates, and she assisted us in Tokyo. And we met up again with Dan, who was in the first international GroovyKids Yoga class all those years ago. See how much he’s grown, he’s taller than me now!

We began the 3 20hour Teacher Trainings in Tokyo once again at our friends BMS-R Lab in Gotanda. For the third year in a row, we experienced a real devotion to the art of teaching GroovyKids Yoga. After studying hard, listening to the lectures, running around like dolphins and octopi, we invited the kids in and went through the GroovyKids Yoga Flow, exactly as it is in the GroovyKids Yoga Show, available here through Amazon.com

 

 

Here’s a link to the Facebook Event page for the Tokyo GroovyKids Yoga Teacher Training held on August 29-30.

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1383413578632741/

 

And here’s a link for the September 8-9 GroovyKids Yoga Teacher Training.

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1476357826013932/

 

In between we stopped into our old friend Hyo Ja Hong’s International Preschool in Kobe and gave the training literally in the classroom. In a first for Greville Henwood, the GroovyKids Yoga Founder, a yoga class spontaneously broke out amongst a nursery school class and the teachers were as amazed at we were that they kept going for 45 minutes! We think that everyone slept well that night

After our training in Osaka was cancelled we dropped in for a couple of classes to let people in Osaka know that we missed them! The classes were well attended and we also met some new friends in Osaka!

And then back to the tropics of Tokyo for the second of our TT’s, where once more we dived into the raging typhoon and swam to the shores of Gotanda before flying off to Fukuoka. And now, back in Los Angeles, for a few days longer.

See you next week!

If you’re in Oslo, at least!

 

So we won’t say “sayounara”, but rather “mata ne”, because we know you’ll see us again.

 

Thanks Japan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Kid is Groovy!

Every Kid is Groovy. 

It’s a bold statement!

It means they are all groovy, without exception. There are no asterisks! 

While it's possible that kids may not always do groovy things, it must be that every kid is groovy. For evidence we can offer only this. The sun shines it's light equally on everyone, regardless of age, weight, height, health, skin color, educational accomplishments...the sun shines equally on everyone. 

Montana kids

This is difficult for adults to grasp. They knew it when they were kids, but slowly life intervened and now the only time they really think every kid is groovy is when they are teaching a GroovyKids Yoga class!

Things that groovy kids do.

1.     They smile often and much.

2.     They help their parents or whoever needs it.

3.     They love to dance and don’t have to be good at it

That’s just a few!

We remind our teachers of this often and much.

If we change the way we think we will change the world. We’ve heard the Dalai Lama say it and we’ve heard Gandhi say it.

And we agree! Every kid is put together with atoms and molecules and neurons and protons….there’s no exception.

At GroovyKids™ Yoga we are 100% committed to teaching this. Kids love yoga, kids love moving.  Yoga for kids is a fabulous idea. It will change the future from whatever it will be without our help to something brighter.

 

GroovyKids™ Yoga Teacher Training doesn’t limit itself to teaching kids yoga. We teach how to be fully present. Even when the kids aren’t doing groovy things.

Yoga is synthesis!  We work together, just like all these kids here! Whether it's Nepal, America, Japan, or wherever you can think of. 

Every kid is groovy. 

 

The things you can only learn from experience; or: How I learned to not have my head explode in my new Kids Yoga classes.

If you’re in the norm, you’ve probably had classes early on in your kids yoga teaching career that left you befuddled. This can confuse, confound and even convince you that kids are devil spawn, and it’s possible that sometimes they are temporarily possessed by evil spirits that just as quickly can dissolve into sweetness and joy.

 

Every kids yoga training program can only provide the theory and perhaps a little practice. All the rest is practice. Literally, in-the-classroom experience. Human contact. Not for the faint hearted. That's why the demo class is so important in the GroovyKids™ Yoga Teacher Training program. You get 10% of the time as actual experience. But it's only 10%. The other 90%? That's when you go into your classroom, roll your sleeves up and get started with some om's the next time. Even if the kids don't join in.

 

Not much can help you in these moments  no matter how much training you’ve had. That’s because children aren’t like adults. They are working under a different mindset. At GroovyKids™ Yoga we work to prepare the parts of YOU that work best. But it’s on the job learning.

These things help!

1.     Yoga is science! -Remember that you’re a scientist. Today’s class was an experiment. You’ll be able to fashion a better experiment next time.

2.     Recall those wonderful  words from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel-Everything is going to be ok in the end. If it is not ok, it is not the end.

