YouYoga

YOGA THAT LETS YOU BE YOU

YOUYOGA Kids: Junior Yoga Instructor Program with Danelle Drury April 9, 2012

We’re looking forward to having your child(ren) participate in YOUYOGA Kids:  Junior Yoga Instructor Program.   You might be wondering what exactly is Kids’ Yoga?   Well, at YOUYOGA we believe it’s a combination of many things, and over the course of 6 yoga practices your child will experience the following:

First, we tap into your child’s creativity by pretending we’re animals or elements that occur in nature; such as  large mountains.  When we use our creativity we also learn to think for ourselves, and challenge our minds.

Movement is another aspect of YOUYOGA Kids.  By practicing asana, also known as yoga poses, your children will build strength and focus. They’ll also learn to appreciate their bodies, and what they are capable of accomplishing through consistent effort and awareness.

We’ll also focus on your child’s love of sound.  Connecting movements through song helps to build brain power, which is great way to increase memory.  The children will also learn the names of poses along with various breathing techniques.

The best part about YOUYOGA Kids is: During the 6th session each child will lead part of a yoga practice sharing with their families what they’ve learned.  That’s right……they’re going to teach YOU!  At the end of their instruction they’ll be presented with a Junior Yoga Instructor Certificate.

At YOUYOGA, we believe that sharing yoga with your child  can help promote self-awareness, discipline and self-confidence. It’s the ultimate learning through play!  We can’t wait to get started!  Here are the dates for the summer session, and we’re looking forward to seeing you there.  Each class is limited to 12 students, so don’t delay:

Summer Sessions:

 

Wednesdays, May 9 – June 6

4:00 – 4:45 pm, Ages: 5-8

5:00 -5:45 pm, Ages: 9-12

 

Wednesdays, June 13 – July 25

4:00 – 4:45 pm, Ages: 5-8

5:00 -5:45 pm, Ages: 9-12

 

Cost: $54 for each 6 week session

 

Fight Club…..It’s NOT What You Might Be Thinking February 10, 2012

 

Holly Reynolds, Fight Club and Ericka Bell, YOUYOGA

A couple of weeks of go I was invited to share in a yoga practice at Title Boxing Club in Prairie Village, Kansas…….seems a bit odd?  Well, truthfully it was for a moment.  I walked into a gym with a large group of people looking unleashed as they were swinging hard on punching bags in unison with hard-hitting music.  It was all game face on and sweat puddles on the ground.   In that crowd emerged the petite, sure of herself, as well as her message  Holly Reynolds.  I had the pleasure of meeting Holly several weeks ago when she attended one of my yoga classes.

After our practice together she invited me to be a guest instructor for her non-profit organization Fight Club.  This program has been created to help teenagers between the ages of 13-17 years to help empower themselves against bullying whether physical, or verbal.   Without hesitation I said, “Yes!”  I honestly did not know what I had agreed to, but I was happy to be involved in a program that shared, and practiced a positive message.  I had never worked with, or taught a large group of teenagers before, so it was a little uncomfortable to start…..I also wasn’t sure how they would respond to a yoga practice.

To my surprise and relief this youthful group of participants were responsive,  as well as willing to try something that was new to the largest majority of them.  As I gained my confidence in sharing, it appeared that they gained their confidence in participating.  I must admit while standing at the front of the class it was quite a lovely sight to witness the individual expressions of their Swan Dives, Updogs and Warriors. 

I don’t know if any of them will ever do yoga again, but that wasn’t the point.  What mattered is they were willing to try something different.  They also found that they were capable of pushing their boundaries with patience and confidence.   Along with a supportive awareness of themselves, as well as for the people who shared in the practice with them.  When I realized that I helped to create that moment with that special group of  kids…..it was quite a good feeling. 

So, I say……Job Well Done Mrs.  Holly Reynolds, as well as the staff/supporters of Fight Club!!!  By creating small moments for these youth you’re creating large opportunities for bright futures for your students.  Thank You again for allowing YOUYOGA to experience a taste of the greatness that you all create everyday for the kids of Fight Club.

 

 

Find out more about Fight Club, and how you can support this organization:  HollyReynoldsesthetics@yahoo.com

 

Yoga For Kids! January 31, 2012

Danell Drury, 200 CYT

Kids naturally love to move, and they still have their natural flexibility and suppleness that we start to lose once we spend hours sitting in chairs, like in school! Yoga for kids encourages this natural love of motion and facilitates adventures in which kids can further explore their bodies and the amazing things they can do. Yoga adventures also stimulate young imaginations by encouraging the visualization of various animals/creatures for poses: “Make your body into a little ball like a tiny mouse! Or let’s put our legs up the wall and stand on our hands like upside down spiders!  Can you be a peeing dog? Try to lift one leg behind you in the air from dog pose?!”  

