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).

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.

“[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

toddler family yoga

Family, kids, and family classes require series commitment. Need to miss due to travel, illness or other conflict? Take advantage of our generous makeup policy.

Our children’s and family classes and some special topics are offered in multi-week series with students committing to multiple consecutive classes. There are lots of benefits to committing to a weekly class but we understand that modern life is busy and sometimes unpredictable. If you must miss a class, you have two options to make it up:

  1. Any family member may take any other appropriate weekly class during the same semester, even in advance – this means the same class on a alternate day or something different;
    • Because Baby Yoga & Play classes are offered in a shorter semesters and start dates are sometimes staggered, parents make carry one makeup class past the original series dates by one month.
    • Note that single date or short series workshops – infant massage, baby sign language parent workshop, etc –  are not options for makeups from weekly classes with the exception of family yoga “pop-up” classes. Pop-up classes are the weekly classes scheduled outside of the series. Makeups are welcome, but advanced registration IS required.
  2. If there is space in your class, you may bring a friend as your make-up class (instead of option 1). Guests need to create an account in our registration system to provide contact information and accept terms and conditions (includes our liability waiver and photo release). Please confirm space availability with your instructor.

What about live online classes? 

You may still use the online makeup scheduler to set up makeups for online classes.  Please be sure to do so 24 hours in advance to ensure you are added to the class roster and receive the appropriate Zoom links.

Which class can I take as a makeup?

Anything class that is appropriate for the family member doing the makeup class. You can even send different adult family members to do the makeup class. Students may make up in any location. For example, if you miss a baby yoga class and there isn’t another that suits your schedule, you may bring your toddler to Little Family Yoga as a make up (baby can even tag along). If you and your child miss Little Family Yoga, you may attend Baby Yoga & Play, a prenatal yoga class, or come to Baby & Toddler Singing Time (weekly class, not weekend workshop). Anytime we have a “Pop-Up” class on the schedule, that can be a makeup (pop ups must be reserved in advance).

 

How do I reserve a makeup class?

Our registration system has make up reservations. Log in to the system and look for makeups in the drop down menu under classes (this option only appears for registered students). See instructions here.

 

I really am only able to attend a couple classes, can I drop-in?

Prenatal Yoga is the only class where we allow drop-in attendance. Even for that class we recommend committing to a series or a multi-class pass.
 
 

Making Up in a Pop Up Class

Occasionally we offer “Pop Up” classes not associated with a series. Advanced reservation is required. Pop ups with insufficient registration 3 days in advance may be cancelled.
 
We publish pop up classes on our regular class calendar. They tend to happen at the end of a term, but Baby Yoga & Play is scheduled for semi-monthly weekend pop up classes! Get on our newsletter list to be notified.
 

Breathing Space does not allow single class drop-ins for family classes. Why?

Semester Commitment is Best for Both Students and the Program

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.

We understand that may be different from what you are used to with yoga classes. 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.

Session Commitment Encourages Consistent Attendance

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.

Session Commitment Enhances the Student Experience

As a children’s instructor, I find:

  1. Drop-in classes are not in the best interest of the child. It often takes 3 or 4 classes for a child, especially a toddler, to feel comfortable with a new place, new people, and a new routine. Children benefit from repetition and structure. Since drop-in students tend to only show up once or twice a semester, they miss out on the full benefits of the experience.
  2. Drop-ins detract from the experience of the students who have committed to a full session of classes because my attention is drawn to the new student – on everything from taking payment and filling in the parent on policies, facilities, and expectations, to making the new child feel comfortable.

But . . .

There are two major objections that I hear from parents to registering for an entire session:

  1. That they aren’t sure if class will be right for their child. We get that. It can be hard to even imagine a toddler or preschooler yoga class if you’ve never attended one.

    That’s why we offer a No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 24 hours of class that you will not be able to continue the session, you will pay only $20 for the class you attended. (See refund policies for more information.)
  1. That they have travel or other schedule obligations that prevent full attendance. We understand schedules can be tricky. We intentionally skip holiday weekends and other high-travel times and offer a very generous make-up policy. To make up a missed class:
    • Any family member may take any other appropriate class during the same session – this means a similar kids class or parents can take an adult class;
    • If there is space in your class, you may bring a friend as your make-up class. Please confirm space availability with your instructor.

A common hesitation to signing up for a weekly class is that parents aren’t sure it will be the right fit for their child. We get that. It can be hard to even imagine a toddler or preschooler yoga or sign language class if you’ve never attended one.

That’s why we offer a No Risk Refund Policy – Register and come (or log-in) to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 24 hours of class that you will not be able to continue the session, you will pay only $20 ($15 if online) for the class you attended. (See refund policies for more information.)

Thank you for taking the plunge into online yoga with us!  We’ve run a few test classes and wanted to share what we’ve learned about how to make your experience the best it can be.

1. Just like our studio classes, expect your child to behave like a child.  There will be highly variable levels of engagement across the group for each activity.  Know that your child will participate exactly the way they need to. They may simply sit and watch the screen.  Or they may wander off. It’s all good.  

2. The best thing you can do to facilitate your child’s experience is to be near the screen, modeling the poses for your child.  Because we know children will not be as engaged by a computer screen as they would by an in-person class, we’ll add in a little more yoga for the  grown-ups so that you can continue participating if your child disengages. Just like in a studio class, the more yoga you do, the more yoga your child will do.

3. When you enter the Zoom meeting, your microphone will be muted.  Feel free to unmute for introductions or if you need to say something to the teacher, but in general, keep yourself muted.  Background noise from individual students becomes extremely distracting very quickly. Note that the teacher has mute/unmute controls for the whole class may unmute everyone at particular moments in class, such as to answer group questions or so we can hear each other while we sing. 

4. You don’t need any special equipment. A yoga mat is great, but you can skip it or use a towel or blanket.  Your teacher may email ahead of class supplies you may want to gather in advance, but will always suggest alternatives.  Scarves, for instance, can be literal scarves, cloth napkins, pillowcases, or even a t-shirt. We will generally end with some form of quiet time, so if you want to include bubbles, have them handy at the beginning of class.

5. Expect this to be a practice in authenticity.  Life is messy right now, and sometimes, so are these yoga classes.  We promise–no one is paying attention to your hair, your house, or your children’s behavior.  Your children will climb all over you. They will jump on the sofa. There will be toys or laundry scattered around your living room.  Your teacher’s children may decide to guest-star in the video. The yoga is important, but so is community, so let’s all take a collective breath, give ourselves grace, and decide to let each class experience just be what it is.

Note about privacy: Zoom has a setting to record only the instructor for our replays, but each teacher must enable that on their recording every time they start class. If they forget, it is possible that snippets of your living room will appear in the replay video during introductions or other times when you unmute your audio. (If you just want to hide your clutter – man there’s a lot of clutter when everyone spends all their time in a small space – you can set a virtual background to your video in Zoom.) We will not circulate replay videos beyond class participants without checking with you first.

Additionally, we are taking steps to ensure that our Zoom participants are only our enrolled students/members and that we do not experience the spamming problems you may have heard about on publicly accessible Zoom events. In addition to circulating the link ONLY to enrolled participants and taking attendance in classes, we have enabled passwords on all our events. We can change those at anytime. We have also disabled participant screen sharing and file sharing. Currently participants can engage in private chats with each other and the instructor and we feel this is appropriate given our other precautions. Please let us know if you have concerns.

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Still have questions?

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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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