New Experience #38: Family Yoga Class

New Experience 38 Family YogaYoga is one of the ways I like to relax.  Occasionally my kids will see me doing a few yoga poses in the living room and join me for a downward dog or two.  Leah especially loves yoga  and likes to show off her tree pose from time to time.

When I saw that one of my favorite yoga studios, Princeton Center for Health and Yoga, was offering a Family Yoga class as a special event, I knew it would be a great new experience for use to try.

I am so glad we went.  The class far exceeded my expectations.  I thought we’d do a few animal poses and call it a day, but the class was far more organized and incorporated more of yoga’s relaxation benefits than I thought it would.

When we entered the studio, the instructor, Loring Nagle, told us to get a mat and a Focus Friend.  I had no idea what a Focus Friend was for, but my kids loved the selection of small stuffed animals.  Luke chose an octopus, and Leah took a frog on a lily pad.

holding a focus friendWe arranged our mats in a semicircle and started with an introductory song that celebrated each person in the group.  We stretched a bit to warm up and then prepared to do Leah’s favorite, the tree pose.  Loring told us to place our Focus Friends a few feet in front of us so we could stare at them as we balanced on one foot.  It worked so well that I may need to bring a Focus Friend to the next yoga class I go to on my own!

As the class continued, I was very impressed with the way Loring brought the perfect mix of playfulness and concentration to the class.  I suppose that all yoga classes should bring those two elements, but it is especially important when teaching children.  Bring too much playfulness, and the kids will get silly and have a hard time settling down.  Bring too much concentration, and the class might seem more like work than relaxation.   I need to remember to stay as calm and serene as a yoga instructor in my daily interactions with my children.  They responded so well to Loring’s style.

Both Luke and Leah had fun during the class.  Luke enjoyed doing Sun Salutations to music.  Leah liked doing the cat/cow stretches and making a forest of trees during the Tree Pose.

family yoga classI love watching my children in their role as students.  I also had an opportunity to do this when we took a cooking class, and it is interesting to see a side of them I don’t often get to see.  Luke is a very serious student.  The concentration on his face was visible as he touched every finger to his thumb during a meditation exercise.  Leah aims to please.  She raised her hand every time the instructor asked a question, even if she had no answer.

The class ended the way a traditional yoga class ends, with savasana (also called corpse pose).  We stretched out on our backs on the floor.  Loring instructed us to place our Focus Friend on our bellies and watch it move up and down as we breathed in and out.  She came around to each person and massaged a little lavender-scented lotion on our feet.  Leah turned to me and said, “That felt SO good!” Luke also commented on how much he liked the foot massage.

We all left class feeling both relaxed and energized.  I just wish we could take a Family Yoga class more often!

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About 52BrandNew

I am a single stay at home mom who is determined to live life to its fullest.
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54 Responses to New Experience #38: Family Yoga Class

  1. midnitechef says:

    Love this, might have to try one of the free yoga sessions in the park in Austin with the kids…

  2. healthybodyvibe says:

    What a GREAT idea. I wish they had something like that in my area.. Better yet, Im going to look into doing this in my area! :)

    • 52BrandNew says:

      You should definitely try it in your area. It would be so much fun, and it would be a great service to your community.

      • I agree!!!
        I definitely thrive to provide my community with great services which is why I work long hard days on my Health and Wellness Services. I just never thought of a Family Yoga Class. We have Yoga classes, Zumba and a few others… Just not ‘Family Yoga Class’
        Thanks again for you fantastic post!

  3. transitionstande says:

    This is such a wonderful idea.

  4. iRuniBreathe says:

    What a great way to do something “with” your kids, rather than just watching them. I’ve thought about going to family yoga for a while, and reading your post has inspired me again.
    Thanks for sharing, and congrats on the FP!
    Cheers,
    iRuniBreathe

  5. lucyislucid says:

    Great to read that you enjoyed a family yoga class & as a yoga instructor myself, I’m liking the focus friends idea for classes with children – thanks for sharing OMx

  6. Sounds wonderful! My kids like to do yoga poses with me at home…even our 1 yr old :)

  7. That’s great your starting them off early…love it!!

  8. I think my girl would love yoga! I will look around for some family classes – thanks : )

  9. wilhcarm says:

    I like how you wrote this as if we wrre sering the class through your eyes. Calm exercise with foot lotion and focus friends sounds perfect! I would want that class often, myself. Carolyn

  10. Chris says:

    My kids would destroy everyone’s zen and qi into a pretzel, so I’ll keep them out of the yoga studio (you’re welcome). However, perhaps when they are a tad older, I’ll give it a shot. :)

  11. Cool. We’ve checked out some kid yoga videos at the library before but we’ve never tried a class. The boys had fun with the videos. It looks like your kids enjoyed it. The focus friend idea is great.

