New yoga studio offering class for kids



For Lindsay Sterling and her two daughters, something good came out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Everleigh, 9, and Hollyn, 6, were starting eLearning, some of Lindsay’s friends said they found Jaime Amor’s Cosmic Kids Yoga videos on YouTube.

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Amor, who grew up in England, had been doing yoga for a few years when she started to incorporate poses into stories she was telling her kids. She started doing story-based kids yoga and later began teaching it in schools.

In March 2012, her husband suggested they film some of the yoga stories and post them on YouTube so kids could do them at any time. Since then, the Cosmic Kids Yoga videos have been viewed more than 50 million times.

“My kids started doing it just as a brain break during the day when we are doing eLearning,” Lindsay said. “Sometimes, we replace gym class during the day with this yoga, and they were loving it. My girls are three years apart, so I love that it kept both of them engaged doing the same thing and it was fun for them. They didn’t really realize they were exercising.”

The more the girls asked to watch the videos and do yoga, the more Lindsay looked into it and thought it was something she could start herself.

She had been doing yoga for a few years with Heather Boknecht, who recently opened Studio SPF in Brownstown.

“I had been on board with Heather opening this studio, and so I was like, ‘I feel like this could really be something that our community could benefit from,’” Lindsay said.

She became certified online with Amor, which included practical instruction, learning nearly 150 poses recommended for kids and learning how to manage kids in a class, keep them engaged and work with different abilities.

“It was really, really enlightening,” Lindsay said. “A lot of back and forth between her and me with videos and doing a mock class. I did that here at the studio. Basically, it was learning kids’ development because they are a little bit different than adults, so learning their development and what changes their bodies are going through, what their brains can handle, that kind of thing.”

The yoga poses are simplified versions of what adults do, and Lindsay calls them different names that are familiar to kids and based on the story theme for the week.

The kids yoga class started July 21 at Studio SPF and will continue to be offered from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

It’s for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade and costs $5 per session or 10 classes for $40. Kids can bring their own yoga mat or buy one at the studio for $10. They also should bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothing.

Lindsay had eight kids in the first class in the larger room at the studio and 12 in the second session in the smaller room. The rooms can accommodate up to 20 and 12, respectively, to keep them socially distanced.

Many of the kids in the classes had a parent in the other room doing yoga or barre, and child care is available for their siblings.

The theme for the first week was “The Wizard of Oz,” and the theme for this week is Disney World. Lindsay asks the kids for input on the themes, and then she finds a story to tell based on that.

The story and yoga are done during the first 30 minutes of the class, and the remaining time is devoted to a craft.

“They need a little bit more to keep them engaged than just the instruction,” she said. “I think the engaging story part is great for the kids. It really does keep their interest.”

Lindsay said there are several benefits to yoga, including managing anxiety, stress, feelings and changes, developing better sleep habits and building muscles and strength.

“The longer that they do it, they’ll realize that they are able to do a pose better than they were before, that they feel stronger when they are doing it,” she said. “They don’t realize it, but we’re working a lot with their core and things like that, which just helps their overall body health.”

The kids yoga class also is a good social outlet, Lindsay said.

“They get to work out together, but yet they are kind of separate at the same time,” she said.

This is Lindsay’s first time teaching yoga, and while she enjoys leading the kids through the story and poses, she said talking to them while they do a craft and sit on their yoga mats has been special for her.

“They all seemed to feel really comfortable, and then we even kind of got into them talking about things with school coming up, how it will look different and were they nervous, were they not nervous,” she said.

“I think just having a comfortable space for them where they can not only get some physical activity but also feel like it’s a safe place to discuss what’s on their mind as they grow up, it was surprising to me that we weren’t just focused on, ‘Hey, let’s color the rocks,’ but they really wanted to chat a lot, which was fun,” she said.

Everleigh and Hollyn are among the kids in the class, and they enjoy spending time with their mom and other kids.

“It’s really calming, and when you go home, you’re just really calm and relaxed,” Everleigh said.

Her friend, Josie Beavers, 9, also has liked the kids yoga class. She said she took classes with her mom, Kirsten, in the past and is glad to have another option now.

“I like to be around my friends. It’s relaxing. It makes me more loose and helps my brain relax,” Josie said. “I would encourage other kids to come here if they want to have fun and relax. Maybe younger kids or maybe kids my age, anybody, I hope would enjoy the themes and crafts and just being with all of their friends.”

Down the road, Lindsay said she would like to offer a yoga class for teens at the studio.

“They are starting to get out of that needing a story, so we’ll tie theirs in more with things going on with their peers or with their bodies. It will be a little bit more friend-oriented, like some partner yoga type things,” she said. “We thought we would kind of get our feet wet with (kids yoga) and see how it went.”

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A kids yoga class is offered from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Studio SPF, 214 S. Sugar St., Brownstown.

It’s for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade and costs $5 per session or 10 classes for $40. Kids can bring their own yoga mat or buy one at the studio for $10. They also should bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothing.

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