for crawling babies to 24 mo old toddlers with parent ore caregiver
for steady walkers through 3 yrs old toddlers with parent or caregiver, younger siblings welcome
for 21 mo toddlers to 4 yr old preschoolers with parent or caregiver, younger siblings welcome
Younger siblings are welcome in Toddler or Preschooler Yoga. Walking siblings 1 year or older may register for half price. No charge for babes in arms. Nannies, nanny-shares, grandparents, and other caregivers welcome. Up 2 two caregivers may attend weekly. Adults participate in class, but no yoga experience is required. Learn more about early childhood yoga.
Massage curriculum is progress and taught over several weeks, no drop-ins. Learn more about Infant Massage classes.
is a blend of fun, yoga-inspired movements and postures for baby and postpartum-appropriate yoga for mom/caregiver. Because it’s hard to get birth dates and maternity leaves to line up with series dates, we welcome drop-in students to attend prenatal and postnatal classes.
Late fall classes start Nov 1-7 and run through December 13-15, unless noted. See links below for descriptions and details. 6 week series costs $108.
Kids & family classes are offered in multi-class semesters, registration required. Fall series are 6 to 10 weeks long, depending on the day and venue. Price varies by length of series. See individual links for details.
Need to carry-over a makeup class from the last series? Use the code “sessionmakeup” at checkout to reduce registration price by one class. Only applies to full season registration. Read our makeup class FAQs.
Due to holidays and church events in December, Saturday classes at Christ Church end on Nov 18. No classes Columbus Day weekend or the Wed-Sun of Thanksgiving weekend.
People are sometimes surprised when I tell them I teach yoga to 2 year olds. “My toddler would never sit still for a yoga class,” they say.
I hope no one ever suggests that they should!
Preschooler, Little Families, and Tot Yoga classes incorporate lots of playful yoga poses, gross-motor activities, and age-appropriate games, kid-friendly songs and rhymes, and breath awareness exercises, and a little bit of relaxation for both little ones and their parents. We move all over the room, we use props in fun and creative ways, and we engage toddlers and preschoolers in developmentally-appropriate fun.
Sure stillness happens, but we measure that in sweet moments (not minutes).
We often here from parents that they are hesitant to enroll if they aren’t sure their child will enjoy a class. We get it. That’s why we have our:
No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if a kids & family series class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 48 hours after the first class that you will not be able to continue the session, we refund all but $2o for that first class.
We are also very flexible about switching classes for students who have nap time shifts during the course of a series. For example, if your child is enrolled in an 11 am class and starts napping at that time, we’ll happily switch her into one of our 9 or 9:30 am classes instead.
Yep. We move a ton.
Generally, if you are enrolling in a class for your child’s age, we are prepared for your child to behave in age-appropriate ways.
For Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs), we don’t use yoga mats and instead move all over the room. Some of our students are always on the go and that’s really quite alright. Some toddlers seriously need to move in order to pay attention. Those are the students parents assure me do the yoga poses at home, just never in class. Sometimes those students join in briefly whenever their favorite activities come up and then go back to running in circles. It’s all good.
For Kids or Family Yoga (ages 3-6, or 4+), we do use mats and are beginning to learn to be on the mats for much of the class. Class is still super active, we move off mats for all sorts of games, and we don’t expect stillness from young children.
If your child has special needs, it is helpful to check in ahead of time so the instructor can be prepared and think through lessons and activities with your child’s needs in mind. We are happy to have you enroll and decide after the first class or two if it is the right fit. Again though, check in with the instructor. Parents are typically more worried about possible disruptive behavior than our yoga teachers and will work with you on strategies to help your child succeed in class.
Absolutely. Your child is welcome to bring any grownup they want with them to class. Up to 2 caregivers may attend class on a weekly basis. Additional visitors may attend occasionally and are encouraged to participate. Please be considerate of space constraints when bringing guests.
Nope, sorry. We don’t offer drop-in options for classes for crawling or older children or trial classes during the regular session. Children really do need the consistency of a weekly class both for comfort and so they can best learn and drop-ins can be disruptive to the class routine. Read more.
Since it often takes several classes for a child to settle in, dropping in once is not really the best indicator of whether your child will enjoy class. However, we get that it can be tough to commit to a class when you can’t imagine what happens or how your child will react, so:
We also understand that life is unpredictable and have a generous makeup policy for families that wish to commit to a series but know they will miss a class or two.
