June 28, 2018
There appears to be a dilemma most parents face today, which is either to take a yoga class to recover from the daily stress of their routine, or to spend more time with their children, who seem to be having increasingly stressful lives themselves. Bonding under such conditions is rarely successful, so I’ve designed classes that allow children and their parents to get what yoga generally offers, that is recovery of body and mind through interactional activities that also function as a bonding tool between the two. Parents and children leave my class as fit and content friends.
We usually begin our class with calming down exercises, which relax the participants and enable them to focus on the breathing exercises that follow. For example, we would try to blow a ping pong ball from one participant to another by the use of nose only. It can get a little messy sometimes (laugh) but it’s a good way to open paths of nasal airflow.
We then practice asanas in a fun way close to children, with a bit of a story behind each one of them, such as we pretend to go to Africa and they can choose the means of transportation, plane, boat or bicycle – this one usually takes longer to get there – then the chosen asana follows, such as Warrior 3 position for an airplane or Navasana for a boat. We also do some things from acro-yoga, as children really like it.
I also include games based on mindfulness techniques, in which, for example, participants learn to observe how their body reacts to certain positive or negative emotions and develop better understanding of these effects on our and other people’s behaviour.
The tipping point was the so called Facebook murder which occurred in early 2017, when two troubled friends beat to death a third one and broadcast the event live on Facebook. I had to watch the footage several times as we were deciding whether or not to include a portion of the video in our show. I had nightmares for weeks after this, and I began looking to transfer to another post. As it became clear this wasn’t possible, I quit and decided to turn my hobby into my job instead.
I originally began my yoga practice with the help of books I found in the local library. That was about five years ago. However, it soon turned out this wasn’t the best method of learning, as there is no one to correct the mistake you make and the risk of injuries is high. So I took yoga classes, and eventually completed a teacher’s course and another one for kids’ yoga as well.
Before becoming a teacher myself I started to apply some yoga practices at home to my children, since my youngest one started to exhibit behavioural problems in kindergarten. I was even told that he might be diagnosed with ADHD and would continue to have trouble in school. I was worried, so I tried various routines which would alleviate the symptoms. Yoga seemed to be making miracles, especially its calming down and breathing techniques, which bring flying thoughts to the ground and allow the child to relax and remain focused. I learned quite a lot from this experience, and wanted to share it with others who had similar concerns.
I earned my children’s yoga YAI (Yoga Aliens International) certificate earlier this year and introduced kids’ classes in Logatec. At one of our sessions in the elementary school gym a mother of one of the children in the class asked if she could join in while waiting for a school meeting later that afternoon, and I said, yes, of course. This was in fact how the idea for family yoga classes came to light. The mother enjoyed the class so much – and so did her child –she eventually skipped the meeting and stayed till the end.
Then with the warm weather we moved outdoors for the summer.
If you want to come, then bring a yoga mat.
If I’d like to meet someone, then I go to Grajski Park Vitez, where we are sitting right now. I also give my yoga classes here in the shade under the trees. The staff is good and helpful, nature is nearby, and there are playgrounds for small and bigger children right next to the coffee shop.