Yoga Time: Avoid boredom and brain drain this summer by keeping your kiddos’ minds and bodies active
Avoid boredom and brain drain this summer by keeping your kiddos’ minds and bodies active.
By Kristin Caliendo
Yoga postures, relaxation breathing, and learning how to be mindful are simple activities kids can do anywhere, anytime––especially on vacation.
Starting kids off doing yoga at an early age has so many amazing benefits. “When children learn and practice yoga, they gain powerful tools that can be used throughout their lives,” explains North Valley mom Andrea Kassem, owner of Mindful Minnies Yoga For Kids, whose yoga studio caters to children.
“When kids keep up their yoga practice during the summer, it keeps them centered for school starting back up,” says Kassem, who is a certified yoga instructor and teaches kids all the elements of yoga from her studio near Desert Ridge in North Phoenix.
Here are Kassem’s tips for integrating yoga into summer vacations.
- Keep yoga mats in your car for road trips. If you are traveling on a plane, beach towels can do the trick too.
- Be sure to set aside some time each day to relax and practice yoga. Find a nice, serene, quiet place such as a park, beach, lake, or even grandma’s backyard; all of these are great places to practice yoga while on the move.
- Spread out your mat or towel and get ready to practice. If you are really on the go, chair yoga poses work too. If you haven’t taken a yoga class before, don’t let that stop you from trying, there are great mobile apps you can download.
- Download a few calming songs to your devices. Let your kids pick out some tunes and try new poses. For added fun, join them and do it as a family.
On the Move
Three mobile yoga apps everyone can enjoy
My Little Yoga: Baby & Kids Yoga by Diapson Apps, $2.99
Yoga Studio by Gaiam, Inc., $4.99
Daily Yoga App: Yoga for Beginners by Shabira, Free
Andrea Kassem is helping kids learn positive ways to improve their focus with yoga.
Andrea Kassem started Mindful Minnies Yoga for Kids several years ago as a way to help her kids and other Valley kids learn yoga to quiet their minds and learn positive ways to improve their focus. Since then, she’s noticed there’re so many other benefits to doing yoga––everything from supplementing athlete’s workouts to helping kids with special needs such as ADHD or autism.
“Yoga can be a miraculous tool to give your child. At Mindful Minnies we accept all children with different levels of learning or physical disabilities. We will cater to their needs and incorporate them in the class as a whole,” Kassem explains.
Keeping ahead of the trends, Kassem has also keyed in on the benefits yoga has for the athlete, from young ages through professional sports. “Yoga helps them relax, but more importantly, the yoga poses help stretch the athlete’s muscles, which in turn helps prevent injury,” says Kassem.
Former MLB player and high level club team baseball coach Mark Harriger explains, “I know that yoga has been very prominent in higher level baseball programs from high school to the pros. I wanted my team to benefit from yoga because it offers poses that help my team from injuring themselves and to me that is a priority especially working with youth in baseball.”
To learn more about Mindful Minnies, located at 24114 N. 24th Pl., Phoenix, visit mindfulminnies.com.
TIP: If your kids get restless on the plane or have been on their devices too long, try a yoga chair pose––or two.
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