Child’s Pose: Where to Find Yoga for Kids
From toddlers to teens, this calming exercise pays dividends — on and off the mat.
It’s no secret why yoga has become a huge trend: it is great for calming the mind, strengthening the body, and developing self-awareness and confidence. Those same features make yoga for kids a great option, too.
Not surprisingly, more and more studios and gyms in the area are making room for yogis of all shapes, sizes, and ages. There are more options than ever for everyone to participate, and letting kids join in on the trend helps shape their mental and physical growth from an early age.
Abbie Chowansky, co-owner of Focus Fitness Main Line, said the benefits of yoga are no different for kids than for adults. She teaches children mindfulness and motor skills to help them move through life in a present way.
“Yoga has become so mainstream, it’s not just jumping jacks in gym class anymore,” Chowansky said. (Focus offers classes for kids during the school year.)
One of the biggest draws to the yoga practice for adults is the ability to step away from the stress of everyday routines and take personal time to unplug and detach. That’s important for children as well.
“I think little kids are like sponges and the more positive behavior we give them and have them experience at a young age, they really do absorb it, and I think it’s good for them,” said Paige Chapman, the owner of Mama’s Wellness Joint in Philadelphia.
Her studio teaches yoga to all ages, and runs and increasingly popular class for toddlers that includes songs and games. But the mindfulness message is the same.
“I think the kids really absorb that,” Chapman said. “Having a class that’s based on getting quieter, and is the antithesis of what’s happening on the playground, is just really grounding for kids.”
Here are some places in Philadelphia and on the Main Line where kids can get down on the mat.
Mama’s Wellness Joint, 1100 Pine St., Philadelphia
Mondays 11:30 am – 12:15 pm, 12:30 – 1:30 pm (respectively)
Wednesdays 2 – 3 pm (Mommy and Me)
Fridays 9 – 9:45, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm (respectively)
Mama’s Wellness Joint is a pre- and postnatal yoga staple in Philadelphia, offering class options to bring your little one ranging from 6 weeks to 4 years old! They also offer kids yoga birthday parties as well as baby showers.
Wake Up Yoga, 2329 Parrish St. and 1839 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia
Mondays 9:30 – 10:30 am (South Philly)
Tuesdays 11 am – 12:15 pm (Fairmount)
Thursdays 11:15 am – 12:30 pm (South Philly)
Don’t be fooled by the name: Wake Up Yoga wants to reassure dads that they are more than welcome to join in for the fun too! Discover ways to incorporate your baby into exercise while letting them play and roll around on their own.
MotherHeart Studio, 2359 E. Susquehanna St., Philadelphia
Tuesdays 9:30 – 10:45 am
Bring your baby on the mat and let them roll around in a relaxing and comforting environment! Moms will get the chance to wind down and relax while the little ones socialize and have fun too.
The Yoga Garden, 114 Forrest Ave, Narberth
Thursdays 11 am – 12:15 pm
This class provides mom with a full postnatal yoga class, while also entertaining the little ones! Rebuild your pelvic floor and core while watching your babies enjoy multisensory movements and tummy time.
Cerca Trova Yoga, 2124 Darby Road, Havertown
Private sessions available
Children ages 3 – 5 can come and enjoy a 45-minute yoga session how to relate to the world around them by making shapes with their bodies. Benefits include improved concentration, relaxation, and making friends!
East Eagle Yoga, 18 E. Eagle Road, Havertown
Mondays 10:30 – 11:15 am
This class is designed for preschool-aged children to introduce them to yoga movements.
Treehouse World, 1442 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester
Monday – Friday 9 am – 12 pm, 1:30 – 4:30 pm
This yoga and mindfulness camp takes place at Treehouse World, while lets kids run around and craft in between yoga sessions, and provides them a healthy and organic snack! Age groups are 5 – 9 years old and 9 – 14 years old, and admission to Treehouse World is included in camp. There’s still time to get in on the fun, as camp runs until September 1, and each week is a different theme.
Balanced for Life Yoga Therapy, 45 Berkley Road, Devon
Fridays 5 – 5:45 pm
This class is geared towards kids ages 3 – 9, and teaches kids how to move and breathe in a fun and imaginative setting. Kids learn how to respect their peers, while incorporating books and games into the fun as well.
Photograph by Casey Kallen.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Main Line Parent and Philadelphia Family magazines.