Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as I was invited to attend Little Shanti Yoga’s class. All opinions expressed here are my own. —
This past Sunday, (A), (E), and I got a chance to check out Little Shanti Yoga. I was very excited. The New City Library currently has a program with them. You must sign up weekly for the class. Unfortunately, it is during the morning when (A) and I are at school. I would have signed him up to go if there were sessions in the afternoon.
The studio founder and owner Miss. Wendy is a certified yoga instructor, and a holistic health coach. She has a background as a preschool teacher, and decided to put her two talents together. Her classes range from ages 2 months to 18 years, and also includes classes for those with special needs. There are “mommy and me” classes, kids only, and family yoga (sounds like a good family activity to me!). Miss. Wendy has many interesting specialty classes including some that are girls only, and mother daughter. One of these that I am very interested in is the “Yoga and Gardening Workshop.” This encompasses two things that I am a big fan of! Little Shanti does classes at local libraries, and many of the area schools too! All of the available programs can be found on their website http://www.littleshantiyoga.vpweb.com. You can also follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/littleshantiyoga.
The cost of a session is typical to that of all classes for kid, if you break it down to price per minute (ppm) it’s actually a little cheaper. I really like that sessions are less than an hour in most cases. (A) is three and like most kids his age, he can rarely focus for an entire hour. That means that for a portion of many of the activities that I have taken him to we are paying for time that he is not using.
Miss. Wendy uses her background in childhood education to drive the classes. This is great, especially given the new common core agenda. The kids did not just do some yoga poses. She really gets the kids engaged and she also incorporates coloring and literacy into her sessions. During the class that we attended she read pages from the Halloween book “What am I Halloween?”, and then taught the kids the corresponding poses for the characters read. This is all while teaching other important aspects of yoga, like slow controlled movement and breathing. If a child fell out of step (and in a 3-5 year old class this is often no matter how good your child is) they were simply encouraged to get back into the class with a personal invitation. “(A) can you show me how to be a spider?” If everyone wasn’t on the same page class did not stop. It was obvious that in this environment it is understood that kids are kids and that they will eventually get back into it after their little break. This level of comfort is especially nice with this age group since they are trying so hard to be individuals. At the end of the class there is time to calm down. Miss. Wendy puts a pillow on your eyes and gives magic lotion out only if someone wants it. The kids love the novelty as well as the personal choice portion. They get to relax and have a moment to destress. The lights get turned off and in her calm voice when they are ready the students get to put away the pillows and those of their parents.
The class winds down at the end.
(A), (E), and I really enjoyed the class and I would recommend it to anyone. We all felt good afterwards ((E) didn’t tell me but she smiled and cooed plenty). (A) said that he had fun and asked when we could go back to yoga class. He told me that he liked Miss. Wendy, which is always a win in my book. I like that it gives my ever moving three year old a way to channel energy and teaches him to calm down and destress a little. As an educator and mother you cannot ignore what is going on with the common core, and Miss. Wendy is on the mark with her incorporation of literacy. A resounding theme with parents of children who are immersed in the new curriculum is the stress of the difficult work and the numerous tests that they are forced to take, so it seems that the ability to calm down and destress is more important than ever for children and parents alike. I am going to try to get (A) into a class from here on out. A+++ for Little Shanti Yoga.
Have a children’s class or program you would like me to spotlight? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.