Absolutely. It sometimes takes a few weeks for our more reserved students to get comfortable enough to participate. That’s one of the reasons we offer classes in 6-10 week series rather than drop-in. Toddlers especially need time to get used to a space, a group of people and an instructor.
Even once they are comfortable, some more reserved little ones may be more watchers than doers in class. That doesn’t mean they are not learning and they may be more inclined to practice at home.
We do expect parent participation. The more yoga you do in class the more your child will do.
While parents should expect to move quite a lot, we will be doing yoga appropriate for the child’s age range, so it’s probably not a workout for the grownups as compared to an adult class.
Poses and activities are designed with toddlers/preschoolers in mind. While your instructor will likely be able to make suggestions, we expect adults to take care of their own bodies during class.
It’s rarely a problem. Pregnant moms often skip or modify belly-down poses and anything else that doesn’t feel right and adults with special conditions adjusting accordingly.
The biggest challenge is probably for adults who have significant difficulty getting up and down from the floor. I’ve had mobility-challenged caregivers, usually older nannies or grandparents, do very few of the poses with no problem. My suggestion is to try it and see how it goes.
Do note that several of our class venues are down a flight of stairs (strollers can be left locked outside). Our Saturday and Sunday class venues are handicap accessible.
Yoga class provides a safe space for babies, toddlers and their caregivers to explore movement milestones, social-emotional development, and connect with each other and other parents and children. Taking class with your tot or toddler can offer some of the following benefits you might not have thought about:
Language development – Tot yoga classes expose babies and toddlers to language through words with actions, songs, and attention to body awareness. By connecting movement with language, yoga supports the way language development is already happening in your child’s brain.
“University of Washington research in 7- and 11-month-old infants shows that speech sounds stimulate areas of the brain that coordinate and plan motor movements for speech.” – University of Washington ILABS
“Comprehension of words relies on areas of the brain associated with motor control as well as ‘classic’ language centers, researchers report.” – Neuroscience News
Sensory stimulation and awareness – Babies need tons of sensory input to train their brain to process information. By engaging in unique physical play during yoga, babies stimulate their vestibular and proprioceptive systems as well as senses of touch, hearing, and sight.
“Stimulation through the senses of touch, hearing, seeing, smelling, and tasting directly affect the sensory neurons and help in establishing these connections. According to research, an infant’s brain is producing 2-3 million synapses per second!” – Bright Hub Education
Vestibular and proprioceptive input – These two senses related to movement and touch are so important they get their own entry. Baby’s vestibular system, which tells him where he is in space, has been developing since just a few weeks after conception. Proprioception tells him where he in in relationship to himself. Our vestibular sensors are primarily in our inner ear while our proprioceptive sensors are in our muscles, joints, and bones. Together, they are make up our kinesthetic awareness.
Maryann Harman explains in EarlyChildhood News that movement and early childhood development specialists believe that “[all] learning in the first fifteen months of life is centered on the vestibular system development” and that the vestibular system is very closely tied to language development.
“[W]hen our vestibular system is not functioning properly, we often have auditory processing problems in addition to difficulty with balance, coordination, and eye muscle control.” – PediaStaff
“The vestibular system coordinates eye and head movements. Without this coordination, it may be challenging for children to complete everyday activities such as copying from a white board in their classroom …” – Sprouts Child Development Intiative
Our early childhood classes are offered in 6-week series for $96, Sibling/multiple registration/sibling discount automatically applied at checkout. No drop-ins. Students who must miss a class or a family member can take a makeup in any other appropriate class, including adult yoga or Pilates classes. Up to two parents may attend these classes with the registered child.
Preschooler Yoga welcomes younger siblings: 12-21 month old siblings may register for 1/2 price; no charge for non-walking infants. Enroll your 21-month-4 year-old and then contact us about adding your younger child.
Sunday afternoon kids and preteen classes are cancelled due to low enrollment. Help us decide the best time to offer these classes in the fall by completing our survey.
Our kids to teen classes are offered in 7 and 8-week series. Sibling/multiple registration/sibling discount automatically applied at checkout. No drop-ins. Students who must miss a class or a family member can take a makeup in any other appropriate class, including adult yoga or Pilates classes. Classes for kids and teens are for participants only. Family members are kindly asked not to watch class.