3.     It doesn’t have to be perfect! Even after a couple of days, your perspective will change and you may realize you were more “on” than you thought!

4.     Remind yourself that first you have to be fully present. If it’s still chaos when you’re fully present, at least that.

Afterthoughts.

And, don't forget to say thank you!

And, don't forget to say thank you!


Many years ago a young girl of 7 came to class and she clearly knew a lot of poses, or at least had a solid knowledge of gymnastics. She was very active in class and helped out in the handstands. Sat still and meditated as well as she had practiced. Afterwards in the parking lot I over heard this conversation...

Mom; How was it?

Girl; It was ok.

Mom; Did you like it?

Girl; It was boring.

Picture it. I have my back turned, they’re not really aware of me and I am surprised, given her level of participation in the class.

Mom; What was boring about it?

Girl; It was over too soon. I wanted it to last longer.


So, in the end, it was ok. That’s the end.


Dubai welcomes GroovyKids Yoga again for a third sold out weekend of Teacher Trainings

Dubai reminds us of home. There’s palm trees and a sparkling body of water on one side. It’s full of bright colors and cosmopolitan faces. It’s beginning to feel like home too. We were invited back for a third time in just fourteen months by our friend Noura from Yogalatesblissindubai and she sold out the GroovyKids Yoga  teacher training once again. 

Teachers 3/2015

 

Faces from as far away as  New Zealand and Northern Ireland, Iran and Scotland, Saudi Arabia, England, Russia and Canada came to welcome us and listen to our lectures, play games with us and generally have a good time, it was truly a broad spectrum of philosophy, cultural identity and individual experience. The kids as ever responded in the kids yoga class we offer for observation,  one young lady's mom whispered to us how she wouldn't go upside down and then watched as she ran back and forth between mom and wall to show her newfound joy at being upside down. As ever, the wall work gives us a chance to empower the kids while of being completely non competitive. 

Recipe for GroovyKds™ Yoga class.

1. Take a huge cup of Extra positivity and mix in several large dollops of fun. Blend then add a load of kids and a generous helping of movement of the fast and speedy variety. Add a big glob of non competitive and you are ready to present a GroovyKids™ Yoga class, served chilled, but never on the rocks. We shouldn't want to fall off. 

With our Level 2 training we put the emphasis on how to free up the mind enough to allow different thinking, and how to use yoga language in our modern setting; and it’s a great joy to see and hear everyone’s unique experience of something universal, i.e. growing up! We use universal language to join people, and they responded as ever in the training.  People of all ages love to laugh and we love to encourage them. Universal language number one!

https://www.facebook.com/GroovyKidsyoga/videos/vb.132960680139441/626814037420767/?type=2&theater

Movement, pure and simple, is another universal language. It doesn’t require words. In fact, they get in the way. 

 

This time we enjoyed watching Dani Heron as she showed the students how she has taken the core values, our 7 Keys, and integrated them into her teaching. It made a big impact on moms too, Cheryl Parsons, a graduate of the weekend was moved by what she saw and experienced and wrote a lovely blog you can read at http://thepeacelily.com/inner-child

And…we’ve been invited back again for another visit.  Book soon! We sell out!

http://www.yogalatesblissindubai.com/groovykids-yoga-teacher-training---november.php

GroovyKids Yoga brings laughter, joy and love to the children and adults in Switzerland in the form of YOGA

March 20th, 2015 was such a perfect time for GroovyKids®Yoga to get invited back to the beautiful and inspiring Baar in Switzerland because there was coincidentally a solar eclipse in the morning  when the training had just begun. So naturally, we did what curious children excited about life would do. Take a break to watch the moon cover the sun in an spectacular way and taking it all in as a good omen. We filmed a bit of it .. so take a look here    Lucky us! 

 

 

This training was the second Groovy Kids Yoga Teacher Training in Switzerland; we had all sorts of participants from yoga and school teachers and basically anyone who wants to work with children. Everyone was so welcoming and greeted us with lots of smiles and hugs, which are the international symbols of WELCOME! no need to speak any German here. So the training began with lots of enthusiastic participation and discussion, play, games and hands on interactive classes with kids. We were delighted to see the difference and the similarities between the trainings in other countries vs. Baan Switzerland. 

