Welcome

 

Whole Child Development through Yoga, Stories, Games, and Mindfulness

My name is Stephanie, and I am a certified children’s yoga instructor. I teach a story based yoga program for young children in Northern Virginia childcare centers, local gyms, community centers, or other locations.

I use yoga, mindfulness, and stories to help prepare a strong social/emotional foundation for the demands young children will begin to encounter throughout their lives. Yoga is a wonderful activity that blends well with the natural ebb and flow of storytelling.

Youth today are under an incredible amount of pressure and as an educator, this program is very dear to my heart. I was an office manager for a wellness center and we were looking for a children’s yoga instructor that emphasized on the development of the whole child. We had many teenagers coming to us because of anxiety and self-esteem concerns, so our main goal with the program was to help children build a strong emotional foundation.

We knew the type of program we were looking for to meet the whole child development needs of the children, and I spend hours searching for the ideal curriculum. Unfortunately, when I finally found the perfect program I also learned there were no certified instructors in Northern Virginia that could come to our wellness center and teach the curriculum. I was a Pre-School/Pre-K teacher for several years prior and the love of this program became my passion, so I opted for certification with the hope to make a difference in the lives of children.

Below are just some of the many benefits for children:

  • Helping children with their physical, mental and emotional development
  • Improving their social skills and their fitness levels
  • Benefiting children with special educational needs
  • Improving concentration and learning to relax
  • Helping children develop agility, stamina, and flexibility

 

Why Children Love Adventure Yoga

Kids have very active imaginations and love to hear stories! Storytelling also provides a great opportunity to incorporate a variety of yoga postures throughout the journey. The stories help the children to explore common issues such as communication, bullying, acceptance, frustration, anxiety, and honesty by integrating yoga postures into exciting adventures like trips through the jungle, underwater ocean dives, journeys around the world, and even missions to the moon.

Each week our journey introduces us to a new friend and during our exciting adventure we help the character through a specific issue or concern. We are the heroes of the story! Kids love this and have a great time during our sessions.

The stories are also educational and help pre-schoolers prepare physically and emotionally for school. Our adventures are incredibly captivating and engaging for the little ones. They provide non-stop action, often incorporating an average of 20-30 different yoga postures and many of them are repeated throughout the story. I love helping the kids and work hard to make sure they always have a great time during the classes! 

 

Key Focus Domains for my Program

Literacy Development- Children learn pre-literacy skills through the stories. They also learn how to work through emotions by learning how the characters work through situations in their story.

Executive Function- Mindfulness, breathing exercises, and a brief relaxing period where I reinforce the social/emotional values of the theme are incorporated into the story. I also have a game at the end that focuses on concentration, sensory development/stimulation, hand-eye coordination, relaxation, self-regulation, and fine/gross motor skills.

Social and Emotional Development- The classes are a fun way for preschool children to explore common issues such as communication, acceptance, frustration, anxiety, and honesty by integrating yoga postures into exciting adventures like trips through the jungle, underwater ocean dives, journeys around the world, and even missions to the moon. Each story involves an obstacle that the character must learn how to overcome. The children learn how to work through emotions by learning/helping the characters in the story.

Physical Development- Each class incorporates approximately 25 different yoga poses and many of them are repeated throughout the story. I work exclusively with the little ones and the class is very fast moving to keep them engaged.

Cognitive Development- We travel across the globe to meet our different characters and incorporate facts about the areas we visit of the types of animals we meet. Counting is involved throughout the story to help children prepare for the action poses. I also incorporate science into many of the games and activities after the story.

Creative Expression- My mentor was a professional actor, so my performance is very theatrical. I use a variety of tone, pitch, and movement to keep the children engaged. I also have relaxing music playing in the background and several yoga songs that I can incorporate into the activities.

 

Physical Benefits

  • Yoga helps build strength – especially at their core which improves posture
  • Stretching is great for maintaining flexibility – it’s a great compliment for playing sports or sitting at desks
  • It improves balance – we practice balance in a controlled way using the breath and active focus to steady ourselves
  • Coordination improves as poses require physical and spatial awareness
  • Actively learning how to relax and self-regulate – as we do in the final stages in every class – which can encourage healthier sleep patterns

 

Emotional & Mental Benefits

  • Increased confidence as kids gain more physical strength and coordination
  • Yoga and the stories encourage mindfulness – using the breath to steady emotions, reduce anxiety, and reduce stress
  • Through regular practice of the yoga and breathing techniques, the kids learn how to self-regulate and channel their energy
  • The stories are interactive, calling upon imagination and communication skills
  • The sessions often provoke critical thinking from the children as they make suggestions and have other ideas that build on the story
  • We explore feelings, how to talk about feelings and develop empathy by imagining how others are feeling in our stories
  • It’s not competitive or judgmental, so all kids feel valued and accepted
  • It’s all inclusive and all children participate in the class at their own comfort level 

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