Category Archives for Yoga

Announcing Summer 2018 Kids Yoga Camp

It’s summer camp planning time in DC! Parents are weighing options and looking for convenient, affordable and enriching camps to provide their kids with an awesome summer.

Breathing Space summer camp provides children with a fun, creative, and educational experience through yoga movement classes, mindfulness activities, relaxation, games, crafts, field trips and outdoor time. Each week-long camp is sure to create lasting memories, new friendships, and a foundation for health and well-being!

What’s new for Breathing Space Kids Yoga Camp in 2018?

More camp for rising PK4!

The weeks of Jun 25, July 17, Aug 13, Aug 20 all welcome rising PK4 campers but space is limited, so don’t wait to enroll.

More camp for upper elementary!

We will run our popular Girl Power camp (rising 3rd-6th) again this year, but in June, so our Aug 13 camp week enrollment will not be limited by gender. We are also running a Harry Potter-themed camp for 2nd-5th graders the week of July 23 and would be open to running a boys-focused (2nd-5th?) camp the week of Aug 6 if there is enough interest.

New themes, but we’ll repeat old favorites!

Music & dance and Harry Potter-inspired camps are new this year. We are repeating colors, superheroes, fairy-tale inspired themes and our outings-focused camps too. While some themes repeat, activities are always different.

All camps are at Christ Church.

We are happy to announce that all 8 weeks of camp are at Christ Church (620 G Street SE) this year, even our double camps will be based there.

 

Summer 2018 Camp Themes

Week  – Theme – Age Range

  • group pose18-Jun  — DC Adventurer — K-3rd
    Campers will explore the community in which we live and many of the fun, fabulous and things to do in and around our city.   Register: K-3rd
  • 25-Jun
    • Long Ago & Far Way — PK-2nd
      Knights, princesses, wicked witches, noble heroes and evil villains pervade this week as we explore yogic qualities in ourselves through classic children’s stories and fantasy. (Limited PK registration) Register: PKK-2nd
    • Girl Power — 3rd-6th
      We’ll explore things our campers care about and how they can make a difference in their world. Girls will share yoga, art, creative activities and relaxation. Register: 3rd-6th Girls 
  • 16-Jul — Music & Dance– PK-2nd
    Yogis will explore creative expression, how our bodies and every-day objects can make rhythm and song, and how sounds and music can affect our mood and well-being. Register: PKK-2nd

3-headed-dog-pose

  • 23-Jul — If Harry Potter Were A Yogi — 2nd-5th
    In this fun-filled week of fantasy, broomsticks, potions and more, campers will explore the themes in the Harry Potter book series. Register: 2nd-5th 
  • 30-Jul — Superhero Me — K-3rd
    Campers are invited to find their own superhero qualities as we explore classic stories and real-life heroes in our world. Register: K-3rd 
  • 6-Aug
    • Colors — K-3rd
      With topics ranging from prisms to chakras, campers will explore a rainbow of colors with yoga, breath, and crafts. Register: K-3rd
    • Mindful Movement Masters — 2nd-5th G Boys
      This week will be all about the guys – 7-10 yr oldboys. We’ll do balancing and strengthening poses, mindfulness and relaxation, art and creative expression, and outings. Just like our Girl Power camp, expect a questionnaire in May so we can get a to know your camper and further customize the week to match his interests. Register: 2nd-5th Boys

  • 13-Agroup poseug — Animal Adventure — Two Groups: PK/K,1st-4th
    Quick as cricket, slow as a sloth . . . what can yogis learn from the animal world?
    Register: PK/K or 1st-4th, two groups will have some combined activities.
  • 20-Aug — Senses & Science — PK-4nd
    Expect momentum, reactions, and more . . . as we explore our experience of the physical world: beginning chemistry and physics. Register: K-4th, PK4

 

How can parents get a better sense of kids yoga camp?

1. Watch Camp Highlights

2. Or check out our photo album on Flickr or on our Facebook page.
3. Check out our camp page for full details.
4. Read our FAQs.
5. Get in touch with specific questions

Season of Gratitude

gratitude and joy quote image“For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
Brother David Steindl-Rast

We are encouraged by culture and media to be joyful and grateful during the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Years. Sometimes that comes easily, sometimes not so much. For those of us struggling, a gratitude practice can be powerful.

