Thoughts on yoga for children, yoga and parenting, family, health, our community, mom-owned businesses, and other things we love.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Seacoast Mom & Baby Wellness Event - free!

Attention new moms and moms-to-be! The 3rd annual Seacoast Mom & Baby Wellness Sampler will be held on Friday, November 20th from 1 – 3pm at Yoga East Yoga Studio in Portsmouth, NH.

Come learn about natural approaches to family wellness. Chat with local business owners about products, services and issues that are important to you and your growing family. Enjoy the serenity of Yoga East's beautiful studio while meeting other like-minded parents at the same stage of parenthood. The afternoon will be filled with product demos, free screenings, information gathering, meet-n-greet, free samples & gifts, refreshments, and a drawing for amazing raffle items and gift certificates provided by the featured vendors and others. Vendors include The Dinner Goddess, Gypsy Mama, Slings & Baby Things, La Leche League, NYR Organics, Seacoast Doula Group, Gymboree, Stroller Strides, Cardea Chiropractic, Beth Devlin, ND, Essentia Botanica, Coastal CPR, Heartful Birth, Tracy Miller/Nutrition Counselor, Safe Steps Childproofing, Mommy Be Well, and many more. First 40 moms will receive a free gift from the New Mother’s Resource Guide.

Lisa Flynn is Founder of ChildLight Yoga and creator and co-sponsor of the event. “In addition to providing information about our yoga-based programs for babies and children, we are happy to be able to include over 25 other wellness-related vendors and business representatives this year. And of course, we are excited to announce Stonyfield Farm, the maker of YoBaby, as our corporate sponsor for the 2009 event. Stonyfield is a perfect fit for the event’s focus on natural health and new families.”

“We are thrilled to be part of the Mom & Baby Wellness Sampler and be able to share with Seacoast moms our newest arrival, YoBaby Meals,” says Jeff Pillet-Shore, Brand Manager for Stonyfield Farm. “YoBaby Meals offers a delicious 3-in-1 combination of yogurt + fruit + veggies in one convenient cup, making it easy to feed your baby or toddler a nutritious meal.”

ChildLight Yoga was founded to encourage an early practice of yoga and relaxation, providing children with a foundation for life-long wellness - body, mind and spirit. The company provides yoga classes for babies, toddlers, families and children, as well as teacher trainings & workshops held nationwide. Its mission is to spread the amazing gifts of yoga, mindfulness and relaxation to all children everywhere.

Stonyfield Farm, the maker of YoBaby, has spent the past 26 years supporting healthy food, healthy people, and a healthy planet. As the world's leading organic yogurt company, Stonyfield's certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed nationally, and 10 percent of profits support initiatives that protect and restore the Earth.

For event information, please visit or call 603-781-3323.

Lisa Flynn
21 Academy St, S. Berwick, ME


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween Yoga for Kids

Teaching yoga to kids at Halloween time is a wonderful and super FUN opportunity to stretch the imaginations of the children in our classes. Halloween adventure stories make for a perfect themed lesson plan. Here is a basic story I've used in the past with preschool to first graders:

Note: Set the ambience by dimming the lights and placing a carved pumpkin in the center of the circle with a battery operated candle in it. Halloween-themed music with no vocals is nice too - just make sure it's not too scary! You can find lots of themed music CDs this time of year for as little as $1 at places like Wal-Mart or Rite-Aid.

Halloween Night….

What are you being for Halloween this year? Don't say it out loud. Think about how you can create a yoga pose to demonstrate who you are goinng to be. Take your time. Let's take turns showing our pose and everyone else can guess what you are going to be. (Note: Once the pose is correctly identified, have the entire class try out the new pose.)

Let’s go for a walk around our neighborhood and stop at each house to see if they’ll give us a trick or a treat! WALKING, WALKING SONG

What do we see? TREE, MOON, STAR

Up in that tree is a BLACK CAT…hisssss…meow!

We keeping walking and come to a BRIDGE – let’s cross!

On the other side of the bridge are four scary-looking creatures!
The first one is a LION (Lion’s Breath)

The creatures all start giggling and soon you realize that they are actually your friends dressed up their Halloween costumes! They want you to come with them to a Halloween party – So you all hop on THE BUS and go! (WHEELS ON THE BUS SONG w/movements around the room)

The bus stops and you all get off and see a spooky, old creaky GATE. You open the gate…creaaaaaeeeaaaK and walk through it into a dark yard with lots of viny TREES everywhere.

Up ahead is a sign that say’s ‘Take the BOAT across the river to the party!’ and you notice that there are indeed a bunch of boats lined up along the bank of the river. So you get in and paddle your BOAT across. (While holding boat pose, sing the orginal Row Your Boat song or use ChildLight Yoga's version from the I Grow With Yoga CD.)