In addition to being a whole lot of fun, yoga for kids also creates kinesthetic awareness that promotes the development of good co-ordination and the fine and gross motor skills so important to the developing child.  Kids’ yoga helps to boost self-esteem and confidence and provides an environment  where positive peer relationships are fostered, and healthy life style habits encouraged.

Typically, kids’ yoga classes are based around a story or adventure, and the children’s bodies become the characters, the things they encounter, even the modes of transportation for the adventure – boats, bicycles, airplanes….and as with adult yoga, a time for quiet stillness and reflection is part of kids’ yoga too. Relaxation and deep breathing are coping tools that can be as important to children as to adults.

 

Some tips for encouraging our kids to do yoga at homeTry Being Trees!

  • Take time to be trees in a forest (vrksasana/tree pose), letting littler children just balance the toes of the raised leg on the floor next to the standing foot.  
  • Talk them through noticing how their one foot is rooting into the earth. Let them imagine roots growing from the foot, deep down into the ground, to hold them there.  Draw their attention to the strong and firmly held trunk of the tree –the leg and torso (abs and pelvic floor muscles engaged to help balance). Let them wave branches (their arms and fingers) in the breeze.
  • And then take a moment to sit down quietly, close your eyes and imagine you are in a forest. What sounds can you “hear”? Birds chirping? Wind rustling?  Encourage children to make the sounds they imagine hearing for you.   
  • Talk about how trees are important to life on earth, how they clean the air for us to breathe and provide homes for birds and animals and how we can look after trees – e.g. recycling paper.
  • Then do some deep breathing, lying in savasna/relaxation pose, imagining that you are lying in a beautiful forest. Describe the forest for your children to visualize, focusing  on all the senses – what can you hear, feel, see, smell, taste as you lie there. Or if there is an older child, perhaps have them describe the forest – great creative writing practice!
  •  Once you have had a few minutes of quietness, encourage the children to draw the forest they pictured and the animals or birds they heard in it.
 

Tadasana: Mountain Pose 3 August 23, 2011

As the month of August is winding down to an end I wanted to ask…have you been working your Mountain Pose?  Well, in our home it has caught on and my son, Darius insisted that I share his Tadasana with all of you.  How beautiful and how awesome to see him connecting with self.  As he practiced this asana he quickly discovered that he had to become aware of his actions.  He had to quiet his brain and let his body be the guide.  Lastly, he had to slow down and just breath.  Afterwards he stated; “Man this yoga stuff is hard, but I like it.”

His statement shows that in order to grow we have to find grace in the challenges of our lives.  If we pack up and run every time things get “too hard” we will not discover the strength that lies within us waiting to blossom.  We also have to turn our energy inward to explore the possibilities of self.  In the beginning of his practice, he wanted to simply mimic my actions which is perfectly fine, and natural.  However, the true growth of his Tadasana came when his energy began to turn inward.  By drawing our attention to self we find weakness and strength.  We can also find stiffness and flexibility.  Overtime these elements will find harmony given us  a greater appreciation for self.  In my opinion, this is the best gift of one’s yoga practice.

As we visit Tadasana for the last time this month here are a few tips to help you get the most from this asana.

1. Stand with your feet hip distance a part.  Draw your weight evenly between both feet and legs.  Feel your feet rooted deeply into the earth by keeping the heels firm and the toes extended.  As your balance improves bring your big toes and heels together.

2.  As you ground down in your feet, feel a line of energy from the ankles, to the knees, and the hips.  Begin to draw the leg muscle up and curl your tailbone forward.  As you move the tailbone forward feel the lower back, or lumbar spine lengthen.  Begin to gently draw your belly in, as well as up to support the lower back. 

3.  Let the arms extend along the sides of your body, with palms facing your thighs, and fingers pointing down.  Feel the neck lengthen away from your shoulders.  Continue to draw your shoulders back and down, as if you were going to place your shoulder blades in your back pockets.  Lift your sternum, or your heart center,  and broaden your chest.  Let your breath flow in and out normally.

4. As you stand in your Mountain Pose continue pressing down through the mounds of your toes and heels of the feet.  Feel yourself rooted in the lower body and yet light in your upper body.  Allow the breath to quiet the mind as you seek stillness and strength from within.  Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.  Each time you practice your asana continue to come with a curiosity, and a willingnees to discover something new that lies within you.

(Reference:  B.K.S. Iyengar YOGA the Path to Holistic Health, p.68-69)