Shari Vilchez-Blatt loves kids! This is the first thing you notice when you walk into her yoga studio, Karma Kids Yoga in New York City, a studio which caters to young yogis.
Shari’s enthusiasm and fun, creative approach to life infuses everything from the colorful wall paintings and bright green floor to the kids birthday parties, special events (such as Downward Doll Yoga and Pajama Glow in the Dark Yoga) and award winning music CD “Come Play Yoga!”
Shari joins Donna Freeman to talk all things kids yoga and share the impact she’s seen in the lives of families who participate. We’ll also delve into how partner poses influence children, youth and families creating connections, building trust and improving balance along with adding laughter and excitement to yoga class.
Can’t believe it … I fed my kids completely the wrong thing for breakfast (according to Ayurvedic principles). But what did I know. I’ve eaten it all my life.
Thank goodness for Cate Stillman, YogaHealer, and her easy to employ body care skills.
As I spoke with Cate during our recent interview the idea of adopting a few basic Ayurvedic practices into our lives felt more and more doable. I have a very basic understanding of Ayurveda and know I’m a strong Pitt with Vata tendencies and some ways to help keep that in balance. But there is tons I don’t know, especially as it relates to my family and raising my children with awareness of their bodies. Sure we do yoga together, make what I believe to be healthy food choices most of the time (… I do love my chocolate), and try to get adequate rest. However, I also know that we could live healthier, more vital lives with a few tweaks here and there.
- suggestions for curing mouth breathing and the reasons why nostril breathing is so important
- recipe for Boo Candy and why you’ll want to make it part of your daily diet (I’m making some today)
- tips on living a snot-free life
- and much more
Here is the article from MindBodyGreen that we refer to in the interview – Got Snot? Top 3 Reasons (and Solutions) from Ayurveda
Yoga Games Galore is packed with 112 yoga games for physical, mental, social and emotional development. Adding the element of play to your yoga practice and classes is a powerful and highly enjoyable approach which considers each individual as a complex and wonderful being, while honing valuable skills, traits and attributes.
Yoga Games Galore Includes
- 20 Breathing Games such as Air Soccer, Blow Painting and Piston Breathing
- 28 Yoga Activity Games with favorites Yogi Says, Musical Mats and Yoga Jenga, as well as Leep Yoga Frog, One Om, Who’s the Leader, Animal Imitators, Postcards, Transportation Clues and many more
- an entire section of relaxation, mindfulness and meditation games — for example: Be a Wax Work, Puppet on a String and Turtle Walking
- loads of yoga games to play with balls, bean bags, feathers, hula hoops, parachutes and pompoms
Enjoy accessing the many benefits of yoga poses, breathing techniques and mindfulness while having a blast. Yoga Games Galore will take your kids/family/teen yoga classes to the next level by providing a plethora of options for every age and ability. Never be at a loss of what to do for an entire class, as an opening activity or to finish off the last 5 minutes.
“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning”
Yoga Games Galore is an environmentally friendly digital download arriving directly to your in-box. Save it to your hard-drive and use it again and again. Print it off for easy reference. Enjoy 40 pages of fabulous, fun yoga games.
Introductory price of only $18.97 – no shipping or handling fees (YEAH!)
Members of the YIMS Teacher’s Lounge can access +20 yoga games via the Yoga Games resource page.
Donna had a wonderful time presenting at the National Kids Yoga Conference held in Washington, DC Sept 30-Oct 2. As a thank you for all those who attended and for our amazing YIMS community we are giving away a copy of Yoga Games Galore. Contest runs until October 12th.
This easy to play kids yoga game develops the dexterity and flexibility of the feet while also working on core stability and balance. Add in a sorting/classifying element (an early math skill) and you’re golden!
How to Play Toe-ga
For years I’ve been playing Toe-ga with my kids yoga classes. This is where you scatter a number of craft pompoms on the floor and then have children pick them up and put them into a container using only their toes. Toe-ga is always a hit and is often requested again & again. Usually I use small plastic baskets or cups as the container.
Then I found this creative use of a muffin tin to sort by color and develop fine motor skills on Raising 4 Princesses. I knew immediately that this would work like a charm for Toe-ga. So I dug out a mini-muffin tin and my pompoms and got to work.
I’ll be using my fine new Toe-ga Kids Yoga Sorting Game whenever I teach a colors kids yoga class. For tons of great yoga ideas to teach colors check out My Many Colored Days on Omazing Kids.
Toe-ga and over 100 other fun and creative kids yoga games will soon be available for download in our fabulous new resource Yoga Games Galore, scheduled for release late September 2012. Like us on Facebook and watch for the announcement.
Bullying and violence are a major problem in schools and among youth. This special episode will focus on how yoga-based techniques are proving effective in bully proofing our children and classrooms.
Dee Marie, of Calming Kids, will share her ground-breaking program that teaches yoga and conflict management skills to youth giving them the skills needed to be calm and compassionate, strong and resilient. We’ll also discuss the recent Harvard study results of the program. Also joining us is Cheryl Crawford (Grounded), with the program Quest for Elevation which is used in schools to teach yoga based techniques to combat bullying.
Find out how yoga can empower your children and stop bullying.
Enjoy this Shanti Generation video of teens talking about how yoga helps counter bullying
One of the most often asked question for school-based yoga programs is “Does it really work?” The International Association for School Yoga and Mindfulness (IASYM) responds with a resounding “YES!”
