I'll be giving a meditation workshop along with Yoga Nidra expert Elena on March 1st at Exposed NYC: a wellness conference on healthy eating, living, and social impact. Candice Kumai will be there to share her take on delicious, nourishing, real food! You can read about the other workshops and presenters, and buy tickets at www.exposed.splashthat.com.
The next week, I'll be offering a family yoga class at one of the schools Bella Vita works with! Family yoga classes are fun for me, because they play to my strengths: there's no telling how the kids involved will be feeling till we get there, so even if you have some ideas or a sequence you hope to get to in advance, you'll have to improv once you get there.
I like knowing that the parents are there to handle the kids and keep them comfortable, and I can focus on getting as many yoga benefits into the kids and the grownups as possible. Sometimes it become a game of getting the kids to go along with some simple forward folds to stretch the parents out, or a few chaturangas to get some quick toning in. Sometimes we have to run the whole class backwards: starting with Savasana, and slowly amping up the energy as the kids get more comfortable, and expand their orbit around their parents.
Other challenges of family yoga come up with the kids present represent a wide range of ages: little ones who aren't super mobile can be great for family yoga, as they enjoy watching their parents move in unusual ways, and their weight makes for a great prop to provide an extra physical challenge: Warrior I Baby Lift Variation!!! :-D
Older kids will want to participate more fully, and be challenged themselves, but their self esteem can be delicate, so you have to be careful not to hover or over-correct.
The tough part is when you have little ones AND older kids! You have to keep things interesting for the older kids, give the parents something to do other than parent, AND keep the little ones interested in whats going on. Those are definitely the most exhausting classes!
Even if I'm only working with one age group in addition to the adults in the room, if it's that magic age where walking and running are easy-peasy, but following instructions and grasping logic are still a few years away...we have our work cut out for us! In that case, the parents and I really have to work as a team to get as much value out of the time we have as possible. They know their child much better than I do, in terms of what's going to capture her or his attention: animal noises? Challenging shapes? Watching the parents get really into it? Lots of praise from me? Sometimes just the opposite: the less I notice the kid, the more he or she wants to know what I'm going on about!
These sessions tend to be an hour, but with that middle age group, sometimes half an hour is best. I talked about parents a lot, but you can do a family yoga session with a niece or nephew, or with a child that you nanny, as long as you have the parent's permission. You can book a family yoga session with me through Bella Vita! It can be a great way to spend more time with your family, and to burn off some extra energy while it's still too cold to spend much time outside. Check out www.bellavitaworld.com.
I also have another aerial yoga class on the horizon: Saturday March 21st at 3:00pm at Loom Yoga Center! Mark your calenders, and get signed up at www.loomyoga.com! Since I don't have regular yoga classes on the schedule right now, you don't want to miss your chances! We'll be celebrating the return of Spring with that class with lots of freedom and flight! Come play with us!