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September 2019
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Childrens Yoga 4-6 Year olds with Shari Vilchez-Blatt
Karma Kids Yoga
104 W. 14th Street
New York, NY 10011
646-638-1444

Thu, 3:30 PM To 4:15 PM
Special Needs

On a lovely Thursday morning Yoga Sleuth was feeling like a kid, so I headed over to Karma Kids Yoga for some fun! Although the class is only for yogis aged four to six, I got special permission to participate in the kids yoga class.

My teacher, Shari Vilchez-Blatt, is also the founder and owner of the studio. I could tell immediately that she had a passion for bringing the world of yoga to kids of all ages. Her voice was patient and excited as she passed feathers and sticks around to all the students.

We used the sticks to balance on our finger tip, knees, stomach and hand, focusing on the feather on top and making sure it didn't fall. All the kids were laughing and moving about the room. Shari was not afraid to be a part of the fun, and got down into a table-top position balancing her stick on her belly, while encouraging everyone else to try it.

Next we sat in a circle and chanted OM. Shari followed this with an explanation of OM as being the sound of everything. We went around the circle and each chose a word that OM was the sound of. (I chose cat).

We went around the circle again introducing ourselves, saying our name and our favorite yoga pose, and then the whole group did the pose. My pose was Child's Pose, but to the kids it's "Mouse Pose" because you get really really tiny like a mouse does.

As a group we did a new kind of Sun Salutation where we sang each step and made animal noises for each pose; Shari would call out Dog Pose and everyone would let out a "woof woof." It was silly and funny, and got us moving. Then, to relax, in Dog Pose we took a deep breath by sniffing in and letting all the air out of our noses.

After a few more warming Sun Salutations we moved on to Tree Pose. Like all the asanas so far, we did the pose in a circle, so we could see all the happy faces in the class. When we got into the pose, we went around once again and announced what kind of tree we were. There were lemon, apple, peach and lime trees. Someone added a smile tree and someone else was a sturdy pine.

As the class progressed, we broke off into partners and did a series of fun balance poses. We got into L Shaped Handstand with our feet on our partners back. We then created "bunk beds" and did a Table Top Pose stacked on top of one another.

If someone lost their balance they landed on the padded floor in laughter. There was no sign of competitiveness in this class, and everyone seemed to encourage each other. Even me, the giant five year old!

For our last balance we came into Crow Pose, balancing on our arms. It was fun to see all the strong little bodies lift up into flight.

We then came back to the feathers we started with at the beginning of class, but this time we blew them all over the room. We found new partners and blew the feathers back and forth towards each other.

Next, we had to pick up pom poms with our feet and drop them into a metal can. It took some real coordination. One girl was having trouble, so another little girl came over and showed her a few tricks to make it easier. These kids were already learning a sense of community at a young age.

Last, but definitely not least, we all came to relax in Savasana for a few minutes. To close the class we came up to sit and sang a Namaste song to one another.

Shari's class format encouraged everyone to support each other, communicate and work together. Everyone had fun, tried something new and made new friends (including this big kid).

Classes begin early September. Drop-in classes are $30. Class packages recommended.

--Margie Suvalle for Yoga Sleuth


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