Mine aren’t babies anymore but we have done yoga together since they were! YG Playdate will be returning after these two go back to school! Yoga Garden Playdate is a 45 minute yoga class for mamas and their babes ages 0-3. Usually the tots end up playing and coloring while the mamas get their time on the mat, although sometimes they join in for some sun salutations! I am offering this class as a 5 week session beginning September 13, it is $45/ for all five weeks. Wednesdays 11-11:45am. Please let me know here or email me at Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or with questions!
Back in summer mode!
My focus becomes zeroed in on creating a fun and memorable summer for my family. I spend way less time blogging, on my mat, and meditating on a cushion. Those activities get replaced with sleeping in, playing on and in the water and making slime with my kids.
No regret ever, it feels right and balanced.
Watch for my September schedule to come out soon!
This last Yoga Garden Kids session was really special. The idea of it was born of their curiousity about Yoga Garden’s puja. Why was it there? What were all the things on it for?
We discussed together about how having a sacred space of their own for practicing their yoga and meditation could be really good for focus and that if the objects in that space were special to them, it would have more meaning.
The kids in my class are ages 5-9 and as they are not my own and I am not a worship leader, we talked more about the physical objects than the spiritual worship of a Puja. In the first class, I gave them permission to explore the space. Some were more drawn to the incense, some to the statues of deities.
The objects that we place in our Sacred spaces to help us meditate can be taught easily to kids by aligning a meditation to each of our senses. We also talked about how they could create there own space at home.
Sight: our personal sacred spaces are typically pleasing to the eye for US. Through art, crystals, candles… the objects we SEE can focus our mediation and make us happy.
Sound: maybe the kids favorite? We listened to different music, thought about what different music made us feel. They also had the opportunity to try using a Singing Bowl and finger cymbals.
Taste: food may not be the best thing to have on a child’s puja, but mindful eating is a wonderful way to meditate for them. Take a bite, chew slowly, think about the taste, the feel, maybe where the food came from and finally swallow. We had fun trying some different foods in class. Only one enjoyed the brusselspout… go figure.
Smell: incense, oils and candles. Smells can brings so many memories forth and make us feel different things. For our smelling meditation we used blindfolds and I had them smell different strong scents. Hazelnut syrup, fresh basil, lavender and lemon.
Touch: for our final meditation of the session we held crystals and touched pencil to paper to color mandalas.
It was fun. I will definitely be teaching this session again!
Ski ski season is done for my family, which means…. Saturday YG Kids Club is back!!! I am excited to welcome back old friends and get to know new.
(Me skiing in Colorado last week)
YOGA Garden Kids Club – In a Kids Club session, we will learn breathing exercises (pranayama), meditation techniques, journaling, we will dance and sing. We will also learn different poses (asanas), the stories behind the poses and how to move into them safely in an age appropriate way.
Our own yoga practice will only benefit from our kids learning about it in their own space. If they have more knowledge and mindfulness about it, they will respect it more, and start to develop their own practice.
This 45 min. class, taught by Stephanie, is for ages 6-9. It is taught in 5 week sessions and requires preregistration.
Please bring your children to class in clothing that is comfortable and that they can move and stretch in and come to the first session a little early to finish the registration process. Contact Stephanie at email@example.com to register. /// Thursdays 4:30 – 5:15 pm and Saturdays 10:30 – 11:15 am
The next Thursday session will begin April 13!
Creative play. Yes, children benefit from quiet meditation, but equally important is the imagination and laughter. In fact, one may be sparked by the other and vice versa. We adults tend to take ourselves too seriously in our yoga practice. Every now and then, a made up pose with a finger peacock mask is necessary. ❤
Saturday YG Kids Club starts up again March 4, 10:30-11:15am. YGKC is $45/5 week session
My son is not one that enjoys a yoga class. Frustrating as a teacher, but being in a class setting is not for everyone. When he gets into a class with other children, it is hard for him to stay focused on the asana and meditations. He wants to play and be silly which is normal, he is 10. He does however, still love yoga and I will catch him being still with his eyes closed. As he was here on a hike this last summer. I asked him what he was doing or thinking about and he just shrugged and said, “Taking a breath and enjoying this tree. It’s like meditating!” Leave to a child to remind me that yoga can happen anywhere, and is more that just being flexible and beautiful postures.
My current Yoga Garden schedule:
Tuesday- YG Play date ( for moms and babies) 9-9:45 am
Thursday- YG Kids Club (ages 6-9) 4:30-5:15pm
Saturday- Mixed Level Vinyasa 8-9am
Slow Flow 9:15-10:30am
I started teaching a class called Yoga Garden Kids Club a little over a year ago. There was one big motivator amongst a bunch of other smaller ones that inspired me to start teaching children.
I am a mom and a yogi. I would often feel frustrated because I felt my mom life was interfering with my yoga practice and I could sense that my kids felt the same about my practice. I have done lots of yoga classes with my kids but they were super watered down and didn’t show them the reason yoga feeds my soul as well as making my body strong. Why aren’t there Kids Yoga classes that are teaching kids more than just animal poses? So, I decided to create one, using what I wanted to teach my own kids in mind. In YGKC, we talk about breathing, they learn the mythology behind poses, mudras, and the asanas with their Sanskrit names! (Half of them pronounce them better than me) I work to give them a yoga practice that feeds their soul and body in a fun way with others their age. I believe that if they are given that, our own practices will be more supported by them! It is also pretty amazing to have a home practice WITH them instead of trying to keep it to myself.