We often visit this theme in kids yoga classes, but simple practices can be incorporated into home routines as well. A colleague of mine recently described her family’s simple routine. She uses her 10-minute school commute for their practice with a few simple rules: Everyone must share sometime, anything, no judgement, so long as it’s not what they shared the day before. She finds that simple routine gets everyone’s day started on a positive note and brings her family closer together with a daily check-in.

These practices can be especially helpful during the holiday season, which encourages us to spread love and joy but also can seemingly revolve around what we want and do not have, something known to make us less happy!

One of our favorite practices in kids yoga is gratitude relaxation. We listen to a guided meditation while remembering all our gifts and advantage and the people who support us and love us. Thanks to Childlight Yoga, the program that Jen uses to teach kids yoga teacher trainings, you can now listen to audio recording of the gratitude relaxation from Yoga for Children, by Lisa Flynn.  Find a comfortable position (instructions for the one on the right are posted on the CLY blog too).

At Breathing Space, we are grateful you have chosen to share your family time with us through classes and workshops. We are looking forward to seeing you this holiday season and in 2018.

Four Fall Wellness Tips

Our modern lifestyle doesn’t always lend itself to connection to the seasons, but we are creatures of nature and the turn of the weather inevitably affects us. Traditional practices can help us

1.) Turn to grounding, warming, whole foods

Fall harvest vegetables are wonderfully nourishing. As the weather turns colder, many of us find soups and stews to be fall comfort foods, especially those with warming spices such as ginger, cardamon, or turmeric.

Cooked breakfast foods make a great start to the day. If grain based porridges don’t agree with you, or you just want a change, the legumes in traditional Indian Kitchari might help fortify for your morning. Find more ideas here.

JenMueller_FinalImageJenMueller_ClassicColorJenMueller_Oct82012_00072) Exercise

Ayurvedics believe the heat of exercise burns off excess Vata (wind) energy prevalent in the fall. Modern scientists have found that elevating our core temperatures helps burn off cold viruses.

If either of those reasons isn’t compelling, the benefits of exercise have been documented quite thoroughly for everything from heart health to weight maintenance to helping our moods, important as sunlight fades.

Prenatal and postnatal yoga combine strength and endurance building exercises with relaxation, focus, and breathwork. For readers not meeting the prenatal/postnatal prerequisite, our partner venue Realignment Studio for classes in several different styles.

11994398_10101454968683135_878199909_n3) Slow down

The hustle of back-to-school, new schedules, and the fall social calendar can leave you feeling dried out and drained. Restorative or gentle yoga might be exactly what you need, especially if your exercise routine is heavy in aerobic or resistance training.

family class foot massage, preschooler yogaRealignment Studio offers gentle classes and a monthly restorative workshop for grown ups, but kids benefit from slower practices too and engaging in self care with your child can be very rewarding. Simple things like foot massages with lotion can be ways to give and receive kindness and nurturing touch.

Check out my ChildLight Yoga blog post for instructions on setting up the restorative pictured left. Once in a restorative posture, a guided meditation may be help your child relax. One of my favorites is the Bye Bye boat by Cosmic Kids Yoga, the basic narrative of which can be adjusted to match the age of the child.

11264173_354402441436124_134856424_n4) Fortify against cold season

My go-to ward-off-colds tea recipe is simple, warming, and a great way to incorporate turmeric in your diet.

Combine the following in a mug:

  • 2 tablespoons of honey,
  • a heaping tablespoonful of of turmeric,
  • a half teaspoon of ginger,
  • a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and cardamon,
  • a dash of black pepper.

Fill the mug halfway with boiling water and mix the spices and honey.

Fill to the top with your preferred milk or milk substitute.

 

Further resources:

Preschooler Family Yoga – Fun and Fitness – FAQ

Tot does toes-to-nose posePeople 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).

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

kids yoga bowFor 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.

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaProbably Toddler Family Yoga, but get in touch if you think the slower, slightly less boisterous environment of Tot Yoga might be a better fit. Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga classes.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

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.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince 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:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

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.

Tot yogaAbsolutely. 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.

tot yoga kicking cobraWe 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.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaPoses 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.

