Early Childhood Yoga – Crawling to 4 years - Breathing Space

Early Childhood Yoga – Crawling through 4 years

Yoga helps babies, toddlers, and preschoolers explore movement milestones, gain confidence, build strength and fitness, learn a tool for self-regulation, connect with parents and caregivers, and set the foundation for healthy body attitudes and a fit lifestyle. Breathing Space baby, tot, and preschool classes feature a mix age-appropriate yoga poses, songs, stories and games.

We focus on:

  • moving and having fun,
  • exercises that enhance
    • coordination,
    • strength
    • and good posture,
  • brain-boosting activities, including connecting movements to words and music,
  • breath awareness, and
  • relaxation.

These parent-child classes are engaging and fun, encouraging each child to embrace their own unique expression of yoga poses while supporting their development and growth (Nannies, grandparents, and other caregivers welcome too).

Upcoming Classes

Registration Policies

  • Classes are usually offered in multi-class series, registration required - no drop-ins.
  • Late registration may be possible for the first 3 weeks of the semester. Fees automatically prorate.
  • Public venue classes are usually limited to 12 families. Please register early. Classes with insufficient enrollment a week in advance of course start may be cancelled.
  • Any of your child’s favorite grownups are welcome in this class – ie. mom, dad, grandparent, nanny. Up to two adults are welcome on weekly basis, and the same adult need not be present every time.
  • Siblings, twins, and nanny shares welcome. Sibling discount is automatic, but nanny share families must register individually and should both use the code NANNYSHARE10 for 10% off. Read more.
  • If students must miss a class, they are welcome to attend any other appropriate class as a makeup during the same semester, or bring a friend to class as a makeup. See makeup class FAQs for details.
  • Occasionally we offer a single date "pop-up" trial or makeup class. Advanced registration required, enrolled students may attend pop-ups as a makeup.

Still not sure if early childhood yoga is right for you? That’s why we have a no-risk registration policy. If you attend your first class and decide it’s not a good fit, we make it easy to drop a class series.  Read all of our class policies and FAQs.

Class Descriptions & Age Ranges

Tot Yoga (crawling - 24 mo)

Tot Yoga classes are engaging and fun for crawlers and walkers. We encourage each child to embrace their own unique expression of yoga poses while supporting their development and growth.

Parents and children playfully move together through poses, songs, and activities appropriate for crawlers and walkers. 

Little Family Yoga (21 mo - 4 yrs)

Yoga can help toddlers and preschoolers learn how to relieve frustration, improve motor skills, and increase attention span by actively following directions.

We incorporate imagination, songs, words and stories and age-appropriate postures and activities to support your preschooler’s growth and development while creating an enriching family activity.

Toddler Family Yoga (confident walking - 3 yrs)

This class for walking toddlers to 4-year-old preschoolers draws on material from both Tot and Little Family Yoga for this crossover age range.

“[Yoga] class is without question a highlight of our week...Our daughter was seven months when we started, and she has only grown more and more interested and engaged each week.  Jen creates a warm environment for babies to play and learn, consistently introducing new concepts, exercises and experiences that make every session different.  She also welcomes both parents to participate, and it has become a wonderful way for us to start our weekend together as a family.”

– Caroline, Tot Yoga parent

Jen has done an amazing job making yoga fun and accessible to toddlers and preschoolers. She takes the extroverts bouncing off the ceiling and the shy ones under grownups legs and manages to engage them all every class. Each class involves adventures to exciting locations, a menagerie of animal poses and a soothing "yoga rest" with bubbles.
- Danielle, Little Family Yoga parent

Early Childhood Yoga Frequently Asked Questions

jen-mueller-yoga-headshot-sm

Founder/Director

Jen teaches Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play classes, Tot, Toddler and Little Families Yoga, afterschool yoga, Baby Signing Time, and directs day-off and summer camps . . . in addition to lactation consulting and doing bunch of behind the scenes stuff to keep it all running.

Jen brings a sense of joy and playfulness to her classes – both the adult and kids classes – and hopes to offer her students freedom she finds in yoga. She founded Breathing Space to create hub for family yoga on Capitol Hill and share her enthusiasm for age- and developmentally-appropriate poses, games, and songs with yogis of all ages.

Jen and Maya volcano

Why Breathing Space?

Like so many, Jen first came to the yoga mat because of an injury, seeking nothing more than to feel better and balance her body for running. She comes back to the mat because yoga invites her to embrace her body and mind with all its imperfections and then to look beyond them to the greater Self.

When she became a mother, her yoga practice became even more important: for building strength and flexibility, as relief for the discomforts of pregnancy and then the stresses of parenthood, as a reminder of the miracle of the human body and of her own resources and capabilities, and a regular connection to her breath and true Self during a time of significant identity changes. Her weekly baby yoga class during maternity leave encouraged her to embrace her daughter in the same loving, non-judgemental way that her own practice did for herself.

