Yoga Cat: Free Download

Looking for a little in-home inspiration?

The quarantine cycles are real and I find myself drifting between extreme bursts of creativity and heavy lethargy. The past week has been a bit brighter and I want to share some of its fruits with you all.

Meet Yoga Cat —  your guide through a 20-30 min at home yoga practice for 3 to 10 year-olds. This little printable yoga book was created for those at home looking to incorporate some playful movement with their children.

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Using a visual aid for yoga is especially helpful with children under the age of seven or for those who are trying yoga for the first time. Try printing it in color, cutting each page in half and binding for a little yoga break in your child’s day. You can also print the book in black and white and let them color it in and add their own personal details.

With repetition, you may find your little one sharing poses with you throughout the day.

❤ It’s FREE, fun and filled with love for you and yours.

Download it now: 

Yoga Cat Color &  Play Book

Sun Salutations

We often get asked by our parents, “What’s that song, the one with the sun in it that my child can’t stop singing.” It never fails to bring a smile to our lips as we know instantaneously exactly what they are referring to.

The answer?

It’s Dance for the Sun by Kira Wiley, our very favorite way to teach one of the most fundamental set of postures in traditional yoga asana in a fun and child-friendly way.

Sun Salutations are a part of both the Hatha & Ashtanga yoga lineages and have been incorporated into most schools of yoga today. They include a slightly variable set of yoga poses linked by breath to create a smooth circuit of prana (life energy) running throughout the body. Simply put, Sun Salutations help warm up the body, increase the heart rate, and create heat needed for deeper and stronger yoga poses that follow in the practice.

For children, Sun Salutations can be an essential landmark or focal point for the children to grab onto during a yoga class. Students who have heard the song many times before may feel comfortable singing and will link the movements automatically with ease while newer students may enjoy listening and following along their peers and the teacher.

It’s a fun and easy way to engage children in traditional practice without requiring a lot of teaching or modelling.

plank

 

How to practice: 

For a little context watch this video of one of our class practices.

  • Do a light warm-up of the joints in the body especially the wrists and ankles.
  • If students are new you can take a moment before to introduce:
    • Mountain Pose
    • Forward Fold
    • Plank
    • Cobra
    • Down Dog 
  • Play the song: Dance for the Sun by Kira Wiley.
  • Follow the movements as directed by the song

Cobra pose

Benefits:

Yoga pose vinyasa:  The sun salutation is a group of yoga poses linked together by breath to create a sequence of movement. It is the only traditional part of the physical yoga practice that traditionally promotes cardio-vascular health.

Sequencing: Learning postures in sequence helps develop memory function as well as coordination and problem solving.

Rhythmic breathing alleviates stress, oxygenates the brain, strengthen lung capacity and builds respiratory endurance.

Yoga poses: help build good posture habits, stabilize the core, strengthen the extremities and develop balance.

mountain

Try it out at home and let us know what you think!

Interested in learning more about sharing the practice of yoga for children? Learn more about our training programs here.

Papaya Salad Recipe

It’s as good a time as any to get your little’s active in the kitchen. Papaya Salad is an easy, healthy and versatile option for little hands and fingers.  Practice cutting different textures and preparing raw food the whole family will enjoy!

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Ingredients: 

Salad: 

  • 1 unripe green papaya
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 long strings of green beans cut into 1 in. pieces
  • 2-4 medium sized tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • Handful of unsalted roasted peanuts (opt.)

Sauce: 

  • 3-5 limes
  • 2 tbs. palm or coconut sugar
  • 1 tbs. fish sauce (leave out for vegans / vegetarians and the faint of heart)
  • Salt to taste

Process:

1.) Remove skin from the carrot and papaya, then use a serrated peeler to cut them into long strips. Quarter tomatoes, cut green beans and set aside.

2.) Mash garlic in a wooden mortar (referred to in Thai as the Pok-Pok) until it is broken into small pieces. Add green beans and mash until slightly broken open. (Alternatively, if you do not have a mortar and pistil, chop garlic and mix with green beans).

3.) Add papaya and carrots, mash gently. Add tomatoes and toss together.

4.) Squeeze limes and combine juice with palm sugar, fish sauce and salt. Taste to ensure the balance of sweet, salty, sour and fishy is to your liking. Take time with this step and don’t be afraid to play with your proportions, every traditional Som Tam maker will have their own distinct blend of flavors.

5.) Add sauce to salad so that it is slightly dressed and well combined. Sprinkle in peanuts and serve with your favorite kind of rice.

** This dish is traditionally made with chili and is so spicy that it is eaten with rice to cool the palette. For adults who like spicy food add 2-4 Thai red or green chilies with the garlic in step 2. 

** There are many variations of this dish so if you don’t have all the ingredients, experiment with what you have. Thai eggplant, corn and fried sardines all make tasty compliments to this famous dish.


