How Can Yoga Benefit Your Family?

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Learning the principles of yoga, meditation (mindfulness), and pranayama (breath-work) are incredibly beneficial at any age, and even more impactful to learn in your earlier years. Imagine if you had these tools as a child!

With the pressure of media, and the push to constantly do and achieve more, childhood anxiety has dramatically increased. We are stimulated from the time we wake until we go to sleep, not getting the rest outside of sleep to function properly. This results in nervous energy (and a growing need for tools like fidget toys), but what we really need is to be alright with taking a timeout to nourish ourselves…and as adults, we need to lead by example. What if we could teach children a way to minimize their anxiety before it becomes a challenge?

How can meditation help you and your kids?

Simple yoga, meditation, and pranayama techniques help children (and adults) with the following:

  • Focus
  • Communicating dreams & needs, including healthy boundaries
  • Managing stressors in healthy ways, which promotes confidence
  • Strengthening the mind & body connection for better self-awareness
  • Increasing understanding & sensitivity to others
  • De-stressing for healthy hormone balance

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Here’s a simple meditation you can do at home with your family:

Begin by laying down or sitting with eyes gently closed. Place one hand on the chest and the other one on the stomach. Taking a deep inhale through the nose, and exhale through the mouth. Repeat ten times. Feel your rib cage and stomach expanding as you inhale, and shoulders relaxing as you exhale. When ready, begin breathing in and out through the nose, with nice long (2-4 second) breaths. Continue as long as you wish.

Yoga for children should be child-appropriate and fun. Yoga, meditation, and pranayama are powerful tools to help nurture ourselves, in order to be more effective, healthier, and happier for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

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This was a guest post shared with us by Studio 202 – a community for inspired living, offering space for all ages to share in the arts, music, movement, dance, meditation & inspiration! Their goal is to support the community in wellbeing, and they host classes and events for every stage of life.


For more resources, tips, and stories on how you can achieve better family health, check out our latest issue – available on stands now, or online here.

Yoga Charity Challenge with Homeroom Small Business Solutions!

by Mirey Faema

Small business owners around Vancouver have united to help Homeroom Small business solutions, a Vancouver based bookkeeping company, host a yoga challenge to from the 1st to the 30th of September 2014.

Owner of Homeroom Small Business Solutions, Teya Mali, hopes the challenge will help raise $3000 for Athletics For Kids. A charity based in North Vancouver that helps ensure British Columbian children have access to amateur sports. “When our staff came together at the beginning of the year to discuss our annual goals and vision, giving back to the local community was at the top of our list. We love what Athletics For Kids does for those experiencing financial difficulties and want to help them in any way we can,” says Teya Mali, business owner.

Teya and her team are passionate about yoga and with National Yoga Month happening in September they felt a yoga challenge was the perfect way to raise money for a great cause.

According to Athletics For Kids over one third of Canadian children are unable to participate in sports due to financial barriers. Each year the charity gives out scholarships up to $600 to those in need.

Participating studio’s include Bikram Yoga on The Drive who are offering a 50% discount on classes and monthly passes to all participants during the challenge and Open Door Yoga who are offering a free class to all participants. More studio’s will be announced closer to the challenge start date.

Prizes include a one month unlimited yoga pass from Bikram Yoga on The Drive, a Mala and bracelet from Mala Collective, a guitar from Rufus Guitar Shop  and a free tax return from Homeroom Small Business Solutions. More prizes will be announced closer to the challenge start date.

The Challenge Details:

Fundraising Goal: $3000

Charity: Athletics for Kids located in North Vancouver.

Cost: Entry is by donation. Individual’s must donate a minimum of $30 to be eligible for the prizes. Teams can enter and distribute the daily yoga required among the team. Minimum team donation for 4 or more members is $100 to be eligible for a prize.

Also we encourage our participants to find sponsors so that we can raise even more money for this wonderful charity.

Registration: Participants must register on or before September 1st.

Benefits: Empowerment, increased self-confidence, improve your well-being, and develop an amazing yoga practice!

Team building exercise for business owners.

Participating Studios: If you join the Homeroom Yoga Challenge you will be able to receive the following discounts to help you complete the challenge from Sept 1-30:

Bikrams Yoga at Commercial Drive – 50% off all yoga monthly memberships and class cards for participants.
Moksha Yoga East Vancouver- $25 intro month (regular price $40)
Open Door Yoga – One free class for all new members.

