chLooking to take a kids yoga teacher training course? Then make sure you READ this first! For the last couple of years, since I started giving the Yoga Alliance RCYT (registered children’s yoga teacher) Training Course, I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the different kids yoga courses available. I’m going to clear up all your questions so that you make sure you take the right course.
2 Things To Remember
1. The Yoga Alliance is the foremost body of authority when it comes to yoga standards and certifications worldwide, recognised internationally for having the most proficient and professional training course syllabus for the RYT200 (registered yoga teacher 200 hours), RPYT (registered prenatal yoga teacher) and RCYT courses.
2. Any childcare or child related business, job or activity is becoming increasingly regulated around the world. Whatever child focused business you are in or whether you’re a teacher, nanny, childminder or in a job which interacts with children, you will have noticed the surge in paperwork, courses, certificates and qualifications, that have come into effect over the last few years. It is even harder to be a parent these days, with many forms of previously accepted discipline becoming illegal, and standards on a child’s upbringing and environment becoming more stringent. Legal action is being taken against people more than ever these days, who have made innocent mistakes when taking care of children. I would like to point out here that I agree with all of the above. Yoga for kids is no exception with qualification standards becoming higher and more parents, schools and other child related institutions, requiring the RCYT certificate if you want to teach kids yoga.
Knowing what is safe and developmentally beneficial for children of different ages is fundamental. As is keeping up with important medical and sociological research on child development.
So what are the differences in the types of courses out there?
The 3 types of kids ttc’s:
- Kids Yoga Teacher courses/workshops/online courses
- Yoga Alliance YCEP courses
- Yoga Alliance RCYT 95 hours course
1. Kids Yoga Teacher courses/workshops/online courses
These are usually 3 – 7 days courses which are not registered with the Yoga Alliance and are not necessarily registered or regulated by any yoga organisation at all. These courses are usually about fun, and consist of spending the day playing games and pretending to be children, or online information. They don’t tend to include practical time actually teaching children and there is no assessment at the end of the course. They often include many activities that you would learn in other child related courses (kids teachers, nurses, playgroups, camp leaders etc), and a lot of what you learn is intuitive to people who enjoy working with children, or are parents. Therefore these are often great courses to take if you are a parent as they’re short and will give you ideas on fun ways to play with your kids. They also tend to be aimed at smaller age ranges i.e. 2-4 years old, 7-9 years old or teenagers, so good if you’re only planning on working with children of a certain age. These courses do not give regulated certificates.
2. Yoga Alliance YCEP courses
These courses or workshops are only for Yoga Alliance RYT200 teachers: To stay registered as a Yoga Alliance teacher you must take 30 hours of continued education courses every 3 years by a YCEP (yoga continued education provider). Only some yoga schools are registered YCEP’s having submitted a syllabus for their course that has been approved by the Yoga Alliance. YCEP courses can be in any area of yoga i.e, anatomy, different styles of yoga, alignment, sequencing, yoga for particular demographics, yoga philosophy etc. Therefore if you see a kids course that is Yoga Alliance YCEP, this means the course hours contribute to your continued education. If the courses are on kids yoga, it does not make you a registered children’s yoga teacher by taking them, but gives you some knowledge on how to bring yoga to kids. Again they may only be directed at certain age groups, but in some countries it may be enough to show that you can teach kids yoga.
3. Yoga Alliance RCYT 95 hours course
With the industry of yoga, and anything to do with children, becomes more regulated, more and more institutions and parents are asking to see an official RCYT certificate. They often look up the teacher’s profile on the Yoga Alliance website to see if they have the specific RCYT designation. So whether planning to teach kids yoga privately at their home, or at an education facility, hospital, Summer camp etc this is the course you should take (usually 7 days). It has become internationally recognised as the most proficient and comprehensive course available, due to the extremely high standards the Yoga Alliance expect of an RCYS (registered children’s yoga school). The syllabus of this course has to cover how to teach yoga poses/games/activities, breathing exercises and meditation safely and beneficially, to children of 2-15 years old. It includes how to implement yoga philosophy into a lesson as well as in depth knowledge of the physical, cognitive, emotional, linguistic and social development of children of different ages. The Yoga Alliance also requires you to do 50 practice hours of teaching yoga to kids after you finish the course, before you can register as a RCYT. This again enforces the standards it requires to certify someone as a proficient kids yoga teacher.
