7 Things I learned leading my first online 95-hour Kids Yoga Teacher Training
By Lara Hocheiser, Flow and Grow Kids Yoga Founder and Teacher Trainer
After applying and being accepted by the Yoga Alliance as a Registered Children’s Yoga school in 2019, it took a pandemic canceling my regularly-scheduled life to book my first 95-hour course.
I was so hesitant that it took Amber, a Spring participant of the course, to email me twelve times to insist that I go ahead. I had so many doubts. Would teaching online be good enough? Would I be good enough?
Ultimately, on the last day of March I decided to post the course online. My first day of classes was just two-and-a-half weeks later! We had seventeen in the Foundations of Kids Yoga class and ten for the entire 95-hour training period. Most of the people in Foundations had been expecting to study in person, but were incredibly flexible to join us online! So many of them stayed on for the 95-hour course, and I knew that teaching online was a good, quality way to connect and learn.
Here is what else I learned:
So often before the classes, I would panic for a few minutes, questioning if I knew enough -- if the comprehensive curriculum and poured-over manuals would be enough. I did this on two-thirds of class days -- and yet, every class session we laughed, learned, moved and breathed. The group showed competency with the material. They never needed me to be perfect, either. I made some typos and blunders, and yet everyone stayed positive. I was relieved to learn everyone knew I was human too!
I was worried about writing the Anatomy coursebook; despite my extensive training, I felt under-prepared. I asked my colleague Jeremy Wood to contribute as work-study, and he helped me by writing the material and co-presenting with me in exchange for a place in the program. Workstudy made a great arrangement for several participants who helped with social media, copy-editing, content creation, and even presenting. I am so impressed with their contributions and could not have done it myself. I am proud to say that this approach afforded several people the opportunity to participate free of cost or for a significant discount, and helped me save in hours paid to team members. I also made creative payment plans for all types of budgets. I wanted to make this course accessible while still charging what it is worth. I am happy to say that people are paying what they can as they can, and it’s tremendous! Inquire if you need a payment plan to join us, too!
Our training cohort became a community, family, and team. It was amazing how close we all got. When anyone needed support, they’d make calls over zoom together. If I felt nervous, I’d text my work-study content lead, Kathryn, and she would talk me off the ledge. We became a team and we will continue to meet once a month to chat, share, and build community!
The love our participants have for teaching, for yoga, and for children is incredible. It was amazing doing the course during Pride month. As the spouse of a queer person with non-traditional gender expression, I was so happy to see all the forms of love and acceptance as we talked about working with all different kinds of children that all need support, self-confidence, and tools of self-regulation and care. Inclusion is the new love!
Video submissions that my teacher trainees sent in got increasingly better. With my feedback, I’d see them improve the tiny little things that could make their classes more inclusive, safe, visual, and accessible. I am impressed by everyone’s ability to show consistent growth.
My confidence soared while leading this course. The participants' did too. They know where they are going after the Business course guided them to define their own direction -- by turning inside and seeing what they want to do and why they are the ones to do it, and by learning about all of the tools at their disposal. I am so excited to see their dreams and goals expanding as their confidence grows.
My biggest fear was that meeting online would be a watered-down version of meeting in person. To my surprise, it was way better. We had so much time between classes to digest and process information. That means that rather than cram a course into twelve eight-hour days, we were able to meet thirty times for three-hours. This helped give us more time for relationships to form. I was able to provide undivided attention to every single participant’s practice-teach video submissions, guiding them and mentoring every person. Not to mention we were able to do practice yoga classes and do something for visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic learners in every single meeting. We had breakout sessions for small group work, conversations, activities, and so much more. I am humbled and honored to say it was a massive success.
Look at what participants are saying:
***Q and A call -- live on Instagram and Facebook on Thursday, June 25th
Link to summer courses and modules
You can join us this summer, starting July 7, or stay tuned for October when we offer the third cohort. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org today if you wish to be added to the list for October or to join for July!
Can’t attend the whole thing? Choose individual modules that best suit you!
You can make a huge difference in the lives of children. You can grow, expand, and realize your full potential, your dharma, and your calling right now!
Founder of Flow and Grow Kids Yoga