This week we are featuring Elizabeth Beer who works with kids from disadvantaged backgrounds with her “Mindful Living” programme.
Could you tell us a bit about your yoga journey and how you ended up teaching yoga to kids?
My yoga journey started in 2008 where I was suffering from depression, anxiety and insomnia due to trauma experienced in an abusive relationship. I turned to yoga when I felt that taking medication for the rest of my life or even for another month was not an option. I started yoga classes with an incredible teacher in Harfleld Village, Cape Town in 2010. I loved yoga and was soon addicted to how it made me feel and how it transformed me. I was happier, had more energy and was sleeping better.
I continued to practice yoga and focused on teaching small groups of women and clients who had health problems. All along I kept my events business going and felt that the yoga practice assisted me with managing stress in a very stressful industry. In 2016, I traveled to Gauteng and studied with Bill Herman from the Art of Living Foundation NGO from USA.
What’s a good age to start yoga with kids?
We have been taught that you can start Asana practice with children from an early age, I have been teaching my granddaughter yoga since the age of about 18 months. For Prananyama practice we only start working with Grade 4 – Grade 12.
What are the benefits of kids doing yoga?
Kids love the activity, they are natural yogis. It assists children of all ages with managing their emotions and relaxing their minds.
Shouldn’t parents be in a yoga class with their kids? Especially at that age and in the initial stages?
No, not at all necessary, as I’ve said children are natural yogis.
Are there any differences when it comes to teaching yoga to boys and girls?
I have not experienced this. In the environments I work in, the girls can sometimes be more talkative than the boys.
Why do kids need yoga as a form of physical activity when I can sign them up for sports like soccer, dance or swimming to expend their energy?
Yoga is not a sport, it is so much more than a physical activity, it helps with the management of the mind and emotions, it is the only sort of physical practice that works to eliminate toxins, massages your internal organs and revitalizes the entire mind, body and soul.
How do you keep the kids focused and not getting distracted in class?By keeping the yoga practice fun and interactive, depending on the age of the child you can theme the classes accordingly, bring smell, colour and nature into your classes. Kids are the most amazing audience.
The Mindful Living Programme was about to launch in Cambodia this year with 2 schools booked to receive the trainings, due to Covid we have rescheduled for 2021.
You can contact Elizabeth at:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/yogawithelizabethbeer
Website : https://yogawithelizabeth1.wixsite.com/lotusproduction