Benefits of Yoga for Babies & Toddlers – Crawlers and Walkers

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:

Tot does toes-to-nose poseLanguage 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
Tot rings chime, yoga classSensory 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
Tot practices balanceVestibular 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

Learn more about early childhood yoga classes for crawling babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

 

 

Yoga Class FAQs: Baby, Tot, Kids, and Family Yoga

baby yoga class, centeringWe get lots of questions by phone and email, but sometimes it helps just to put them out there:

Early Childhood Yoga FAQs

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.

kids yoga bowFor 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.

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaProbably Toddler Family Yoga, but get in touch if you think the slower, slightly less boisterous environment of Tot Yoga might be a better fit. Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga classes.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

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.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince 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:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

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.

Tot yogaAbsolutely. 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.

tot yoga kicking cobraWe 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.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaPoses 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.

Family Yoga FAQs

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.

kids yoga bowFor 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.

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

preschooler yoga class, massageYes, please do. We often have younger siblings in tow for Little Families Yoga classes. They are welcome to nap or be in arms during class. No charge for non-walking siblings, just bring them along.

Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaProbably Toddler Family Yoga, but get in touch if you think the slower, slightly less boisterous environment of Tot Yoga might be a better fit. Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga classes.

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.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince 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:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

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.

Tot yogaAbsolutely. 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.

tot yoga kicking cobraWe 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.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaPoses 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.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

Kids Yoga FAQs

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.

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

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.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince 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:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

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.

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.

kids yoga bowFor 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.

 

Postnatal & Baby Yoga FAQs

Our public prenatalpostnatal yoga classes – including Baby & Me Yoga – welcome drop-in students.

  • Pay by the class:  Single class drop-ins for prenatal or postnatal classes cost $20 + 0.0575% sales tax of $1.15 = $21.15. Single class is good for 90 days from date of purchase.
  • mom and baby centeringMulti-class flex-passes: When students commit to take 10 classes, they are eligible for a per class discounts. At $18 per class, a 10-class flex pass costs $180 + 0.0575% sales tax of $10.35 = $190.35. Valid for 6 months from purchase in any prenatal or postnatal class, including Baby & Me.
  • Baby & Me Series registration:
    • Parents can also commit to a series of 6-8 consecutive classes for the same discount as the 10-class flex pass. For example, 5 classes is $90 + $5.18 tax = $95.18.
    • Series registration is available for the first 1/3 of the series only. After that point, students may still drop in, but discounted registration is not available. Series makeup policies apply.
  • Unlimited Prenatal/Postnatal Membership: At $75 per month with a minimum 3-month commitment, membership offers the cheapest per class price. A membership pass is valid in any weekly prenatal or postnatal yoga class, including Baby & Me Yoga. Membership auto-renews until cancelled with at least 15 days notice.Memberships may be frozen for 6 weeks upon birth of a baby. Simply notify us and freeze will be effective from baby’s birthdate.
  • All prices at checkout include 5.75% fitness tax.

Baby & Me Yoga classes are a blend of baby-centric activities, with the primary emphasis on baby-caregiver interaction and bonding, and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers.

We do age-appropriate poses, activities, songs and rhymes along with some gentle stretching and conditioning for caregivers.

While caregivers still get a some exercise, it’s very different from classes where baby is invited, but hopefully sleeps or remains quiet during class so moms can get a workout.

Ironically, Baby & Me Yoga classes are often quieter and calmer than a lot of postnatal exercise classes because baby is engaged throughout.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

We have never been able to talk babies into being born on our series schedule, so offer drop-in options for those classes. If you are able to commit to the majority of a series, we can set up a partial registration for you at the series rate. Simply contact us with your specific dates.

Of course, if your child will be home with a family member or nanny when you go back to work, you are welcome to have the join class when your leave ends.

Baby & Me Yoga Class

Baby & Me Yoga is a blend of baby-centric activities and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers. It is not designed as a serious workout for caregivers, but you do need to be prepared to move and we hope you will leave feeling better in your body than you arrive.

We spend a good portion of the class sitting criss-cross or in other positions on the floor and we get up and down several times. Almost every class incorporates lunges or squats while holding baby as well as some shoulder or low-back exercises for caregivers.  Comfortable, stretchy clothing is important and jeans are not recommended.

moms and babies in yoga classGenerally, class is most appropriate after 6 weeks. We strongly recommend that you be cleared for exercise, especially if you had a surgical birth or complications. Baby too tends to be more ready to participate after about 6 weeks. A 45-minute class is a long time for a newborn. Very young babies often sleep, eat, or fuss their way through class.

