Kids Yoga Class Outdoors

Last Sunday I was invited by a dear friend, who was one of my first yoga teachers, to teach kids while he would teach adults in the same area. We were outdoors, the sun was shining, and lots of people came – a beautiful event!

While he taught more than 100 adults, I formed a circle behind the rows of yogis to do yoga with the kids. The teacher had a microphone, so as we started both classes at the same time, the kids naturally turned to him and started doing what he was saying. I thought that was very interesting! Then I told them, “Hey guys! Our class is here! Please face the center of our circle!” They turned around and we started our journey. I had to be loud to get their attention beyond songs being played by a DJ and the instructor’s voice on the microphone. I got them engaged with fun poses, a short kid-style-flow, partner poses and then used the cards from my book to give them some visual aid for the poses we were about to do.

As the sun warmed us up, some kids took their shirts off and I could see them wiping sweat. It got pretty warm and their energy was starting to slow down. Even though the adults were still moving in yang poses, I decided to have them lie down on their mats and go into a visualization. I kept walking around tickling them with a feather and other tools to keep them resting on their mats. Soon, the adults were also lying down and we all engaged in relaxation. My biggest concern was not to wear the kids out too much, so they wouldn’t run to their parents during their relaxation. It worked! We finished class at the same time and the kids were feeling refreshed and revitalized by then.

I think it is a wonderful thing for those kids to experience an event like this. There is so much love and peace involved! A big group of people getting together peacefully with the same goal – to feel good by doing yoga. And when we put those bodies and hearts together, even the air feels nourishing! Such a blessing! All in all, a wonderful event!

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Rainforest Adventure Book Workshop June 2014

I had the honor to share my book at a studio owned by a friend of mine, who graduated from Yoga Teacher Training with me two years ago. Her studio does not offer Kids yoga classes yet, but some of her students mentioned they would love for their kids to try it out some time. So, when this friend invited me, I jumped in! We decided to offer a workshop with my book as an introduction to yoga for them, which I think is a great idea, since they get to take the book home after the class, being able to practice some more tat home with their family and friends.

As I drove to the studio, I brought my younger daughter along for many reasons, one of them being that I could use some company in the car while driving three hours to my friend’s studio. But a more important reason is that she gets to see the book we worked IMG_1504on together (she was the concept artist for it) being shared and enjoyed by other people; even those who had never done yoga before. As the kids started coming into the studio, my daughter pointed out to me that they were a bit older than she expected as the book is recommended for ages 3-10. I told her, “Not to worry; I can just offer more challenges in the poses”. And it is exactly what happened> Depending on the age and energy of the group, I offer different variations for the poses already in the book and call some extra poses to meet their level – of energy, physical readiness, knowledge and maturity.

 

 

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We had lots of fun with individual, partner and group poses. Everyone got to laugh, and that fills up my heart. If the book can bring at least one smile to a reader, how great! There were actually many smiles and laughs as we learn to take it easy when we cannot accomplish a certain pose or stay balanced for more than one second – it’s all good!

 

 

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At the end of the workshop, we had time to play the game (included in the book) as a group and to enjoy some relaxation (savasana) by lying down on the mats, reaping the benefits from the hard work doing the poses. I had some nature sounds playing in the background, encouraged them to relax, close their eyes and visualize themselves in a rainforest. Maybe they could focus on one animal sound they could recognize and try to visualize it, or simply try to identify as many animals as they could among the sounds being played. One thing I have learned from having done this before is to let them know, as we lie down, that the animals are not in the room with them, just the sounds, so they are able to relax more fully.

 

It is a great honor to share my book with other people – of all ages. When I decided to write the book, I had the vision of presenting it to groups like this one, and spreading the love for yoga to kids and their families and friends through my book. I feel grateful for having opportunities like this in my life.

 

 

Yoga Class with Pete the Cat

Books are a great addition to a kids yoga class, as I have mentioned before. We get to do poses representing animals and objects in the illustrations, but also get to think about the message in the book. Last week, I brought a very cool book to share with the younger ones at this Club I teach. To my surprise, they saw the cover and exclaimed, “Pete the Cat!” One of the students even said he had watched a video related with this book in his preschool! I had no idea Pete the Cat was so popular… My daughters are now teenagers and I have been out of the loop of “what’s in” for little kids, so I usually browse the library and pick up books that grab my eye.

Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses,  written by Kimberly and James Dean, is a fun book with a few sentences in each page and colorful illustrations. The animals in this book – cat, toad, squirrel, turtle, alligator, owl – can be imitated with yoga poses, and so can some actions, such as riding a motorcycle or skateboarding. The book has a great, deep message in it, which is well put in words, totally accessible to the preschool-kindergarten age group. The animals come to think they need special sunglasses to see the beauty in the world, when in fact it is real and you just need to pay attention to be able to see it.

In order to give the kids a chance to experience this concept, I brought in fun sunglasses for them to try on, see things in different shades and shapes, and then try to look at the world in a fun way without the sunglasses. And they said, “Whoa! This is so pretty!” while looking at the walls around them. I believe that when we let go of preconceptions and judgments, we are able to appreciate what is around us way more. To see the beauty and newness in life doesn’t have to be limited to kids only.

Here is a picture of two of my students enjoying a new view of the world: sunglasses_June2014

Happy Earth Day!

Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet

Earth Day should be celebrated every day! After all, we get nourishment and watch all its abundance being available to us day after day. With spring here in the US, buds, blossoms and that vibrant green can be seen anywhere we look. May we, as humans, always make room for nature in our lives – physically (in our countries, cities and neighborhoods) and also in contemplation.

We love you, Mother Earth!

 

Announcing the Winner for our Earth Day Giveaway

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Our Earth Day giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all of you who submitted entries.

 

 

It was so hard for me to choose only one winner, and I truly want to thank you for all the work you do with kids! Please know all of you, your intentions and your work are very much appreciated.

 

Congratulations to A. Wilder, whose work I believe is a great match to the items in our giveaway. You will be receiving an email today notifying you and your prize will be on its way as soon as we hear back from you. We would love to hear from you once you get the prizes, and also after you use them for the first time with the kids. If you could take a picture of them and send it to us, that would be great!

Check back in a few months for another giveaway or even another book coming up; who knows?

Giveaway in Honor of Earth Day

This giveaway is now closed, as of April, 21st 2014. Thanks to all participants; the winner will be announced soon.

 

Below you will find the entry form for the chance to win one copy of the book Rainforest Adventure by Thereza Howling and one musical instrument – a fair-trade Frog Guiro by Daria Music. Both prizes are shown in this picture, with a total value of $21.18 (twenty one dollars and eighteen cents). More info about the Indonesian Frog Guiro here: http://dariasvillagestore.storenvy.com/collections/34585-all-products/products/6182059-frog-guiro

After submitting your entry form, please come visit and “Like” our Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/howlingkidsyoga and https://www.facebook.com/dariasmusic

Only entries with all required information will be valid. The info comes to me directly via e-mail & is ONLY used for the purposes of selecting winners and distributing prizes. If you experience any problem with the entry form below, please let me know via e-mail to thowling@hotmail.com

Deadline for the giveaway is 11:59pm PST on April 20, 2014. The winner will be chosen on April 21, 2014 and contacted through email no later than April 22, 2014. I will read all comments myself to select a winner among all participants. Winner must be 18 or older. One entry per household. Winner must confirm address once notified about the result through email within the same month of the giveaway, otherwise another winner will be chosen.

By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of Howling Yoga and Daria Music, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless Howling Yoga, Daria Music and its respective representatives from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

Giveaway for Earth Day, April 22, 2014

In honor of Earth Day 2014, Daria Music and Howling Yoga are offering two prizes for one lucky prize book and frog

winner of our giveaway!

This particular giveaway is for US residents only. Click on the word ‘giveaway‘ to enter.

 

The winner, to be chosen on April 22, 2014, will receive one copy of the Rainforest Adventure book and one musical instrument – a singing frog from the Indonesian rainforest! With our rainforest related prizes, we hope to raise awareness about these wonders on our planet Earth. From the proceeds from my book sales, I will donate 5% to the Rainforest Alliance organization, which is about preserving forests, educating people about them, fair-trade supervision, and other tasks.

Froggy Guiro

The cute little frog pictured here is from DARIA’s Little Village store that features fair trade items made by artisans all over the world, including many in nations with sizable rainforests such as Peru.   DARIA added this prize to the give-away to draw attention to the issue of fair trade and also because her website features many creative ways that kids can experience the music from cultures where the rainforest thrives.

 

You’re welcome to check out her fair trade little village store as well as some of these great Earth Day musical activities:

Make A Recycled Rainstick

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/RAINSTICK%20Instructions.pdf

Make A Recycled Guiro

http://www.dariamusic.com/make_Guiro.php

Download a Free E-book of Musical Crafts From Around The World Made With Recycled Materials:

http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

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