Jaclyn Rock, an elementary school teacher and yoga enthusiast, is helping each child reach their greatest potential. Throughout her many years of working with children, Jaclyn sees how one can develop body awareness, manage stress through breathing, build concentration, and feel confident in themselves through the ancient practice of yoga. Visit her website www.kidsyogarocks.com to check out her class schedule in NYC.
MINI MAVEN: What advice do you have for parents on this subject?
JACLYN ROCK: Yoga is wonderful for kids of all ages and it is something that every child can excel at. Each child finds some part of yoga that they’re good at whether its balance, partner poses, being flexible, listening to a yoga story, calming themselves by breathing or doing a relaxing art project such as coloring.
MM: Can anyone do yoga?
JR: Yes! Everyone’s versions of yoga will look different from one another’s but every single person can do yoga and best of all it can be done anywhere at any time, all you need is yourself. I’ve taught yoga to 2-year-olds and my grandma who is 90 years old. That’s what I love most about yoga is everyone is able to do it. People don’t realize it but they’re constantly working on their breathing and calming themselves throughout the day. As for yoga poses, there are more complex poses that require a great amount of strength as well as poses that can be done sitting on the ground or in a chair. It is wonderful for your mind, body, and emotional wellbeing.
MM: Advice on meditation for kids?
JR: Kids will do anything that is fun so make it as fun as you possibly can! Be creative! Use props and tell stories that will help children close their eyes and be fully engaged with what you’re saying.
MM: Is it easy to teach a child to breathe?
JR: Teaching a child about breathing especially at a young age can be challenging. My best piece of advice is to make it visual. If you use props, children are able to see their breath being used and they are then able to use their breath in different ways (baby breaths and big breaths). Pompoms, a pinwheel, or a mirror are wonderful visuals to help children understand breathing.
MM: How many classes do you have weekly for kids? All ages?
JR: I currently teach 6 classes a week ranging from 5-15 kids in every class as well as teach private lessons in peoples homes. I have three different age groups: Little Rockin’ Yogis (3-4 years old), Young Rockin’ Yogis (5-7 years old) and Rockin’ Yogis (8-10 years old). I create themed lessons for each age group according to their abilities.
Photos by Scott Evan Photography