That said, you are still welcome to come. We’ve had moms happily start class as soon as they are ready to be out and about, modifying exercises that are too strenuous (such as skipping the abs) and addressing baby’s needs as they arise. Sometimes, just being at class is what mom needs. If that’s you, please come.

If you would like to wait until the six week mark but class is already starting, don’t fret. Late registration is welcome for several weeks into the series as long as there is room in the class. We are happy to reserve your child’s spot in advance if you contact us.

playing in baby yogaPlease bring a baby blanket and small, quiet toy to all our class locations.

Most of our venues have a few yoga mats to lend, but you may prefer your own yoga mat for hygiene or comfort. If so, please bring one.

 

baby yogaYour baby will cry.

Let’s just get that out in the open. That’s how babies communicate; it’s totally fine.

Even the fussiest babies are welcome in Baby & Me Yoga. Your instructor will not be distressed and is happy to have you there and, I promise, the other moms/caregivers have been there and will be far less upset about your baby fussing than you will be. Please join us.

baby yoga classThat’s fine too. We are not running baby boot-camp.

 

preschooler yoga class, relaxationThat may not work. There isn’t a lot to entertain big kids at baby yoga, but we have occasionally had parents bring older children, mostly when other plans for them have fallen through or school is closed. Siblings are welcome in that circumstance. We do not recommend bringing older children on a weekly basis.

If you need to bring your older child, we recommend bringing quiet toys or books and arriving a few minutes early to set up a space for your child and to set expectations. Please check in with the instructor ahead of time if possible.

If we hold class on a day that school is closed, we’ll be very flexible in our planning. If there were ever enough demand for childcare during one of our series, we would definitely consider that. If you want to take class with a toddler and infant regularly, consider attending Little Families Yoga instead or doing a makeup in that class if you decide to skip rather than attend baby yoga.

Top 5 Reasons to Do Yoga with Your Infant: Baby Yoga & Play FAQ

baby & me yoga, warriors

5. Yoga is good for babies.

  • The poses we do in baby yoga classes are developmentally supportive, may improve digestion, ease gas pain and colic, and boost the immune system.[1]
  • Yoga play stimulates the vestibular system, proprioceptive development,  and motor control.[2]
  • Baby Yoga rhymes, songs, interaction, and movement stimulates language development.[3]
  • Dedicated face time interaction in baby yoga class stimulates baby’s neurological development and empathy skills.[4]

4. Baby yoga class is good for parents.

mom and baby centeringEven though more than half the poses we do in class are for baby, the benefits for mom and dad can be dramatic. Practicing yoga with your infant can help you feel more relaxed and gentle stretching and conditioning exercises can provide relief from some of the stresses and physical symptoms of early parenting.

3. Yoga practice helps babies sleep better and longer. 

Moving and engaging with caregivers for 45+ minutes is a lot of work for babies. Many parents report that their best naps of the week are on baby yoga days.

2. It’s is a way to get to know your baby better.

moms and babies in yoga classYour baby will engage with you and the yoga poses, games and songs in a way that will reveal his or her unique personality. Does she like vigorous movement or gentle activities? Is he outgoing or reserved with new people and experiences? Your baby will communicate their preferences in class and participating is another opportunity to connect with your baby and meet that fundamental need of your child.

1. Baby yoga is fun.baby yoga

Hands down, this is the best reason to do yoga with your baby. Babies have fun. Parents have fun. You both learn games, songs and poses to use at home and to teach other people in baby’s life.

Baby Yoga Frequently Asked Questions

Our public prenatalpostnatal yoga classes – including Baby & Me Yoga – welcome drop-in students.