Our prenatal, postnatal and Pilates classes are offered in multi-week series, mostly 6-week sessions. Registration is open now for sessions beginning the week of April 4.
Adult classes and those welcoming pre-crawling infants, including Baby & Me Yoga, welcome drop-ins if there is space. No drop-ins when class is marked FULL, or if indicated on individual class notes. No online reservations for drop-ins; just arrive a few minutes early. Learn more about dropping into class. All classes have minimum of 6 enrolled students to run.
Breathing Space does not allow single class drop-ins to kids & family classes for crawling babies or older children. Why?
We’ve written before about the benefits of committing to a weekly yoga class. Children, even more than adults, benefit from the consistency and progressive teaching enabled by full registration.
Kids yoga operates in an unusual context. While adult yoga classes are very often drop-in based, you cannot just occasionally show up to any other kind of teacher-directed children’s class. There’s no drop-in ballet, gymnastics, music, art, karate, etc. All of these programs require registration in a series of classes or monthly membership. This creates a stable class and allows lessons to build upon on each other.
As a parent, there are tons of demands on my time and regularly attending a class requires commitment. Paying ahead of time gives me that sense of obligation to actually go every week. This is true for me with my own classes and it’s doubly true for me to motivate my child out of the house, even for activities she (or we both) adore.
As a children’s instructor, I find:
There are two major objections that I hear from parents to registering for an entire session:
We have 4 different parent-child yoga classes on our schedule and several people have asked, which one should they should sign up for? To answer that, pick the best description that fits your situation:
If you have one child, pick the appropriate age range:
If you have a 3 year old or children in multiple age ranges, you have a choice of classes:
All classes can accommodate younger or older siblings, so what do you do if both children are not within the same class age range?
You have multiple children to enroll:
During our Winter Solstice Open House from December 19-21, join us for any of our usual weekend schedule classes for $15 per class in advance ($20 in person, makeup credits and class passes accepted). Great opportunity for new students to try a class before registering for the January session.
Breathing Space Family Yoga children’s yoga instructors often use books in class as storytime before relaxation, to spark discussion, or as inspiration for an entire theme. Books can help illustrates yogic values – peace, love, friendship, feelings, compassion, honesty – or enhance children’s physical and emotional awareness.
A key benefit of yoga for children is how the practice helps them develop better emotional regulation skills. Incorporating books like The Way I Feel by Janan Cain and My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss sends the message that strong feelings are ok even if acting on them might not be.
At least every couple of months, I do a dance theme in my preschool yoga class, after which I feel compelled to read Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson. I love that Hilda figures out a way to express that dance that is in her soul no matter what obstacles may seem to be in her way.
One of my favorite books to read in preschool yoga class is Jamberry by Bruce Deegan. The story follows the fancifal journey of a bear and his boy through what is clearly jam country. The kids love identifying the animals and actions in the story and it’s fun when they figure out the fantasy elements: skating on jam, rabbits playing a brass band, etc. But the signature characteristic of my reading is most definitely that (in our household at least) Jamberry must be sung.
I recently stumbled on a reading of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and realized that I’d found a kindred spirit.
For older children, I love using more complex stories, such as The Rabbit in the Moon and Diamonds Rubies and Pearls from Storytime Yoga, to build entire classes and encourage children to write their own yoga class stories. We use the opportunity to talk about what makes a good story and who is and what are the attributes of a hero.
make nice discussion starters.
Older children and tweens are defining themselves and are often eager to discuss issues related to their place and possible contribution to the world. Story books can help set a safe context for such a discussion.
Breathing Space Family Yoga has collected many of our favorite kids yoga books, story books and other resources in one place with links to Amazon.com. We’ll keep adding to it, so please let us know what’s missing in the comments.
No class schedule can accommodate everyone (practical reality) and no one teacher or class is right for every student (this is actually a good thing). Thankfully, we living in a community with a wealth of yoga opportunities for all ages of student.
Dedicated yoga studios:
If you are a yoga instructor living on Capitol Hill, teach a public yoga class in the neighborhood, or teach children and family classes anywhere in the DC area, please email Jen: jenmuelleryoga [at] gmail [dot] com to have
your website listed above.