Yoga for KidsBy Gina Leigh Wagar; updated by Jessica Myers
Cat, cow, downward-facing dog, tree. All yoga poses that little ones can do to improve mind, body and spirit. Recent research suggests that the ancient meditative practice of movement may help kids relieve stress, calm anxiety and improve mood in addition to the physical benefits, including improved flexibility. Physical, mental and social health intermingle when littles play games and act out stories and animal characteristics while learning the basics of yoga postures, breathing exercises and mental focus — all of which are taught from these certified yoga teachers and studios.
COLLIN COUNTY AREA
Every Saturday morning, kids ages 3 and older and their parents improve energy, flexibility, health and even immunity when they attend the yoga workshop (it’s 10 weeks long) at the Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple in Frisco. The hourlong practice helps increase respect for self and others and decrease stress hormones over time. Wear comfortable, light-colored clothing.
Cost: $100 one-time fee for a 10-week session, includes one child and one parent. Return students join the session for free.
When: Saturdays, July 8–August 19, 8:30–9:30am
Where: 12030 Independence Parkway, Frisco, 866/996-6767
YogaForMe founder, Elena Shevtsov, who has a master’s degree in education as well as a child yoga instructor certification, teaches kids of all abilities ages 3 and older the practice through postures, breathing exercises, even meditation, all of which helps kiddos extend their attention spans and strengthen their bodies and minds. Find a class at one of her studios in Allen, Frisco, Lewisville and Plano.
Cost: Drop-in, $20; weekly, $60 per month
When: Times vary; check schedule online for updates
Where: YogaForMe 3110 Main St., Suite 300, Frisco, 214/494-0955
Instructor Varsha blends traditional yoga practice with the playfulness of youth during Yogalaya’s classes for kids ages 4 and older. To teach the anatomy of a pose, for instance, she may have the kids act out animal stories and create things she calls the Down Dog Tunnel. And parents aren’t confined to the sidelines here. Instead, they’re encouraged to participate, so learn to Utkatasana (chair pose) next to your little one. New students must arrive 10 minutes early to complete necessary paperwork. Call for more information on where and when kids classes are offered.
Cost: Drop-in, $13; $40/month
When: Sunday at 11:30am (Allen) and Thursday at 3:30pm (Plano)
Where: Multiple locations, 469/525-6794
Zen Kids Yoga turns “Um…?” to “Om” by breaking down traditional yoga postures for younger bodies and teaching them in a non-competitive way. In the parent-free, hourlong class, kids ages 4–12 learn self-awareness, patience and confidence while having fun learning to balance on one foot, on their hands or maybe their head. Bring a mat and towel or rent them for $1 each. Sign up online or show up 10 minutes before class starts to ensure a spot in the session.
Cost: Drop-in, $20; $68/month
When: Tuesday at 5pm
Where: Yoga on Main, 6726 Main St., Suite 310, Frisco, 214/407-8337
Join GeoFamilyFit on the first Sunday of the month at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center for two free yoga sessions, one for adults and the other for kids ages 6–12. Certified kids yoga instructor Elizabeth Willis teaches basic yoga poses, stretches and plays games proven to reduce childhood stress, increase focus and improve health. All levels are welcome and parent participation is encouraged. Drop in on Sunday or register online.
When: First Sunday of the month (except January), 11am–noon
Where: Dogwood Canyon Audubon, 206 W FM 1382, Cedar Hill, 469/526-1980
Imagine your child sitting quietly without the iPad, TV and books. No, he’s not in trouble; he’s just focused and sitting in calm contemplation. Though it may seem hard to believe (even impossible for some parents), it’s the promise that Alice Redding, registered children’s yoga instructor and founder of Stripes Yoga in Richardson makes. The best part? You don’t have to seek this calm out — it’s available on six 10-minute videos kids can watch at home and focuses on deep breathing, simple movements such as crossing over the midline of the body and mindful sitting. But kids can always attend a formal 45-minute class at FitYoga studio in Richardson this August or the STRIPES Yoga Kids CampAugust 7–10 from 1:30–3:30pm for $140. Also, consider requesting a $360 STRIPES Family package — six one-hour sessions that train your whole crew in mindfulness, calming communication and breath work. Additionally, parents can sign up for a two-hour Stripes Yoga Workshop ($35) on August 17 at FitYoga to learn the curriculum to better help their kiddos with their individual practice.
