More Family Yoga

  • By Serena Lillingston
  • 05 Oct, 2016

First Sunday of Every Month

This weekend we started our new season of family yoga workshops at All Saints Church Hall, Fulham.  They will happen on the first Sunday of every month at 2pm for the younger children and 3.15pm for families with older ones.  

This weekend was the first time we had used All Saints Hall and it was perfect.  There was plenty of space to spread out and have some fun.  The first session was all about a trip to the forest - lots of fun animal poses and partner poses like climbing up onto the parents' knees to reach up to pick imaginary fruit, and lying like lizards on rocks in the sun. We stretched, and hopped and jumped,  turned upside down and laughed a lot.  

Yoga is such a fun way to connect with your children - they adore the positive attention.  My son loves to be the demonstrator - it gives him confidence to share his skills, just as it gives confidence to all the children to show their parents how amazing they can be.  Many of the adults hadn't done any yoga before (particularly the dads) but it didn't matter - yoga is for everyone.

We ended the session with the kids snuggled up with their parents with an eye pillow each and some relaxing music - what a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The second session for older children was a little different - we concentrated much more on partner poses and acro yoga - who doesn't like to fly like a superhero?  There were double dogs and handstand practice and we took turns choosing poses for our human mandala, (if only we could have had some aerial photos of the shapes we made). There was plenty of time for a guided meditation at the end -most of the parents could have fallen asleep if it weren't for the giggling from some of the children.

Please do come along next time - Sunday 6th November at 2pm.  
By Serena Lillingston 24 Feb, 2017
This week began with an assembly at the Merlin School.  The whole school, inluding staff,  joined in with yoga breathing and some balance and seated poses.  I started off by saying that yoga does four things for us - it calms our minds, makes our bodies strong, it reminds us to be kind and it feels amazing.  There wasn't room for any forward bends or else a wave of children would have toppled forward and crushed me!  It was magic to see a whole room of children in tree pose, and the Darth Vader breathing caused a lot of giggling.  I have just started teaching yoga to individual classes at Merlin this week so it was a great opportunity to introduce myself to the children.

A further eleven yoga sessions this week meant that the total number of children taught reached 305!  It feels fantastic to have been responsible for so many Kind Thoughts, Kind Words and Kind Hearts.

I really do feel so lucky to have such a great job.
By Serena Lillingston 24 Nov, 2016

I have been teaching a kids class at The Power Yoga Company in Fulham for over a year now and the more I teach the more I learn from the children. When I was asked to write a blog for them I thought for a long time about what I would say, and I couldn’t decide… should I share the benefits of yoga for kids, or my thoughts on the importance of keeping the classes dynamic and fun? Well yes, I could, but what I really want to talk about is comparison and competition.

As adults we constantly compare and contrast; we measure ourselves against other people, and we are bombarded with so much choice in everything – which brands to buy in the supermarket, what clothes to wear, which route to take to work – in everything we do. For children life is very different – there is not much choice in their everyday lives, so much is mapped and planned for them. From how to get to school and at what time, their timetables at school, what they eat, to when they go to bed. The adults in their lives make most of the decisions. But children are still subjected to comparison and competition just as adults are. They compare themselves academically in class, they compete for attention from the adults in their lives, and they measure themselves against their peers in sport.

So what does this have to do with yoga?

Well in yoga there is no competition, there is no measuring or clamour (except when everyone is excited about a yoga game). Instead, everyone is encouraged to do as much as they want to and to make suggestions for the enjoyment of the whole class. The games we play aren’t competitive they are collaborative.  There is no “I’m better than her” but sometimes there is “I’m better than last week”. The partner poses we practise are reliant on both children giving it a go and seeing what they can do. Each of us has our favourite breath exercise but there is no prize for the best breathing! Relaxation or Svasana is as important in a kids’ class as it is in an adult one. It is often hard to lie still and let go, to let the mind drift and the body relax, to just be, but the children often tell me it is their favourite part of the class.

It is crucial for children to just be – no hurry, no worry, no comparisons or competition and yoga can supply this. 

 What a gift.

 

By Serena Lillingston 05 Oct, 2016
This weekend we started our new season of family yoga workshops at All Saints Church Hall, Fulham.  They will happen on the first Sunday of every month at 2pm for the younger children and 3.15pm for families with older ones.  

This weekend was the first time we had used All Saints Hall and it was perfect.  There was plenty of space to spread out and have some fun.  The first session was all about a trip to the forest - lots of fun animal poses and partner poses like climbing up onto the parents' knees to reach up to pick imaginary fruit, and lying like lizards on rocks in the sun. We stretched, and hopped and jumped,  turned upside down and laughed a lot.  

Yoga is such a fun way to connect with your children - they adore the positive attention.  My son loves to be the demonstrator - it gives him confidence to share his skills, just as it gives confidence to all the children to show their parents how amazing they can be.  Many of the adults hadn't done any yoga before (particularly the dads) but it didn't matter - yoga is for everyone.

We ended the session with the kids snuggled up with their parents with an eye pillow each and some relaxing music - what a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The second session for older children was a little different - we concentrated much more on partner poses and acro yoga - who doesn't like to fly like a superhero?  There were double dogs and handstand practice and we took turns choosing poses for our human mandala, (if only we could have had some aerial photos of the shapes we made). There was plenty of time for a guided meditation at the end -most of the parents could have fallen asleep if it weren't for the giggling from some of the children.

Please do come along next time - Sunday 6th November at 2pm.  
By Serena Lillingston 25 Jun, 2016
Camille and I hosted our first Young Yogis family yoga workshop today.

The first session led by Camille was wonderful fun.  There were twenty adults and kids all joining in with a trip to the yoga beach.

The second session led by me was a bit smaller but no less fun.  We did a mixture of games, sun salutations, human mandalas, partner poses and acro yoga.

And of course both sessions finished with a lovely relaxing svasana with calm music, parents snuggled up with children under blankets.

One of the many wonderful things about family yoga is that everyone leaves their stress, and embarrassment at being thought a fool, at the door.  There were children who had never done yoga before, and parents too, but that never matters - it is so nice to do something together. There are no onlookers, everyone is equal, it is a special bonding experience.  And everyone laughs a lot.

We will be holding more workshops in the autumn.  We will keep you posted.

Namaste, Serena
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