  • Pay by the class:  Single class drop-ins for prenatal or postnatal classes cost $20 + 0.0575% sales tax of $1.15 = $21.15. Single class is good for 90 days from date of purchase.
  • mom and baby centeringMulti-class flex-passes: When students commit to take 10 classes, they are eligible for a per class discounts. At $18 per class, a 10-class flex pass costs $180 + 0.0575% sales tax of $10.35 = $190.35. Valid for 6 months from purchase in any prenatal or postnatal class, including Baby & Me.
  • Baby & Me Series registration:
    • Parents can also commit to a series of 6-8 consecutive classes for the same discount as the 10-class flex pass. For example, 5 classes is $90 + $5.18 tax = $95.18.
    • Series registration is available for the first 1/3 of the series only. After that point, students may still drop in, but discounted registration is not available. Series makeup policies apply.
  • Unlimited Prenatal/Postnatal Membership: At $75 per month with a minimum 3-month commitment, membership offers the cheapest per class price. A membership pass is valid in any weekly prenatal or postnatal yoga class, including Baby & Me Yoga. Membership auto-renews until cancelled with at least 15 days notice.Memberships may be frozen for 6 weeks upon birth of a baby. Simply notify us and freeze will be effective from baby’s birthdate.
  • All prices at checkout include 5.75% fitness tax.

Baby & Me Yoga classes are a blend of baby-centric activities, with the primary emphasis on baby-caregiver interaction and bonding, and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers.

We do age-appropriate poses, activities, songs and rhymes along with some gentle stretching and conditioning for caregivers.

While caregivers still get a some exercise, it’s very different from classes where baby is invited, but hopefully sleeps or remains quiet during class so moms can get a workout.

Ironically, Baby & Me Yoga classes are often quieter and calmer than a lot of postnatal exercise classes because baby is engaged throughout.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

We have never been able to talk babies into being born on our series schedule, so offer drop-in options for those classes. If you are able to commit to the majority of a series, we can set up a partial registration for you at the series rate. Simply contact us with your specific dates.

Of course, if your child will be home with a family member or nanny when you go back to work, you are welcome to have the join class when your leave ends.

Baby & Me Yoga Class

Baby & Me Yoga is a blend of baby-centric activities and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers. It is not designed as a serious workout for caregivers, but you do need to be prepared to move and we hope you will leave feeling better in your body than you arrive.

We spend a good portion of the class sitting criss-cross or in other positions on the floor and we get up and down several times. Almost every class incorporates lunges or squats while holding baby as well as some shoulder or low-back exercises for caregivers.  Comfortable, stretchy clothing is important and jeans are not recommended.

moms and babies in yoga classGenerally, class is most appropriate after 6 weeks. We strongly recommend that you be cleared for exercise, especially if you had a surgical birth or complications. Baby too tends to be more ready to participate after about 6 weeks. A 45-minute class is a long time for a newborn. Very young babies often sleep, eat, or fuss their way through class.

That said, you are still welcome to come. We’ve had moms happily start class as soon as they are ready to be out and about, modifying exercises that are too strenuous (such as skipping the abs) and addressing baby’s needs as they arise. Sometimes, just being at class is what mom needs. If that’s you, please come.

If you would like to wait until the six week mark but class is already starting, don’t fret. Late registration is welcome for several weeks into the series as long as there is room in the class. We are happy to reserve your child’s spot in advance if you contact us.

playing in baby yogaPlease bring a baby blanket and small, quiet toy to all our class locations.

Most of our venues have a few yoga mats to lend, but you may prefer your own yoga mat for hygiene or comfort. If so, please bring one.

 

baby yogaYour baby will cry.

Let’s just get that out in the open. That’s how babies communicate; it’s totally fine.

Even the fussiest babies are welcome in Baby & Me Yoga. Your instructor will not be distressed and is happy to have you there and, I promise, the other moms/caregivers have been there and will be far less upset about your baby fussing than you will be. Please join us.

baby yoga classThat’s fine too. We are not running baby boot-camp.

 

preschooler yoga class, relaxationThat may not work. There isn’t a lot to entertain big kids at baby yoga, but we have occasionally had parents bring older children, mostly when other plans for them have fallen through or school is closed. Siblings are welcome in that circumstance. We do not recommend bringing older children on a weekly basis.

If you need to bring your older child, we recommend bringing quiet toys or books and arriving a few minutes early to set up a space for your child and to set expectations. Please check in with the instructor ahead of time if possible.

If we hold class on a day that school is closed, we’ll be very flexible in our planning. If there were ever enough demand for childcare during one of our series, we would definitely consider that. If you want to take class with a toddler and infant regularly, consider attending Little Families Yoga instead or doing a makeup in that class if you decide to skip rather than attend baby yoga.