As you and your friends come to the other side, you see that you have arrived at a wonderful party. There is a swarm of happy people that come down to greet you when you park your canoe, yelling ‘Happy Halloween!!!!!’

For some other awesome Halloween yoga ideas, please read The Prana Mama's related post titled, Halloween Yoga: Yoga in Disguise and Yoga in My School's post highlighting some great SPIDER pose variations, perfect for this age group.

The Candy Dilemma

Due to allergies and family's personal preferences, I skip handing out candy at yoga class and instead give out treat trinkets such as sticky pretend spiders and the like. You can get these really inexpensively at places like Oriental Trading Company online.

Outside of class, Halloween can be a time where overindulgence is common. Candy and sweets are fine once in a while, but at our house, we often have lots left over after trick or treat, and that isn't healthy for any of us. Recently I just read a good article in Raising Maine about how to handle the influx of candy at halloween. Another idea that we've used is to decide which candies are our favorites and give the rest away (a great lesson in aparigraha, or non-attachment and bramacharya, or self-control/moderation). I like this idea better than just throwing it away, which is wasteful. We put the candy in recycled containers, such as yogurt tubs, and bring it to our service providers like the local bank, post office, etc. so that they can give it away as they wish...and make someone's day a little sweeter.


Labels: , ,

Friday, October 9, 2009

What is Yoga 4 Classrooms?

No child wants to feel uncomfortable, cranky or anxious, or to get in trouble because of hyperactive behavior. Children are intrinsically joyful, peaceful, and compassionate. But as the distractions of the external world increase and stress takes over, it can become challenging for many of them children to connect with their authentic, peaceful selves. In fact, it is my belief, and one of the cornerstones of ChildLight Yoga's Yoga 4 Classrooms program, that without having the time and space for reflection and connection, children ‘forget’ that they have the ability to do so at all.

To be successful, creative learners and compassionate, respectful and self-aware human beings, children must be given opportunities to draw their awareness back away from the sometimes overwhelming distractions of the outside world. In doing so, children are brought into the present moment, a place where they can pause, truly hear and feel, reflect and learn. A few deep breaths, physical movement or stretching to reconnect the body/mind, and moments for quiet reflection, are often a quick and easy way to ‘reset’ the nervous system for calm and focus. It is also in this place that children develop the ability to know, understand and appreciate their true nature. Empowering children to connect within at will, is giving them the gift of knowing inner wisdom, confidence, joy, compassion and contentedness.

Science has shown, and educators have experienced first-hand, that when children are anxious, frustrated or stressed, it is nearly impossible for them to learn. It is only from a relaxed, present state of mind and body that our children can be psychologically and physiologically learning-ready. Right now, more than ever before, school teachers and admistrators are searching for a means to this end.

As Founder of ChildLight Yoga, I have had the privilege of sharing yoga with thousands of children and families in yoga studios, gyms, and schools. Trained in part by Yoga Ed.™, a nationally-recognized company focused on bringing the benefits of yoga into schools, I was inspired and challenged by the classroom teachers I encountered to create a program specifically designed for the classroom environment. There was no such program in existence, so after two years of research, development and test piloting at local schools, Yoga 4 Classrooms™ was born.

Yoga 4 Classrooms™ is a low-cost, fun and effective tool for teachers to use with their students for a peaceful and productive classroom. Through the use of Yoga 4 Classrooms activities, teachers can provide their students with opportunities to grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This, in turn, will help them to connect with themselves and others with compassion, understanding and clarity. The activities promote self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-confidence - the foundations of exceptional learning and a lifetime of health and wellness.

Y4C™ features 65 yoga and mindfulness-based activities, divided into six categories: Let’s Breathe, At Your Desk, Standing, Loosen Up, Imagination Vacation, and Be Well. Each activity includes fully-illustrated instructions, discussion points, sub-activities, and educational tie-ins, for a total of over 200 beneficial classroom practices.

The activities were specially chosen for their suitability for the typical classroom space. That means all activities can be done standing beside or sitting at desks, while bodies and hands remain off the floor, away from dirt and germs. A mix of yoga postures, breath exercises, visualizations, mindfulness activities, creative movement, community-building games, and wellness and character-building discussion points such as the power of positive thinking, nutrition, and being a peacemaker, address the whole child – physical, social and emotional – making this the most unique and comprehensive program of its kind.

Yoga 4 Classrooms is easy for teachers and students to use, and helps to create a more harmonious, learning-friendly school day. And its benefits go well beyond the classroom. Yoga 4 Classrooms provides children with life skills they can use in and out of the classroom for long-term health and well-being. Absolutely anyone can use the Y4C program – teachers, students, parents, therapists – no yoga experience is required.

Yoga 4 Classrooms Teacher Workshops are being scheduled now. Teachers can attend a public seminar or bring the seminar to their school as a staff development workshop. Visit the website for more details.

Labels: , , , ,