Presenter Spotlight: Shakta Khalsa

Shakta Khalsa

Radiant Child Yoga

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Shakta Khalsa, E-RYT 500, AMS Montessori educator, is the author of five yoga books, including Fly Like A Butterfly, parent, and Founder of Radiant Child Yoga, one of the first and most comprehensive children’s yoga training programs. Shakta has been teaching yoga to adults and children since 1976.

KYC: How long have you been teaching kids yoga? What inspired you to get started?

Shakta: Since 1977. Children were part of the spiritual community I lived in (Kundalini Yoga/3HO), and we all took turns doing the morning practice with the children. I discovered a latent talent that I had, and began to love my special yoga time with the children.

KYC: Tell us a bit more about your work. What does a typical class[or day] look like? Who is the community or population that you serve?

Shakta: I volunteer at some schools in my local area, teaching after-school classes, as my schedule allows. Most of the time, I travel nationally and internationally training “big kids” or you might say–adults–who are wanting to share yoga with children!

KYC: What are the specific ways you think yoga can be helpful for kids?

Shakta: On the practical level, yoga helps children calm down and focus. This is music to the ears of many parents and administrators! On a deeper level, children come here with their own “inner knowing”. Yoga helps them stay connected to that deeper self. And if events in their lives have taken them away from their own light, yoga helps them regain their connection.

KYC: Tell us about that one pivotal experience—the student, class or moment—that keeps you going even when your work gets challenging.

Shakta: For me, it is an ongoing experience. I look for opportunities to enter the world of the child because I remember my own connection to my natural self. Every time I see children, whether at the airport, chatting away to their parents, or in a classroom diligently focused on a bug in the corner—every time I am with these “big souls in little bodies”, I feel the heart of who I am. Someone once said “Children are the root of the soul.” I feel it!

KYC: What brings you the deepest joy in your own yoga practice and in sharing yoga with kids?

Shakta: Meditating on being present to what is. And children are so good at that!

KYC: What is your favorite yoga pose?

Shakta: The Kundalini yoga Frog pose is the fastest way I’ve found to energize my body and brain. Being a quick-fix is important with my busy life!

KYC: Describe your vision for the future of kids yoga.

Shakta: As people become more educated and enlightened as to the benefits of yoga for not only academic life, but the quality of life in general, they will embrace you more and more. They will lose their fear of yoga once they really understand–through experience–that yoga is about becoming more who you really are from the inside out. Once adults experience this, they will want it for their children…guaranteed!

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