Our distinguished panel of quests will discuss some of the current research being conducted and how that research is translated into powerful school-based programs, bringing calm, focus and learning readiness into today’s classrooms. Karma Carpenter, Director of IASYM, Lynda Meeder, Director of YogaKids, Anne Buckley-Reen, OT & founder of Get Ready to Learn, and Cheryl Crawford, founder of Grounded, join us to share their experiences in researching the effects of yoga and mindfulness in schools. Discover how yoga is impacting kids, teachers and administrators through innovative programs proven effective by University research.
Our panel of amazing guests can be found at:
This is Part 2 in a four part series on Om for Kids and Teens. Watch for Part 1: The Sound of the Universe. Part 3: To Om or Not to Om and Part 4: The Benefits of Om.
Hello, my name is Donna Freeman, founder of Yogainmyschool.com. Today we’re here to talk about the wonderful sound OM.
Invariably when I go into a school or to teach children, somebody in the class who has never done yoga before will come in, sit down on their mat and go like this, “OOOMMMMM!” They are all excited to begin chanting. So, I’ll show you how to do that properly and the aspects of OM you can teach to children.
Today Alea has joined me. She is going to learn a few mudras, hand positions that you can do while chanting OM. As well as the different aspects of the sound itself.
Now when you chant OM, it’s really helpful because the vocalization changes the energy in your body, it provides healing energy. It enhances your overall health. It calms your emotions and quiets the mind while providing relaxation. And increases the sense of togetherness.
When you chant om, a lot of people, because of how it is written in English, think it is just two sounds O-M. I actually prefer the written form A-U-M, for OM, because that represents much better the sounds which you are producing.
There are three and a half parts to om. The first is down here in your belly. It is a big aaaahhh sound. And then the uuuuu sound is up into your chest. From there the mmmmm comes to your head. It’s like a buzzing bee. Then there is blessed silence. When you OM you have those parts to it.
The other part is a mudra if you are comfortable with that. The two most popular are anjali mudra, or namaste hands. Anjali meaning heart. So you can bring your thumbs to your sternum. The other would be gyan mudra where you make a circle with your index finger and thumb and the rest of your fingers are extended, and then you place that on your knees. You can choose whichever one of those you like. Or if you are not comfortable with either one you don’t need to do it either.
Join with us in oming three times. Close your eyes. Inhale.
Take a deep breath. Bow your head. And allow your eyes to fall open.
Very nicely done.
So I hope that helps for when you are teaching OM to children and teens and bringing the lovely sound of yoga into your life. Have a wonderful day. Namaste.
5 Days To Increase Love in Your Life
Make your Valentine’s week more loving by connecting with yourself and others in a positive, respectful way. From Monday to Friday of Valentine’s Week put into practice these simple daily tasks and watch your heart embrace goodness and joy with appreciation and compassion. Get your family and friends involved too.
It’s easy to cultivate love in your life with the YIMS Valentine’s Week Tender Loving Care Challenge.
Tell each member of your family you love them. Look them in the eye and let them know the depth of your feelings. Write a note and slip it into their lunch bag. If they live far away, send them a quick e-mail, e-card or Facebook message. If you can, pick up the phone, Facetime or Skype them so they can see you and hear you as you express your love. Simple or profound, doesn’t matter. Just let your family know how much they mean to you.
Tell the people in your life what you admire about them. It could be your kids, spouse, co-workers, boss, teacher, neighbor, friend, or a stranger on the street. Express how much you like their natural style, how they take on challenges, their new haircut, a piece of jewelry, their smile, the kindness they show to others, etc. The best compliments are those which are specific and sincere. Compliments are a wonderful boost to anyone’s day so be generous.
Affirmations are a powerful way to access your sub-conscious. Share positive, encouraging, heart-felt messages with those important to you, including yourself. Write them on post-it notes, cards, homemade Valentine’s, paper plates, poster-board, Facebook messages, Twitter updates, lipstick on the mirror…everywhere and anywhere. Have fun, be creative. Some ideas to get the ball rolling: Believe in Yourself, Love with an open heart, You are Fabulous, Sweeter than Candy, Smile from deep inside, Share the joy, Abundance abounds. Photo from ChildLight Yoga Facebook Page.
Healing touch is a wonderful gift. Take a few moments and connect physically and emotionally with someone. You don’t need to be an expert, simply use confident strokes, gently giving attention to all areas, especially on hands: the fingers & fleshy part at the base of the thumb, and on feet: the toes & the tender areas of the arch. For specifics watch this video on how to give a fab foot massage.
Spend 5-10 minutes lying in savasana while focusing on opening your heart. Let go of old hurts. Clear your heart and mind of those things which are holding you back. Soften and let go. Allow space within your chest for the heart to rest comfortably and perform it’s proper function. Focus on your heart center, anahata chakra, and tap into your true heart’s desire. Fill your body with compassionate awareness and peace. Take this feeling of contentment and hope with you throughout your day and share it with others.
Leave a comment letting us know how the YIMS Valentine’s Week TLC Challenge went in your life. Have fun cultivating love!
More Yoga Valentine’s Day Ideas
For more yoga inspired ideas on celebrating Valentine’s Day visit
- Kids Valentine’s Day Yoga Class: a heart centered practice
- play Sending Joy: fill the the entire world with good intentions and watch it make our own life more loving
- Give Love: A Valentine’s Day Yoga Lesson Plan from OMazing Kids Yoga
- enjoy this Loving Kindness Meditation
- play Hearts Hide ‘n Seek: increase intuition & sensitivity