Cost: Kids Yoga, $15 drop-in. $20 for Mindfulness Tune-Ups For Learning DVD (order online)
When: Class times vary; call the studio for the updated schedule.
Where: 508 W. Lookout Drive, Suite 18, Richardson, 214/693-4895, 972/437-3803
The summer yoga kids camp at Summit Yoga in Dallas emphasizes joy and play when it comes to learning yoga. Kids ages 3–6 (July 24–27) and ages 7–12 (July 31–August 3) build confidence as they learn techniques to stretch their growing muscles, quiet the mind and challenge themselves in non-competitive ways. In addition to traditional yoga poses, kids play games, do breath work, meditate, participate in arts and crafts and do partner work — all followed by relaxation. Don’t be surprised if your kids come home from camp with an increased ability to concentrate, try new things and even listen to their bodies. Sign up online.
Cost: $120 per four-day camp
When: July 24–27 and July 31–August 3, 2–3:30pm
Where: 9201 Forest Lane, Suite 200, Dallas, 972/231-7625
To keep kids ages 5–12 engaged for an entire 30- to 45-minute session, Yogees Yoga 4 Kids (YY4K) classes incorporate stories, games, music and imagination — exercise that doesn’t really feel like exercise — to help kids strengthen muscles and work on balance and flexibility at studios across the Dallas-Fort Worth area (see website for updated schedule). Sign up water-loving yogees ages 4–12 for a five-day summer camp at Swimmers by Jessica, which includes yoga, free swimming, arts and crafts and a snack for $195. Other kids classes such as after-school, school-day and yoga club hosted by Play Street Museum are held at various locations throughout the Dallas area. Younger kids join the Mommy N Me class for infants up to age 5 at the Nappy Shoppe in Plano. Visit the website often for special events and the free library series, which welcomes children of all ages and their parents to the library at NorthPark Center.
Cost: Drop-in classes, from $10
When: Times vary by class and location
Where: Multiple locations, 214/533-3856
Founded seven years ago by certified children’s yoga instructor Jennifer Byer, Yo Play Yoga For Kids helps kids stretch, balance and strengthen their bodies through poses, breathing and relaxation. August’s Yoga, Cooking and Swimming camp hosted at Rockwall Golf & Athletic Club for kids ages 5–12 teaches mindfulness through mantras and breathing exercises such as “countdown to calm” which helps reduce stress and anxiety and build self-control. Kids practice yoga, swim and create superfood recipes with the help of locally-owned Unrefined Bakery. In the meantime, parents and babies can head to T3 Chiropractic in Rockwall for the biweekly Mommy & Me class that teaches restorative poses for sleep-deprived moms and dads and strengthening poses for infant and toddler muscles and sleep patterns. Create an account online to register for both camp and class.
Cost: Mommy & Me: $99. Camp: $275 for members; $325 for non-members
When: Mommy & Me: Tuesday and Friday at 10am, July 18–August 25. Camp: August 14–18, 8:30am–2:30pm
Where: Rockwall Golf & Athletic Club, 2600 Champions Drive, Rockwall, 972/771-0301; T3 Chiropractic, 104 E. Boydstun St., Rockwall, 972/895-4655;
Yo Play Yoga For Kids, 972/439-5633
We Yogis’ Lovers and Lakewood locations offer classes for kiddos ages 4–12. The Lil’ Yogis sessions for ages 4–9 introduces littles to postures and breathing techniques to work on strength, flexibility and focus with music, movement and creativity. And the Tween Yogis classes for ages 8–12 focus on improving postures with precision, encouraging kids to connect with each other, letting go, relaxing and ultimately transitioning to adult classes. And there’s still time to sign up for kids yoga camp July 11–August 17 every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30–4:30pm. Each day, kids rotate through a yoga session, craft, snack and more yoga all tied to the week’s theme such as patience or gratitude.
