With the ever-expanding presence of yoga in today’s modern world, it isn’t any wonder the tradition is now branching out to children. Providing focus in areas of deepening flexibility, strength, presence and cultivating an awareness of the body, yoga for kids has started to give little yogis an early opportunity to get in touch with both body and mind.
Creating a world of wonder and imagination, Cool Baby owners Sam and Ayn Gailey have made it their mission to bring more creativity into the lives of children. Cool Baby includes a large studio room, hip gift shop and a waiting area that doubles as a playroom, cultivating an environment where both kids and parents can feel comfortable.“We wanted to create a space parents can hang out in and enjoy along with their kids, especially a space that appeals to dads, which can be rare,” Ayn says, describing the studio’s aesthetically pleasing dÃ©cor. In addition to an imaginative ambiance, Cool Baby offers unique classes designed to deliver enriching, creative experiences for both parents and kids. Popular classes include “Twoosy Doodlers” art classes, “FOCUSfish” Cirque du Soleil-inspired flying circus classes, Daddy & Me Drums and Yoga for Kids.
Cool Baby’s Yoga for Kids class is designed to promote flexibility and strength in children four to 12 years of age. Instructor Crystal D’Angora masterfully creates a positive, nurturing space where kids are able to express themselves through yoga. She gently guides her kids into poses, utilizing tools such as books and cards that present vivid stories outlining basic poses. With clever names such as “crisscross apple sauce,” Yoga for Kids puts a fun and approachable spin on the age-old practice of yoga.
Across town on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade Heidi Jo Corey and Beth Lutz teach the Yo Mama Yoga Kids’ class. Children from ages three to seven learn traditional poses with creative teaching methods. Corey, with 20 years experience educating children in theater transforms a difficult pose into “It’s hard until it’s easy’ which is an attitude the children are encouraged take off the mat into their lives.
Corey’s teaching empowers the class with confidence. Kids teach their favorite poses and choose the structure for each class. Lutz brings her background in the visual arts and depth psychology to ensure a safe space for each individual child to learn according to their strengths. Lutz jokes that their kids “do three times as many poses in half the time of traditional adult classes.” Corey and Lutz create a safe environment for children to coordinate their rapidly changing bodies through traditional movement, stories, and Corey’s integration of theater and yoga.
Yo Mama Owner Kate Wise says, “It’s my mission to help women experience pregnancy and motherhood with courage, confidence and faith.” Providing a sanctuary for relaxation and education, Wise helps women to celebrate motherhood throughout all its stages. Yo Mama’s beautiful, understated studio pulses with a calm energy, exuding unmistakable warmth. Delicately lit photos showcased along the studio’s walls portray pregnant women and young babies, making the room a comfortable and inviting place for moms and little ones. Popular classes include Pre-natal Yoga, Parent & Me classes, HypnoBirthing, Kids Yoga Kids and Yoga Summer Camp, among others.
Next time you’re heading to your favorite class don’t be surprised if you encounter a herd of mini mat-toting yogis in the waiting area. In fact, if you have a little one at home, be proactive and coordinate your yoga schedules so you can spread the love and the om.
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