 

Papaya Salad or Som Tam is traditionally paired with sticky rice, a plate of green herbs and veggies, and a protein like a bbq grilled chicken, pork or fish. We also love it with fried chicken or a plain omelette.

papaya salad

Yoga at Home: warm-up song

Today we’re sharing our favorite song for creating the space for our yoga classes, “Rub your Hands” by Karma Kids Yoga.

* Ask your kiddos to find their yoga seats and settle into a comfortable seated position with lots of room around their bodies. They can sit on the floor, a yoga mat or a pillow for a bit more support. Offer them variations of their yoga seat like cross-legged pose (Sukhasana), Hero’s Pose (Virasana) or Half Lotus (Padmasana).

* Talk with them about practicing yoga, what it means and create some safety agreements before you begin.

* Start the song and do a motion for each part of the song: you don’t need to explain the motions, just demonstrate and your little yogis should be able to follow along.

“Rub your hands”Rub hands together creating friction and warmth.

“Sit up tall”Lightly press hands into knees, lengthen the spine and roll shoulders down.

“Take a deep breath”Bring hands to prayer pose, close eyes and inhale to allow chest to expand and shoulders to rise.

“Om”Exhale by chanting the sound “Om” bring hands back to knees.

 

* After a few times, you can vary motions to include side bends, forward folds, any poses you like. This works especially well with older kids who may tire of the repetition of sitting in cross-legged pose for an extended amount of time.

 

Benefits:

Chanting helps develop concentration, calm the nervous system, and helps bring balance to the body.

Rhythmic breathing alleviates stress, oxygenates the brain, strengthen lung capacity and build respiratory endurance.

Yoga poses help build good posture habits, stretch the knee joints and build flexibility and strength.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

,
Kru Rosie

Visiting Chiang Mai

Each year we are visited by new students from around the world and this last year was no exception as kids from Korea, Spain, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Germany, the United States, Mexico, Canada, the UK, France and more came to join our programs.

Chiang Mai is a magical intersection of intersections and in recent years the offerings for children and families have risen substantially. Full day trips, new play-friendly cafes and an abundance of special course offerings help offer families creative options for education and childcare while travelling.

If your planning a trip to Chiang Mai we highly recommend these guides by local writers and long-time residents:

  1. Lonely Planet : What to do with Kids in Chiang Mai
  2. Chiang Mai Family Guide- 10 awesome things to do in Chiang Mai with Kids
  3. Cape Kantary V. 23 – Community Crossroads 

 

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Of course you are also welcome to come by and see us and we’ll have plenty of recommendations as well!

Weekly Pop-ups Around Town!

We know our families come from all around the beautiful city of Chiang Mai and want to make sure our classes are accessible and easy to reach! That’s why we are teaming up with Chiang Mai Drama Centre to bring you two weekday classes for early years yogis.

Tuesday evenings 5-6 pm is your chance to join our after school yoga club with 8 weeks of yogic learning and growth. Come in and join for a single session or sign up for a whole group of classes!

Wednesday morning is our class for little yogis 1.5-4 years old and their caregivers. Join us 9:30 am – 10:30 am for playful yoga, movement, chanting and lots of giggles and cuddles.

Send us a message to let us know you are joining in!

 

 

 

 

Summer of PLAY

This month we are open each and every day to give you lots of opportunities to try something new, hone creativity and enjoy movement. Our weekday activities are completely booked but we welcome you to come join our weekend workshops which will feature a blend of traditional Thai cooking, baking, crafting, tie dying and more.  As this will be a busy time, please send us a message or email to reserve places for your children.

Click the photos to join our Facebook Events!

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Family time for connection

We know that you are busy, between work, home life, school and after school activities. There’s a whole lot happening week to week to keep track of and with all the bustle, we often lose track of the connection that makes it all worth while. Family yoga is a great time to connect and share with your own family and build healthy traditions that can anchor your week. Check out this article in the Charlotte Observer for more benefits of practicing yoga as a family.

 

Our Family Yoga Circle is each Thursday afternoon 3:45 – 5 pm is the perfect chance come as you are for a laid-back playful circle created especially for families of 1-3 year olds. This is a no pressure environment for families of littles who are looking for a way to joyfully bond with their child and make connections with other families.

Mom n' MeCircle

For families of older kiddos, we welcome you to our family yoga class Sunday evenings 5-6 pm. This class is suited best for families of 4-10 year olds and will teach yoga basics intertwined with themes and stories.

Family Yoga Sundays

 

For families of younger and upper teens, we recommend booking private or group sessions on weekday or weekend evenings.

 

“Yoga emphasizes the power of connection; connecting movement with breath, connecting in with the self, and connecting with others.”

  • -Margot Brinley-