Most importantly the course focuses on how to appropriately and safely teach yoga to kids of different ages, especially in regards to what can be dangerous physically. And more often than not the course will include practical time where you get to practice teaching yoga to local kids. However, with all that the course compromises of it is a very fun and lighthearted program. It is much less intense and serious than the RYT200 course. Studies show that children learn better through play, so there is a big emphasis on making yoga safe, but as importantly, FUN!
Depending on the school, the RCYT course may be available to parents, those in children related jobs, as well as to yoga teachers. The Indiv Yoga™ RCYT course for example is open to anyone interested in spreading the benefits of yoga to children. The difference being that Yoga Alliance RYT200 teachers will receive the RCYT certificate at the end of the course, and those who are not registered teachers, will receive a certificate of completion. The Yoga Alliance allows you to take the foundational RYT200 course after having taken the RCYT kids course, although you can’t officially call yourself a registered yoga teacher yet. But perhaps for now you’re just interested in using what you learn on the kids yoga course with your own children, or as a complement to your child care related job. But if there’s any chance you may decide to certify as a yoga teacher in the future, you would then be a RYT200 and a RCYT as soon as you’d finished the RYT200 course.
1. There are yoga schools that will tell you that it is not necessary to do the RCYT course if you want to teach yoga to children. This may be true still in some countries, but teaching yoga to kids is slowly becoming more regulated everywhere. A few years ago many countries didn’t require you to have a RYT200hrs certificate to teach yoga. Nowadays it is difficult to find a studio worldwide that will employ you without one. And the Yoga Alliance has once again increased it’s training standards this year, making it even more respected as the most reliable yoga regulatory organisation.
2. MAKE SURE that the course you are looking to do is given by a Yoga Alliance RCYS and is the official RCYT 95 hours teacher training course.
If you’re going to spend the time and money taking a kids yoga training course, you are better off taking the RCYT 95 hours course. You never know how the wind will blow, and whether you’ll decide to certify to be a yoga teacher full or part-time, anywhere in the world, in the future.
For more information on the Indiv Yoga™ RCYT Kids Yoga Teacher Training Course, click HERE.
Charlie began practicing yoga over 25 years ago and has been teaching for more than 14 years to people of all ages and abilities. She is the lead trainer on the Indiv Yoga 200 hrs & the RCYT Kids Yoga Alliance Teacher Training Courses, and has certified over 400 students worldwide.
Originally from London and having worked in New York and Lisbon after her Psychology degree, she has since settled in Switzerland with her husband, and dedicated her life to expanding her knowledge of the science of yoga, mindful meditation and better physical and mental health.
Over the years Charlie has trained with some of the most renowned yoga teachers around the world (David Swenson, Shiva Rea, Anne-Marie Newland, Leslie Kaminoff, Sadie Nardini, Sonia Sumar etc) certifying in Hatha, Sivanada, Ashtanga, Childrens and Family Yoga, Yoga for the Special Child, & Inner Engineering with Sadhguru. She has become highly respected for her successful work in yoga therapy, especially for Autism, ADHD and other behavioural and developmental syndromes. She has also talked at some of the biggest corporations in Switzerland and the annual SGIS (Swiss Group of International Schools) Conference on implementing Mindfulness in the work place and the education system.
Charlie holds the highest yoga qualifications as an ERYT500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher), RCYT (Registered Children´s Yoga Teacher), RPYT (Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher) and YCEP (Yoga Continued Education Provider) with the Yoga Alliance, and has developed Indiv Yoga™ to bring a more physiological, therapeutic and individual approach to yoga. Indiv Yoga™ Switzerland is a RYS (registered yoga school) and RCYS (registered children’s yoga school) providing Yoga Alliance teacher training certifications of the highest professional standards.
The focus of Indiv Yoga™ is to provide the benefits of yoga to every type of individual, using its teachings to achieve physical and mental balance, and diminish the anxieties of modern life for adults and children.