Prizes: All prizes will be drawn at the end in a raffle.
A guitar from Rufus Guitar Shop (more details coming soon)
One Month Unlimited Pass to Bikram Yoga on the Drive (To be eligable for this prize you must complete 15 days of your yoga challenge at the studio)
One Month Unlimited Pass to Moksha Yoga East Vancouver.
One Mala and Bracelet from Mala Collective
Homeroom Small Business Solutions – On free tax return (valid until June 2015)

Challenge Rules:

  • To be eligible for sponsored prizes provided by one of our generous studios you must complete a min of 15 classes in a sponsor studio during the month of September. Remaining classes can be self-practice. If you are a team one member of your team must complete yoga each day.

  • To be eligible for Homeroom Prizes you can complete the challenge however you please, so long as you practice yoga daily.

  • We want photos of you stretching uploaded to our Facebook group 🙂

  • Photo’s must be uploaded daily to social media.

  • If you utilize the generosity of one of our sponsor studio’s you must tag them in all social media.

Homeroom Small Business Solutions is a Vancouver based bookkeeping and taxation company.

Their goal is to make bookkeeping less intimidating and remove stress from business owners and individuals who are struggling to keep their books in order. With the motto ‘cool chicks doing books’ it was no surprise that the company made it to the finals of the Small Business BC Awards for Best Workplace. Although they didn’t win, the process allowed them to meet many inspiring business owners and motivated them to work hard to give back to their community.

Girlvana Yoga Retreat

Need a getaway that is both healthy and fun? Check out the 5th Girlvana Retreat happening on Cortes Island from 15-19 August. Girlvana Yoga retreats are geared specifically to teen girls between the ages of 13-18. They are a unique experience and the only yoga retreats for girls around! Girlvana has a strong reputation for offering a highly transformative experience by introducing yoga, mediation and practices of leadership, self care and self discovery.

Their summer retreat will be held at Hollyhock, a well known centre for learning and wellness located on picturesque Cortes Island off the west coast of British Columbia. Hollyhock is often described as being a powerful property that is both beautiful, inviting, and life changing. Our During the retreat, girls, will explore:

  • Leadership development and self discovery
  • Inspiring and influential mentors
  • Delicious and healthy meals provided by Hollyhock
  • 4 nights of accommodation & travel to and from Cortes (from Vancouver)
  • Opportunities to unwind and connect with nature through hikes, kayaking, paddle boarding
  • Creative & Fun Art Projects
  • Journalling sessions
  • Sharing circles & group discussions
  • Movie nights

Retreat Cost: $1200 *includes all travel and taxes

The summer retreats sell out fast, so check out their website if you’re interested!

Twisted Mat Yoga for Kids!

by Jenny Darychuk

Twisted Mat Yoga is a boutique studio created for yogis of all ages. North Vancouver’s newest studio offers yoga and art programs, teen programs, family classes, birthdays and after school care. Whether you are looking to have a few hours to yourself during the day as a busy parent, or are looking to practice yoga together as a family, Twisted Mat will have a class perfect for you and your family.
Yoga is not just for adults sporting stretchy pants anymore! Children and teens in today’s society live in a fast-paced world full of sports, lessons, busy parents, school, video games and electronics. The lives most of us lead as a family unit sometimes leaves us little time to ourselves. Children and adults alike both benefit from the physical and mental gifts of yoga.
So what is children`s yoga anyways! Children’s yoga is not your regular Hatha class. It is explored in a playful way through music, song, story and art. Yoga adventures will find your child resting like a mouse in child’s pose, or paddling through the Atlantic Ocean in their boat pose! Each class incorporates breath awareness and mindfulness activities while encouraging individual and group work.
Children and adults alike both benefit from the physical and mental gifts of yoga. Physically this practice enhances flexibility, coordination, balance and prevents injuries for athletes. Yoga is a non-competitive activity that increases self-esteem and promotes personal growth for everyone, young or old. As a mother and full-time children’s yoga instructor, I have witnessed immense benefits in my students and daughter, including increased focus and concentration, tools for stress relief, development of emotional creativity, and compassion towards themselves and others.
Twisted Mat hopes to see you soon, get ready to roll your mat out!