_____

Sources:

  1. Garabedian, Helen. (2004). Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger. New York, NY: Touchtone/Simon and Schuster.
  2. Kopp, Claire. (2003). Baby Steps, Second Edition: A Guide to Your Child’s Social, Physical, Mental and Emotional Development in the First Two Years. New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks.
  3. McEllroy, M. (2014, July 14). Months before their first words, babies’ brains rehearse speech mechanics. UW Today.
  4. Medina, John. (2011). Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.

Returning to Our Community Roots

superhero camp collageThank you so much for sharing your kids and family yoga experience with us. We’re having a wonderful summer so far and hope you’ll be joining us for great classes and camps we have planned.

The biggest change for Breathing Space in coming months is that we’ve decided to let go of the 1123 Penn location at the end of the summer and go back to a mobile program format.

We are excited to work with community partners again to offer classes and camps in a variety of locations around the Hill, both SE and NE!

Breathing Space started as a mobile program and the model makes a lot of sense for us given the limited hours needed for children’s and family programming. We took the 1123 Penn lease in the fall of 2014, starting classes there in 2015, because we had seemingly reached our limit for growth at our class spaces at the time and were anticipating our summer camp venue to be unavailable in 2015. The neighborhood yoga and wellness landscape has changed quite a bit in the past two years, with many more options for adult yoga and new opportunities for partnership locations for our family programming. As much as it is nice to have complete control over a studio space, it simply make better business sense to let go of the full time location.

Mind JarWhat’s more, community is a defining characteristic of family yoga and we’ve missed being a regular member of our partner communities over the past two years. By returning to a mobile model, we are excited to be able to reach further on Capitol Hill and are launching our first Northeast location classes at the Parish of St. Monica and St. James in September! If you have connections to community locations or ideas for classes not on our upcoming schedule, please let us know.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga and FAQs

Yoga is an Ideal Prenatal Exercise and Much More

prenatal moms stretch in yoga classYoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm.

Yoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm.

As a physical practice, yoga during pregnancy builds strength, endurance, and flexibility. Asana practice, what we know as yoga poses, improves circulation, combats fatigue, and reduces tension and stiffness in muscles and joints.

prenatal moms in yoga classAs a mental discipline, yoga cultivates focus and emotional stability. Breathing exercises during prenatal yoga help mom relax deeply and connect with baby.

Prenatal yoga celebrates the mom and baby connection and the beauty and power of your changing body.

“Yoga was enormously helpful to me during my own pregnancy and I still feel that my regular practice was the most important preparation that I did for childbirth.”  – Jen

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “exercising at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week can benefit your health during pregnancy in the following ways:

  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • May help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
  • Increases your energy
  • Improves your mood
  • Improves your posture
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor.”

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

According to the Mayo Clinic, “[r]esearch suggests that prenatal yoga can:
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
  • Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath

Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.”

Our public prenatalpostnatal yoga classes – including Baby & Me Yoga – welcome drop-in students.

  • Pay by the class:  Single class drop-ins for prenatal or postnatal classes cost $20 + 0.0575% sales tax of $1.15 = $21.15. Single class is good for 90 days from date of purchase.
  • mom and baby centeringMulti-class flex-passes: When students commit to take 10 classes, they are eligible for a per class discounts. At $18 per class, a 10-class flex pass costs $180 + 0.0575% sales tax of $10.35 = $190.35. Valid for 6 months from purchase in any prenatal or postnatal class, including Baby & Me.
  • Baby & Me Series registration:
    • Parents can also commit to a series of 6-8 consecutive classes for the same discount as the 10-class flex pass. For example, 5 classes is $90 + $5.18 tax = $95.18.
    • Series registration is available for the first 1/3 of the series only. After that point, students may still drop in, but discounted registration is not available. Series makeup policies apply.
  • Unlimited Prenatal/Postnatal Membership: At $75 per month with a minimum 3-month commitment, membership offers the cheapest per class price. A membership pass is valid in any weekly prenatal or postnatal yoga class, including Baby & Me Yoga. Membership auto-renews until cancelled with at least 15 days notice.Memberships may be frozen for 6 weeks upon birth of a baby. Simply notify us and freeze will be effective from baby’s birthdate.
  • All prices at checkout include 5.75% fitness tax.