Cost: Lil Yogies: first class, $8; drop-in classes, $16. Tween Yogies: first class, $9; drop-in, $18; $60 for a monthly kids’ unlimited membership.
When: Class times vary; check online
Where: 5600 W. Lovers Lane, Suite 150, Dallas, 214/351-1229; 6465 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 362, Dallas, 469/206-3311
FORT WORTH AREA
Kids tune in to their hearts and brains through yoga and meditation during the kids’ camp hosted by AbunDance at SoulSpace Yoga Community. The four-day camp for ages 7–11 includes mindfulness techniques such as chanting, art projects like creating meditation jars and playing drums at different rhythms that mimic the way our hearts beat when we feel different feelings. Kids also make an organic vegetarian or vegan snack, practice yoga and participate in free dance. View the online calendar for upcoming kids’ workshops, in-school and after-school programs and to register your child for this month’s camp.
Cost: $150 for members; $175 for nonmembers
When: July 10–13, 1:30–4pm
Where: SoulSpace Yoga Community 3425 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 817/243-9183
Bring the whole gang (ages 5 and older) to Family Yoga classes at Divine Center of Yoga. In one hour, kids and parents learn basic yoga techniques, play games and challenge strength and coordination to nail the partner yoga poses.
Cost: Drop-in, $17; class passes, from $79; unlimited monthly memberships, from $132
When: Class times vary; check website for updated schedule.
Where: 3280 W. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817/431-9642
At FlyKids Yoga studio in Southlake, classes for kids ages 2 and older incorporate playful movement with powerful poses and breath control. Each age group (2–3, 4–6, 7–9 and 10–13) graduates from simple poses and games that foster social skills and focus to complex postures that require alignment and coordination. The first class is free; register online and pay the $40 one-time registration fee.
Cost: Drop-in, $23; monthly membership for one class per week, $79; unlimited pass, $89 per month
When: View online calendar for weekly updates
Where: 631 E. Southlake Blvd., Suite A, Southlake, 817/755-4133
Mister Mateo, founder of PoserKids Yoga, teaches mindfulness to preschool age kids through yoga, meditation and laughter. Sign your child up for the summer camp this month at Clear Fork Food Park in Fort Worth. Kids ages 4–10 practice yoga and also cook, make music and do art projects. Registration includes lunch and snacks, a T-shirt and gifts from the camp’s sponsors. Register via email. Can’t make it to camp? Follow along at home by viewing their library of yoga and educational videos on the PoserKids YouTube channel.
Cost: $250 per week
When: July 10–14 and 24–28, 8am–noon
Where: Clear Fork Food Park 1541 Merrimac Circle, Fort Worth, 972/850-8736
NORTH TEXAS AREA
With a focus on staying grounded and emotionally balanced, the weekly children’s yoga and mindfulness meditation class at Shambhala Wellness Center offers tools for elementary school-age kids to manage difficult emotions and calm their bodies and minds. Level 1 YogaKids instructor Jaime Goldstein shows kids ages 5–12 yoga poses coupled with breathing, music and art for a holistic and stress-reducing experience. Email the instructor to register.
Cost: Drop-in, $10; five-week package, $40
When: Tuesday 6–7pm through August 8th
Where: 215 E. University Drive, Denton, 940/380-8728
Kids learn best using their imagination and that applies to yoga too. Yogi Kids teaches yoga basics to children ages 4–7 through silly stories, games and songs — all of which are animated with yoga poses. Through creativity and class participation, littles develop fine and gross motor skills while building core strength, flexibility, coordination and body awareness. Tween Yoga for ages 8–13 shows kids that staying fit can be fun using upbeat poses that relieve stress and body tension. The studio also offers yoga for children with special needs. Register for classes online.
Cost: Drop-in, $10; family passes for classes, from $6 per session.
When: View updated class schedule online
Where: 3051 Churchill Drive, Suite 250, Flower Mound, 214/325-2547
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