What is Namaste Kids & Teens?

Namaste Kids & Namaste Teens was created in Benenden, Kent in May 2014. Its owner and teacher is Hayley Sanderson.
Hayley says: “After practising yoga since 2008 I decided to venture back into the “real world” I am a full time mother to two beautiful girls and had given up a career in management within the travel industry in order to raise them. As they are now getting older I felt it was time to do something for myself. I decided to combine my loves of yoga and children to become a children’s & Teen yoga instructor. I studied with Yoga Bananas which is a Yoga Alliance recognised school and as soon as my training was complete I started teaching. I like to keep up with new ideas and add extra skills to my Kids Yoga training so I am also gained qualifications with Cosmic Kids Yoga, Calm Kids Meditation Level 1 and became a Kidding Around Yoga certified teacher and a TeenYoga qualified instructor in 2016.. During lockdown I used the time to complete my 200hr Yoga Adult Teacher Training. In 2021 I completed a course with Special Yoga – a wonderful company who specialise in teaching yoga to children that are differently abled, please contact me for information on yoga therapy sessions  (Cerebral Palsy, PMLD, Autism, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome). ”

 As well as teaching in schools and pre-schools I run a Tots & Kids class that you are welcome to come along and try. 

 Check out the timetable for details 

Why Do Young People Need Yoga?

I know there are many choices already available to parents & young people for extra-curricular classes including gymnastics, swimming, football and dance; so why choose yoga?
Yoga for young people is a fun way to develop important skills in a non-competitive environment. It is easy for girls and boys to become overly self-critical and to lose confidence in themselves as they grow and change. Yoga is a great remedy. There is no judgement in a yoga class about how someone does a yoga pose or plays a game. With young children It is not the aim of the class to have the child do a perfectly aligned yoga pose and this way of thinking helps to nurture a child’s inner strength and self-acceptance.

The Important Serious Side

Sources suggest that young people are facing more stress now than ever before. Social as well as academic demands placed on them mean that ‘1 in 10 children and young people aged 5-16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder – around three children in every class’ (www.youngminds.org.uk ).

Research shows that engaging in a mindfulness practice such as yoga and meditation has “beneficial effects on the emotional wellbeing, mental health, ability to learn and the physical health of school students. Such interventions are relatively cheap to introduce, have an impact fairly quickly, can fit into a wide range of contexts and are enjoyable and civilizing, for pupils and staff.” – Mindfulness in School Project, Exeter University, 2012.   By introducing your students to mindfulness activities such as yoga, you are giving them access to the skills needed to take charge of their own behaviour and emotional responses, which will see a positive impact on their self-esteem as well as their ability to motivate themselves academically. You will also see an increase in their ability to manage their own time effectively as this has been an experience reported by a number of young people.

There are many health benefits of yoga including

1. Maintaining strength and stamina
2. Improving the immune system
3. Exploring creativity and imagination
4. Improving memory and concentration
5. Teaching respect
6. Reduces stress and anxiety
7. Improving sleep

Namaste Kids teaches yoga in a fun and accessible way through the use of stories, songs and games. Namaste Teens is a adult style class but delivered in a more age appropriate way adding music & fun into yoga.

Yoga = Fun.

The Fun Stuff

People speak about the importance of health and exercise, the importance of education and the importance of discipline… but what about the importance of fun? Fun is an element in adults’ lives, and even in kids’ lives, that is often neglected and dismissed as unimportant. But fun has lots of benefits:

It makes you happy! …and therefore healthy! Woo-Hoo! Endorphins!
It provides a much safer environment to learn in, as opposed to fear
It helps to release tension
It creates space to explore and release unprocessed emotions
While having fun, because fun always involves interaction with other people, we learn to play, communicate and live under certain basic rules of mutual respect… which is the only way to keep the fun going!

So come on, have some fun!