prenatal yoga at Realignment StudioYoga practice during pregnancy is designed to help moms build strength and fitness while accessing the inner resources to face the challenges of labor with confidence and calm. A our prenatal yoga class might involve:

  • Breathing. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
  • Stretching. You’ll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion while standing, sitting or lying on the ground.
  • Strength Work and Dynamic Movement. Moms in prenatal yoga are working to maintain fitness for a comfortable pregnancy as well as train for the endurance event that is labor and birth. Holding your bodyweight in postures while working against gravity is a great way to build strength. We’ll also do pregnancy appropriate vinyasa, moving with breath, to build fitness.
  • prenatal moms in savasanaCool down and relaxation. Every prenatal yoga class sets aside time for conscious relaxation. You’ll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You might be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.
Category: prenatal yoga

Our pregnancy yoga classes are held at Realignment Studio, 641 Pennsylvania Ave SE, lower level.  The studio is within one block of the Eastern Market metro stop and convenient to many bus routes along Pennsylvania Ave SE and 8th Street SE. Read more about locations.

Category: prenatal yoga

Students should wear comfortable clothing for movement that is not too stretchy and be prepared to practice in bare feet. Our venues have yoga mats to share, but carrying your own may be preferable. We have all the other props you might for exercises during class. Please bring a water bottle and you may wish to bring a small towel or cloth to cover your eyes during relaxation.

Category: prenatal yoga

Absolutely. Our classes are all levels, with variations offered for newer or more experienced students. We have plenty of props and adaptations ideas for moms who are not super flexible and offer postures and exercises specifically tailored to pregnancy and beginning students. All students should be cleared for exercise by their healthcare provider.

Category: prenatal yoga

Prenatal Yoga Class - Teacher AdjustmentAn in-person prenatal yoga class with a qualified instructor offers benefits you simply cannot reap on your own in front of a dvd or streaming video. Personalized sequencing, a watchful eye for alignment corrections, and customized adjustments complement camaraderie of a group class. Breathing Space prenatal instructors are also knowledgeable about birth, babies, and resources in Washington DC.

Category: prenatal yoga

Pregnant moms are welcome anytime and we often have moms in class who are anywhere from a few weeks along to counting down the days to to baby. During your first trimester, you may find you prefer your regular yoga class or fitness routine or that are too tired/uncomfortable for exercise. Consequently, we start seeing moms most often during the 2nd trimester, because they start feeling better or because the growing belly and pregnancy discomforts compel them to seek us out. We also have moms who start class in their final month. It’s never too early or too late.

Category: prenatal yoga
Prenatal Yoga Class - Balance Pose

Prenatal yoga classes focus on the fundamentals because so many women start yoga for the first time during pregnancy. We work to build flexibility, strength and fitness through modified postures and movements designed for pregnancy. We focus on exercises that might address common pregnancy discomforts and prepare for the endurance event moms are training for: birth.

More experienced yogis who take care to adjusting for their changing bodies may try to keep up their non-prenatal weekly class well into pregnancy. That’s fine, but I still recommend adding prenatal yoga to your routine.

The breath-exercises, concentration, and therapeutic work we do is not typical of a non-prenatal asana or vinyasa class. Also, the pregnancy-customized postures you learn can be incorporated into your non-prenatal yoga classes when the group instruction isn’t appropriate for you.

What worked for me (Jen) was continuing my one regular weekly class (with self-modifications as my belly grew) and one prenatal class for pregnancy and birth specific techniques and  to be in community with expecting moms. 

Category: prenatal yoga

How to Drop-in to Prenatal, Postnatal or Baby Classes

Baby & Me Yoga ClassOur public weekly Prenatal Yoga and Baby & Me Yoga classes welcome drop-in students. Classes can be reserved one at a time or using a multi-class pass.

Please set up an online account and pay for your drop-in class in advance. Our registration site is mobile friendly and accepts drop-in payments right up until class starts. Most of our class venues do not have a receptionist so it’s a great help to the instructor if you take care of this yourself in advance, but if you don’t manage that, come anyway. Please note that instructors do not accept cash.

No single class drop-ins to any class for children/teens from crawling or older. Kids and family classes require series registration.

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