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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

kids and stress

given that both this and my last post were inspired by something i saw on tv, you'll probably think that i've turned into a couch potato. but i haven't. really. you see, my daily routine includes me tuning in to the morning news shows while i'm getting dressed. and for some reason, yoga's recently been getting a lot of air time. which could be a good thing.

this morning, the today show ran a feature on how yoga's now being taught in schools to help kids cope with the stress and anxiety resulting from the pressure being put upon them to get good grades.

this accompanying blog entry from dr. michele borba at ivillage.com gives a good intro to that video:

Picture a high school gym where dozens of students lay on foam mats taking deep relaxing breaths to the cadence of their teacher’s voice. The class is Yoga 101 and it is the hot subject being taught from preschool to high school.

Educators are becoming increasingly concerned about how high stress levels affect students' emotional health and their ability to concentrate. They say students today are the most achievement-oriented batch yet. "Generation Stress" (as they’ve been nicknamed) is full of students that strive to be perfect, internalize everything, and don't know how to reduce their stress loads. To address these concerns, educators are offering stress reducers, such as yoga class, to help their students learn coping strategies.

wanna find out more? here's the video: calming stressed-out kids

it features a yoga class at castilleja school in palo alto, a private school for girls grades 6 thru 12. here's a write-up i found on their fitness and wellness program page:

The core of Castilleja's fitness and wellness program is a curriculum designed to emphasize equally physical and psychological components of well-being and to engage all students not just student athletes. The program combines a comprehensive curriculum with fitness activities that resonate with young women like spinning, mat pilates, water aerobics, circuit training, kickboxing, and core conditioning.

In the Middle School, the goal of the fitness and wellness program is to empower students with the knowledge that enables them to make informed choices for lifelong fitness, health, and well-being. Coursework is interdisciplinary and integrated throughout the year. For example, we will partner with the Palo Alto-based Art of Yoga Project for a special program of eighth graders. Art of Yoga's mission, to guide young women to use yoga and creative expression as tools for well-being, accountability, and empowerment, complements the department's dual focus on mind and body.

wow. yoga, spinning, mat pilates, and kickboxing? how times have changed since i was in high school!

while browsing through the school's website, i also found out that the annual tuition cost hovers around $30,000 (yes, you read that right -- it costs that much per kid A YEAR!). knowing that, i say the school should also offer yoga classes to the parents to help them de-stress every time they write out those tuition checks... ouch!

some schools here in the LA area, both public and private, offer yoga classes to their students through yogabuddies. contact danay divirgilio if you'd like to get more information about their pre-K thru 8th grade classes.

many of the yoga studios in town also offer yoga classes for kids, with some requiring pre-registration. here are some of them (i've excluded the baby and toddler classes):

the awareness center in pasadena - kids 4-8: fri 4:15-5:15pm
black dog yoga in sherman oaks - kids 3-6: wed 3:30-4:00pm, kids 7-12: wed 4:15-5:00pm
free spirit yoga in long beach - kids 5-11: mon 4:30-5:30pm
glendale yoga in glendale - kids 4-7: wed 4:30-5:15pm
golden bridge in hollywood - kids 3-5: sat/sun 9:30-11:00am, kids 6-12: sat/sun 9:30-11:00am
inner power yoga in calabasas - kids (no ages specified): thu 3:15-4:15pm
karuna yoga in los feliz - kids 4-12: fri 4:30-5:30pm
liberation yoga in los angeles - kids 4 and up: sun 10:00-11:00am
mission street yoga in south pasadena - kids 3-5 wed 3:30pm, kids 6-8: mon 3:30pm, kids 9-13 4:30pm
santa monica yoga in santa monica - kids 6 and up: wed 3:10-3:55pm, kids 11 and up: mon 3:45-4:45pm
silver lake yoga in silverlake - kids 4-7: wed 4:00-5:00pm, kids 8-11: mon 4:00-5:15pm
the core in redondo beach - kids 4-6: tue 5:30-6:30pm, kids 6-9: wed 5:30-6:30pm, ages 10 and up: mon 5:30-6:30pm
yoga at the village in glendale - kids all ages: thu 11:00am-noon, kids 2 1/2 and up: fri 4:00-5:00pm
yoga blend in burbank - kids 4-6: mon 4:00-4:30pm, kids 6-10: 4:35-5:25pm
yogahop in santa monica - kids 4-7: fri 3:30-4:30pm
yoga house in pasadena - kids 4-7: tues 4:00-5:15pm, kids 8-12: fri 4:00-5:15pm
yoga madre in arcadia - kids 4-6: thu 4:00-5:00pm, kids 7 and up: mon 4:00-5:00pm
yoga works larchmont in los angeles - kids 3-5: tue 4:00-4:55pm
yoga works montana in santa monica - kids 3-6: thu 3:30-4:25pm, kids 7 and up: tue 3:30-4:25pm
yoga works pacific palisades in the palisades - kids 3-5: mon 3:30-4:30pm
yoga world in long beach - kids 3-10: tue 4:15-5:00pm
yummy yoga in los feliz - kids (no age specified): thu 4:00-5:00pm

as always, links to the studio websites can be found on the sidebar on your right :)

by the way, if you're thinking of buying a yoga mat for your son or daughter and don't want to spend the big bucks for an adult-sized mat (which could be too big or too heavy for them to carry anyway), you might want to consider looking into mats specifically made for kids. there's one company that i know of, only because its owner, katy downey, was nice enough to send me a mat to try out (my being vertically challenged does have its advantages):

Lotuspad is a little company that makes little eco yoga mats for kids who love to practice their downward dogs, trees, and warriors. We also carry a large yoga mat for adults.
While we’re small, the idea that inspired us is not - that a special yoga mat made from the highest-quality, earth-friendly material and sized correctly for small children can actually inspire a lifelong love of movement.

not only are their mats eco-friendly (read: no PVC), but they come in both small (48") and large (66") lengths. pick a mat, wrap around it one of lotuspad's brightly-colored yoga mat carry straps, and next thing you know, your child will be eagerly trotting off to yoga class, just like you :)

btw, they're having a sale on their products through the end of january, so shop now!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not an LA yoga school, but it does have some very interesting ideas and articals on doing yoga with children. http://www.resonateyoga.com.au/children/

I think building up an awareness around children and yoga is very very important

3:45 PM  
Blogger joni said...

thanks for that link! even if it's from a studio based in melbourne, the information on the "children" page is good information for anyone who wants to know more about kids yoga :)

4:39 PM  

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