Monday, September 12, 2011

CanFitPro Workshop Highlights: Little Lotus Yoga

Hope you had a great weekend.  It was sunny here in Toronto and fingers crossed that is going to stick around for a while :)

It's time to feature yet another fantastic workshop that I attended at the CanFitPro Fitness Conference in August and let me tell you, I was really excited about this one!

Many of you know that I started teaching yoga to children and youth last spring and I was really looking forward to getting some fresh ideas to use with my classes.

Little Lotus Yoga was presented by Amanda DeGrace, a truly lovely lady who runs Little Lotus Yoga programs in the Ottawa area.

Amanda began by sharing some tips about doing yoga with children:
  • Try using a recording with voice and music where it talks about the different movements
  • Animal poses and movements are always a big hit
  • Visualizations are a great way to help relax the busy mind of a little one

This workshop was a little different than the other ones I have written about.  It was an active session as opposed to a lecture so we had the opportunity to experience the class exactly the way a preschooler would.

Here are a few examples of the exercises that we learned.

Partner Stretching
Sit side-by-side with your partner in a cross-legged easy pose.  Place your left hand on the the ground and reach your right arm over your head (as pictured) and try to touch your partners hand.  Focus on deep belly breathing.  Turn around and repeat on the other side.

Group Relay
Divide the children into teams and have each team line up on one side of the room.  One by one have each member of the group move to the other side of the room doing a yoga pose (downward dog, crab walk, cat etc.).  You could make it a race or just allow every group to do it at their own pace.

We used this mantra in class and with each sound, you touch your thumb to a different finger.  Chanting can really help children relax after a busy day. I don't generally use chanting in my classes, but it was fun to try something different.

Do your kids practice yoga?  Have you ever done it with them?

Stay Healthy,

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