Family Yoga

After thoroughly enjoying baby yoga classes with her daughter during maternity leave and being unable to find an Itsy Bitsy class that fit her schedule after going back to work, Jen stumbled on a listing for Itsy Bitsy Yoga facilitators training . . . and signed up. That turned out to be the first step on new path.

She has since trained with Budding Yogis, ChildLight Yoga, Yoga 4 Classrooms, and YoKid to offer classes to families and children of all ages. Jen’s work with children inspired her to complete adult yoga teacher training at Willow Street Yoga in 2010 and train in Prenatal Yoga with Janice Clarfield.

Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY).  She is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) through Infant Massage USA and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Beyond Breathing Space

Jen is honored to share her expertise with others who wish to share yoga with children as a teacher trainer for ChildLight Yoga, nationally recognized children’s yoga school. Jen co-authored and instructs the ChildLight Yoga for Babies & Toddlers Teacher Training (newborn-2 yrs) and instructs the ChildLight Yoga & Mindfulness for Children Teacher Training (ages 2-12). Learn more about local trainings with Jen or offerings around the country.

You might also run into Jen over at the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington DC, either as a consultant or in the twice-monthly Baby Care Basics class.

Other Experience

Before turning her attention to yoga full time, Jen spent more than a decade working with non- profit organizations in everything from daily operations, event and volunteer management, and finance to national policy advocacy and media relations. Jen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Master in Public Management degree from the University of Maryland. Her experience in social change movements and managing charitable organizations has been extremely helpful when working with schools and community organizations to implement yoga and mindfulness programs for children

Rebecca-GitterBirth and Postpartum Doula, Prenatal and Family Yoga Instructor

Rebecca has been teaching prenatal, postpartum, and early childhood yoga on Capitol Hill and around DC for over a decade. As a doula, Rebecca provides evidence-based, non-biased and a common sense approach to supporting clients in this time of transition in their lives.

Rebecca completed her initial yoga training in 2006 at the Yoga Center, Columbia, MD.  She has continued her studies by completing specialized trainings in prenatal, postnatal and children’s yoga, including Budding Yogis, Childlight Yoga, Itsy Bitsy Yoga, Radiant Child, Yokid, and Yoga for the Special Child, and YoKid.

Rebecca Gitter brings a sense of humor to her classes and focuses on meeting her students – of any age- exactly where they are. Sharing yoga with kids and caregivers in the DC metro area in studios, schools and community centers, as well as with her own two children, always leaves her smiling and inspires her personal practice.

Rebecca brings her calm, unflappable, compassionate, yet analytical approach to serving her doula clients as well. In addition to her DONA birth and postpartum doula trainings, Rebecca brings her years of life experience as a mom, aunt, caregiver and teacher of countless little people and their parents to her doula practice. Rebecca always continues to learn, attending workshops on optimal positioning for labor and delivery, pre and post natal yoga, breastfeeding, newborn care, childbirth and development.

When Rebecca isn’t teaching or supporting clients, you might find her on a trail – hiking biking or being walked by her dog.

Katie is a DONA trained Doula who brings her experience yoga, meditation, Thai massage, nutrition and birth together to support families from a holistic perspective.

Birth and Postpartum Doula, Prenatal Yoga and Meditation Instructor

Katie is a DONA trained Doula who brings her experience yoga, meditation, Thai massage, nutrition and birth together to support families from a holistic perspective. She has has been serving families as a nanny in the DC area for over 10 years in the DC area, since 2017 as a birth doula. 

Katie is a yoga teacher, and avid traveler who enjoys connecting with people and diving into local culture and traditions. During a course in Thai yoga massage, she was introduced to the world of birth and the role of a doula, and knew that this was something she wanted to pursue. Katie feels that her work as a doula really weaves together her experience working with families as a nanny, and her healing, spiritual work. 

Katie has a passion for cooking healthy, plant based food, and enjoys time by the beach the most, especially if that beach is in Greece or Thailand. Katie brings her meditative, compassionate presence to birth, and beyond, and is ready, and honored to assist you and your family during this special rite of passage.  

Postpartum Doula and Certified Lactation Consultant 

Ariel is an experienced lactation counselor and postpartum doula in addition to being the parent of for children ages 4-10, including a set of twins.

While she loved snuggling her newborns, she always found herself jealous of mothers who had friends and family swoop in and help care for them. She offers that support to new families as they adjust to life with a newborn. She enjoys working with families of multiples, who sometimes come home needing a little extra care in the first few weeks.  Ariel believes her role as a postpartum doula is to offer information and support which to allows parents to decide what is best for their families.    

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Still have questions?

ChildLight Yoga logo

Want to teach baby and toddler or kids yoga for us or in your own community? Come train with Jen at an upcoming ChildLight Yoga workshop in Washington, DC or around the country.

 

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