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How Yoga is transforming the lives of children

Kids Yoga teacher Beth Borowsky is on a mission to transform the lives of children through the power of Yoga. Later this month she's leading a Kids Yoga Teacher Training at BodyMindLife before flying to Tanzania to embark on a charitable teaching expedition. We interrupted her packing to find out more....

How did you find yourself here? Tell us a bit about your own journey.

I’ve always been involved in teaching, teacher training and teaching kids. I have a Masters in Early Childhood and I’m a Montessori preschool teacher. I’ve also been practising yoga for over 30 years …. so I guess the “yoking" (the yoga) was inevitable.

I started KarmaKidsYoga in 2005 with the intent of bringing yoga into kids' lives by offering weekly classes at preschools and childcare centres.

What's so great about teaching Kids Yoga?

I love to work with kids and I love yoga so it made sense for me to combine the 2 passions. Bringing the myriad of yoga gifts into children’s lives is such a blessing for them and for me. And it’s not competitive - priceless!

What effect can practicing Yoga have on a child's life?

Yoga has the capacity to transform our life - our body appreciation, our values, the way we feel about ourselves and the way we view the world. The earlier kids are able to connect with these aspects, the healthier - emotionally, physically and mentally - they will grow up to be. In our kids classes, we strive to ensure that the kids get to:

  1. develop balance, strength and body awareness

  2. understand the Magic of their Breath

  3. play with their imagination and creativity

  4. have experiences that boost their self esteem and confidence in a non-competitive environment

What characteristics does a great Kid's Yoga teacher have?

For starters, you need to enjoy working with children and you need to know how to work with children. All the training in the world and a binder full of lesson plans will mean nothing if you don’t have a natural rapport with children. Having an authentic respect for who they are as human beings… by that I mean not thinking you are right and they are wrong because you are the adult. Being flexible and able to gauge the energy of the room and go with that - not with your lesson plan! Have a great balance of kindness, compassion and being firm and a genuine interest in who they are and what they have to say.

How did you become involved with Rainbow Ridge orphanage?

I volunteer for A Sound Life - the charity started by Edo Kahn and Jo Mall. I teach yoga to teenagers in the Mental Health ward at Randwick Children’s Hospital. When Edo went to Rainbow Ridge in December ’16 with other volunteers from A Sound Life to start a music and yoga program there, he kept sending me photos and video clips. I knew in a heartbeat that this was a calling I had to honour. I simply had to get there! All my years of kids yoga teacher training & teaching was meant for something bigger, and this was it!

What role does the orphanage play in the local community?

The orphanage has been running for 10 years and in that time a permaculture farm has been created which supports the local community. It has also become a safe haven for children living with HIV/AIDS.

Why is experiencing Yoga so important for these children?

These kids have next to nothing and have grown up with extreme trauma. Not only are they orphans, they also live with HIV/AIDS. Bringing yoga and meditation into their lives will help them to cultivate tools for developing physical and emotional self-health, confidence, self empowerment, self expression, creativity, imagination, joy and connection!

My intent is to give these beauty-full children opportunities to explore and develop their own unique skill-sets, talents and passions, ultimately equipping them with additional knowledge and education to assist their personal growth in becoming autonomous, confident and self empowered adults.

By training the staff, which will be a big part of what I’ll be doing there, we get to ensure that the yoga program continues to flourish and the kids continue to prosper.


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