‘An artistic, physical outlet’
Published 10:21 am Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The Yoga Studio of Austin is putting a new twist on an old-school exercise
From tree poses to greeting the sun, Austin youth are getting a taste of an exercise and spiritual tradition thousands of years old.
The Yoga Studio of Austin is growing its kids programs since it opened last year, with plans to hold even more of its popular Kids Camp week-long sessions this spring and summer.
“It just keeps getting bigger, which is awesome,” said Lindsey Kepper, owner of the YSA.
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Kepper has noticed more and more children coming to classes, due to YSA youth director Eve Cowan’s work. Cowan expanded youth courses and even led some classes at Neveln Elelementary School after school officials asked for yoga instructors to teach a class.
“They seem to love it,” Cowan said of her time at Neveln. “They accepted it so well.”
Word about the YSA has spread, as more students are getting involved. Cowan said 19 children came to a day-long Kids Camp earlier this week, and parents have been clamoring for more courses.
“We have parents asking all the time now … whenever school is out,” Cowan said. “I don’t even have to look at the calendar, because parents are asking, ‘Can you do it now? Can you do it then?’”
A children’s yoga class is a little different from a regular yoga class. Whereas adults start with a little light stretching and breathing, Cowan immediately gets children to play games, twirl batons, and run around the studio.
“We try to inject a little fun into it,” Cowan said.
That fun works: Children are learning more than just basic yoga poses, and Cowan said she’s working with some classes on stretches and poses the adults are learning.
“They’re really quick learners,” Cowan said. “They’re just so active, so throwing a crazy balancing pose is nothing for them. They’re hungry for more.”
Aside from exercising and stretching, Cowan said yoga lessons teaches children how to control themselves better, and can help manage stress. It’s also a great family activity, as 6-year-old Isaiah Cabeen can attest. He attended class Tuesday whlie Jessica, his mother, was doing her own class.
“He’s a high-energy kiddo,” Jessica said of Isaiah. According to Jessica, one of the benefits of yoga is getting Isaiah to learn how to channel some of his energy, and the poses are something they can do together at home.
“It’s something we both enjoy doing,” she said.
The YSA will soon offer a week-long yoga camp over spring break, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 25-29. The “Discovering Downtown Yoga Camp for Youth” will also have children visiting the Paramount Theatre in the afternoon for one to two hours, where they’ll watch a movie, play games, and learn more about the theatre. They will also visit the Coffee House on Main.
The camp is for children ages 6-11 and costs $80 for the week, or $20 per day. In addition, children need to bring a sack lunch and light clothes. Snacks will be provided. To sign up, visit https://yogastudioofaustin.acuityscheduling.com or call Cowan at 507-951-7352.
The yoga instructors at YSA expect the classes, birthday parties and more they offer to keep expanding.
“It’s an artistic, physical outlet,” Kepper said. “It doesn’t matter what you look like. You can do it.”