  12. So stinkin cute!!!

  13. Wow, I love the idea of a focus friend. Sounds like a wonderful class to share with your children :)

  14. Fantastic read! What a great experience for you and your family! In fact… this has given me a few ideas for our patients! Thank you!

  15. narcissista1 says:

    Adorable. I tried this once when my son was two and I he wouldn’t stop running around, so it became a game of chase instead of downward dog. I realize the missing piece was the focus friend! He’s nine now, so maybe we’ll give it another try, but I’m sure this time his focus friend will be his Ninentendo:(

    Becca

  16. What a great experience! I try to do yoga dvds at home on occasion and my 4 year old always tries to join me. I bet she would love to try a class.

    Thanks for sharing!

  17. What a great way to further bond with your children – and good for you for taking them. My son sees me doing downward dog, but it probably too young to stay focused to finish a class…but I love the moments he joins me – right up until he tried to walk on my face during the ‘full body relax’. LOL!

  18. When I did the Pink Method diet and exercise program, there was a 15 minute yoga workout included and I loved it! I keep saying I’m going to go back to it but I never do. Thanks for reminding me how wonderful yoga is. I might even try to get my 15 yr old daughter to do it with me. :-)

  19. tomczaban says:

    What a great idea! I think posture is so important, and what a great way to re-inforce this (while having fun) at an early age.

  20. Great post. I took my son to a yoga class with me when he was 6 months old. He loved it and giggled the whole time.

  21. My daughter is 5 and loves yoga, its such a great experience for little ones. Even my 2 year old makes and attempt, I LOVE it.

  22. S. R. Materi says:

    Thanks for the great information! My daughter and I have started to do some of these exercises every night. :)

  23. dailykaylee says:

    I know my little brothers and my little sister would love this! I’ll definitely have to look into some yoga soon! Thanks for writing!

  24. hilmo1122 says:

    great ideas! the focus friend is super cute, sounds like a fun class!

  25. winecantcurebackpain says:

    reading with interest, love the children getting involved with yoga at home, great to widen it to outside.

  26. Wow, this is so great that you had this experience with your kids! I certainly hope to do so when I have little ones.

  27. Sometimes kids have a way of bringing playfulness and fun that we would never think to incorporate!

    Cheers to you,
    Courtney Hosny

  28. Donna says:

    I’ll make a note of that – great idea!

  29. I was going to ask if this will be a “regular” offering — such a great idea, and I think it teaches children the importance of relaxation and exercise…all at the same time!

    Love the focus friend…awesome… ;)

  30. tothelife says:

    It really relaxed my mind.. Though m nt much of yoga person.. Kind of motivated me..

  31. Combining yoga and family, nothing can be a more divine experience!!

  32. EverdayLivingPNW says:

    Love it that sounds like a great idea…I will have to remember that when me and my wife start having kids of our own!

  33. segmation says:

    It is so great to see families doing Yoga together. Nameste and thanks for sharing. http://www.segmation.wordpress.com

  34. The thought of taking children to a yoga class seems challenging, given what yoga classes traditionally tend to be like. But the intructor as you pointed out, seemed to be aware of this and did a great job of making the class interesting for children too! What a fun and healthy way to spend time with your kids! :)

  35. This is very cool! Thanks for sharing, I love seeing things where families can work together. It’s often difficult to make this time so congrats!

  36. hannahbanana says:

    Terrific concept for a blog, sounds like something a mom would definitely do, haha! I do think this is great, sounds like everyone had fun!

  37. srsck says:

    That sounds like a great experience! Have had Yoga classes on my own personal to do list for ages but never seem to get to it..Will look into the possibilities of family classes here in Amsterdam. I think it’s a great idea to do that with children! By the way I linked to your site in my blog a few days ago, I do hope you don’t mind! It’s on here: http://srsck.com/2012/09/19/hot-air-balloon/

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