What is Yoga Calm?

As an RYT 200 hatha yoga instructor with a teaching certificate in Yoga Calm, I am asked regularly to answer the question, “What is Yoga Calm?” Hopefully, this week’s post will answer this question and inspire you to sign up a child in your life for a class or get certified to teach one yourself.

Although Yoga Calm does involve practicing yoga with kids, it’s really so much more. This research supported curriculum integrates simple yoga-based activities; mindfulness exercises, and social and emotional skill building games that help kids/students improve their focus, learning readiness,behavior skills, physical health and emotional stability.  Yoga Calm is an integrated approach to physical, mental, and emotional health for kids that has over 60 activities and lesson plans that are guided by wellness principals. Yoga Calm can be taught anywhere to anyone.

As a public middle school teacher, I frequently use Yoga Calm in the classroom.  Instead of spreading out yoga mats, we practice “chair” yoga. We routinely start our lesson with some calming breath work. We move on to our “active” portion of our Yoga Calm which may include  balancing positions , a “mountain to mountain” chair flow, or a game. We wrap up our lesson with another “calm” relaxation. Today in class our wellness principle was “Listening.”  Our guided relaxation script brought us to a beautiful tropical paradise where we experienced the beauty and wonder of nature. My students were able to talk about the importance of “listening” to their bodies and hearts.

Students/children today are so busy. I see how overwhelmed and stressed out they can be by life’s hectic pacing. When my students walk into the room on Yoga Calm days and see my lights dimmed and the yoga music paying, they all smile. They absolutely love doing yoga and frequently request it. It has helped cultivate feelings of community in my classroom and has given my students tools for communication, self-regulation, and stress reduction.

This program is showing great success around the country and in public schools. It can be used by anyone who works with children: parents, teachers, counselors, phychiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, yoga instructors, etc.

I will be doing my next Seattle Yoga Calm training workshop August 10th & 11th. I will be posting this workshop soon on the Yoga Calm website by June 1. To learn more about Yoga Calm, click on the Yoga Calm link on my bio page and visit the Yoga Calm website.



Morning Yoga & Mindful Moments

Starting your day with yoga is an opportunity to practice mindfulness.  Mindfulness is about being fully aware of whatever is happening in the present moment, without filters or the lens of judgement. It is about cultivating awareness of the mind and body and truly living in the here and now. The present moment is the only place where life can be fully lived, yet we often miss the present moment because we are rehashing the past or worrying about the future. All you  need for morning yoga is a mat, a strap for stretching, some time, and yourself. I like to play soft, relaxing music without lyrics. I take time to connect with my breath and to really pay attention to how my body feels. I usually start on my back and warm up my core and do some stretches before rolling to my hands and knees and eventually up to warrior poses for some sort of flow. Each day is different, and I pay attention to what feels good in my body and what I need for that day. Research shows that as we find ways to practice mindfulness in our lives that we start to sleep better, are better able to handle stressful situations, and generally feel better about life.