The next Kids Club session starts this Thursday, January 26. It is 4:30-5:15pm at Yoga Garden in NE. Each session is 5 weeks long and is $45/session! Email Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have interested little yogis in your home!
Every year at the end of October, the Yoga Garden community begins to meditate on their Year in a Word. Word that will we will carry forward into the next year, not so much a resolution but a beacon towards which we are always moving. Once our words are chosen Laurel creates these beautiful flags to add to Yoga Garden’s puja.
This year, the youngest of our community were invited to join us in this amazing tradition! I had a great time, helping the students in Yoga Garden Kids Club think about and create their own word flags to add to the wall. I thought it would be super obvious which were the kids’ words but it turns out, it isn’t. These kids were so thoughtful and earnest when it came to their final choices!
The next Kids Club session starts January 26, 2017, each session in 5 weeks long! It is $45 for the full session. Classes are Thursday 4:30-5:15pm at Yoga Garden.
My favorite themes in yoga classes this time of year are: turning inward, getting settled and being thoughtful. When I get to a class and the teacher starts talking about these things and adds that we will be doing forward folds and grounding poses, my heart rejoices!!!
This is my more natural state, even tempered and grounded. I definitely view this as one of my strengths. I am usually a very calming person to be around. I am a slow and steady kind of girl. I keep moving and I get shit done!
The flip side to this is that I have a tendency to get anxious if there is too much going on. A life full of non stop activity is overwhelming for me and sometimes can stop me completely, and once I stop, it can take a lot of effort to get rolling again.
September and October are always crazy in my household. The beginning of a new school year, birthdays, anniversary and a very busy travel season at my husband’s work. So when November comes, it is SO tempting to delve full on into that comfortable meditative space and never come out.
My personal challenge at this amazing time of year when we are all encouraged to turn in and reflect, to go slow with awareness, is to keep my life and practice balanced so that I don’t get stuck. What that may look like… maybe do faster paced vinyasas, eat lighter and stay active. Instead of practicing a still meditation or a nidra, do a walking meditation. Things that may not feel like the natural things to do are what keep me balanced, and staying balanced is important to me and my family.
Now…. this definitely does NOT mean that you won’t still catch me at a Gentle/Yin class or that I won’t be relishing the calm that comes over me when I teach my Slow Flow class. It is my way, and it IS, after all, the best time of the year for it!
If you are interested in joining me for my Slow Flow class, I teach it at Yoga Garden in NE Minneapolis on Saturdays at 9:15! Open to all levels of practice and abilities, this soothing gentle 75 min. class focuses on an exploration of basic yoga poses and how to connect them through attention to breathing, alignment and mindfulness. Therapeutic in nature, you will learn techniques to help you gain flexibility, while immersing yourself in a relaxing class that moves at a perfectly slower pace – allowing ample time to enjoy each pose. Expect lots of stretching & lingering in supported seated poses. Meditation and relaxation techniques will also be introduced, perfect for stress relief and overall well being.
We just finished up another Yoga Garden Kids Club session! Our theme started out being Balance, and turned quickly into, How to balance trying to do our best and being comfortable asking for help”. Instead of relying on the words, I can’t do it. Even adults do this, they see a pose that is more bendy or requires more strength and the words that pop into our head first is usually, I can’t do that. For the kids, I noticed that they would say the words aloud… but then do their version of the pose brilliantly! (There are probably already million and one blog posts out there about the psychology behind that)
So, we made a new rule for Kids Club. They are no longer allowed to say “I can’t do it” until they have tried, then if they need help. They may say “I can’t do it YET” and we will work together as a team to find their version!
In our discussion/meditation time, we had really great conversations about things we found hard to do, how we could help ourselves and how to ask for help. We talked a lot about what a Guru is and they enjoyed hearing that we are all a Guru. One of the easiest ways to begin learning from each other is Active Listening. We practiced turning towards and looking at whomever was speaking. As we spoke of every day topics, we practiced making space for each other to share. After a few classes of practicing this, I noticed that the children were bringing both topics together while doing our physical practice! If someone was struggling with a pose, we would stop, see and hear that person and then work together to find a modification.
It was really a joy to see and I am always so grateful that I started teaching kids. I learn so much.
Yoga Garden Kids Club is a yoga class for kids ages 6-9. It is 45 minutes long and in it we practice meditation, yoga postures, play games, tell stories and have a ton of fun! YGKC is offered in 5 week sessions. It is $45/ 5 week session. There are two time/day options for Kids Club. Thursday 4:30-5:15pm or Saturday 10:30-11:15am
The next session starts on November 10 for the Thursday option, and November 12 for the Saturday option. Our themes for the next session will Gratitude and we will also be thinking about and discussing what we want to take with us into the new year.
If you are interested in having your child join us for the next session, email me at email@example.com.
Saturday Kids Club during a “Pillow Class”.