GroovyKids Yoga was founded in 2005 and since then has taught thousands of kids and over 500 teachers worldwide have graduated the program. We teach joy, expression, love of movement and stillness with equality.
— Greville Henwood

The future teachers of Groovykids® yoga everywhere around the world are all intrigued by the way kids  think and act and can draw quick references to what their childhood was like and how their teachings when they were kids, had an effect on who they are now. The difference  is, of course, in the education system and the culture in which they were brought up. Some are more ready to accept the non-competitive, non-judgmental and all accepting ways of Groovykids and for some, it takes a little longer but makes a bigger impact. In Switzerland, the current yoga teachers and school teachers that were participating  understood the deeper meaning of yoga and demonstrated that the poses are not the end all be all of a yoga class; what is really important is the way of interacting with the kids so that they feel truly loved and accepted for who they are and what they can or can not do in a yoga class. We invited the children to participate in class after practicing the concepts of the sequencing in GroovyKids yoga and had a blast; for 45 minutes, we were glad to provide a joyful and fun and playful environment for the kids in which the kids can get to express themselves fully. Jump forward! Jump back!! and finally stand on your hands ( which kids think is really cool by the way.)

We had both level trainings this time in Switzerland.

Level 1 Teacher Training is a 10 hour course which includes a discussion about the different approaches to teaching Kids anything, the LOGIC behind each approach and it’s effectiveness in different settings, be it in a dedicated yoga studio, a school, a small group class in a private home or even individual private classes.

Level 2 GroovyKids® Yoga Teacher Training is designed for the teacher who’s already completed the Level 1 training or who has already had experience teaching kids yoga. We discuss the ways that children of different ages learn as this changes considerably between the age groups. Traditionally the age groups are split up 3-6 and 7-11, so we aim to inform the teacher how kids think differently at each age. This is important in keeping a child’s mind occupied, perhaps the main challenge in teaching kids anything. 

 

This training was organized by Janine Friedli who already offers GroovyKids Yoga classes in her Yoga Studio called The Swiss Yogini. She has two children herself who relentlessly practice yoga with her and with themselves  ( and they are adorable to watch during partner yoga ) . So check out the classes  with your children the next time you are in Switzerland. 

Bullying yourself and others- and how GroovyKids®Yoga helps

Almost 20 years ago I was working with a teenager who was, as so many teenagers are, angry. He was angry at many different things, and his anger would come out in aggressive and dismissive language. Usually toward me, his teacher and focus, but often times toward himself.

If he found a balance pose difficult, it was someone’s fault and therefore stupid. When his hamstrings held him back in a forward bend, he’d curse like Eminem and often times, if it wasn’t me he was directing his rage at, it was himself.  This is a familiar pattern for people who don’t know any other way. Anger, rage, frustration and helplessness are silent brothers, all emotions that make the person experiencing those emotions push hard, lash out and strike back.

 

When my yoga student finally understood that he was not being judged, not measured, not qualified as good or bad, and that the practice of yoga is not in the good or bad paradigm, something seismic shifted in my students mind. He understood something about himself more clearly.

The practice of yoga is not about being good or bad or best or worse. It’s about acceptance of yourself and your present state. GroovyKids Yoga puts the emphasis on connection between the student and the teacher. That connection is what we have in common. Even though yoga is an individual exercise it’s often done in a group. Once the student accepts themselves as they are, the impulse to compare, contrast and eventually even bully is morphed into a much more useful energetic response.


People who are fully involved in physical work don’t have time for anything else. GroovyKids Yoga is perfect for kids because it involves fast speedy movements followed by stillness. We celebrate that our tree pose will be different to our neighbours. Sometimes it can be as simple as using fine motor skills. In yoga we call them mudras. We use our thumbs touching on our fingertips to count, or use Sanskrit sounds with the movements. Other times it’s gross motor skills, such as jumping the feet between the hands and then back again, all from downward dog pose. Easy movements that require the entire body and mind.

By giving our students options, by showing them another way to deal with impulses, we educate, ameliorate and maybe even inspire new feelings in them. A feeling of being not enough, of having to drag others down to get ahead, these things dissolve in the GroovyKids Yoga class. No success is immediate, but like yoga itself, with care and consistent attention, the bullying impulse can be turned into a very positive energy. My student started off wanting to punch the wall like a boxer. After a few weeks of GroovyKids Yoga, he was happier in a warrior pose than a fight and to top it all off, his parents told me his school-work improved.

Giving kids another way to express their anger, frustration, annoyance, whatever it is that comes out as self-bullying or bullying others, that gift is a gift for life. They may not recall exactly what it was that freed them from bullying, but they’ll have a better life because of it.