Friday, October 30, 2009

Next Session

Alluem Kids next session is starting soon!
Sign up today - just call (908.276.YOGA) or stop by the studio!
8 week session starting
Wednesday, November 11th for Teens & Sunday, November 15th for Kids!

Make-up Class for first session (ages 8yrs-12yrs) will be
Sunday, November 8th, 2-3pm! Drop-ins welcome!

Alluem Kids~ages 4-7: Sundays, 10am-11am
Alluem Kids~ages 8-12: Sundays, 11:15am-12:15pm

Alluem Teen: Wednesdays, 6:15pm-7:15pm

Alluem Baby and Me ~ 4 week session starting Saturday, November 14th ~ ages 6wk-12mo. and mom, 12:45pm-2:00pm.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Headstands must be approached very slowly with children. As children are often fearless, showing a child a headstand and saying, okay, you're turn, can end in disaster! To avoid injuries, we started our headstand prep with Dolphin Pose, first on our knees and then with straight legs- kind of like a Downward Facing Dog with your forearms on the ground, hands clasped together. Why is this Dolphin Pose? Insert opportunity for what my teacher, Jennifer Cohen of Little Flower Yoga, calls "Teachable Moments". A "Teachable Moment" is using any opportunity to add educational information to the class. So while the children are holding Dolphin Pose developing upper arm and core strength, we discuss that the shape our bodies are in resemble the shape of a dolphin. As we rock forward bringing our chins to our hands or the floor and then back up, we resemble a swimming dolphin. Dolphins as we know, are not fish even though they live in the ocean. They are mammals with lungs like us, and therefore need to swim near the surface, allowing their blowholes to take in air to breathe. So we exhale coming forward, inhale pushing back - concentrating on our breath is important especially in strenuous poses.The students were welcome to stay in Dolphin to work on strength or move on. The next step is to place your head on the ground between your interlocked fingers, elbows under your shoulders. With your seat lifted high, slowly walk the feet in until they feel like they're going to lift off the ground. I personally love this part of a headstand - take off! Using the wall or my help, the kids were welcome to get to that take off point and then bend the knees and come up into a headstand. Of course many of them wanted to try! Who doesn't love being upside down?! I know I spent most of my childhood hanging upside down from the Monkey Bars! And not to mention, what a great opportunity to look at the world from a new angle!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Volcano Breath

I include a breathing activity either in the beginning or end of every class I teach. Today's activity was the Volcano Breath. Sitting in a cross legged position, inhaling deeply, the children were instructed to fill the belly with air followed by the lungs right up into their throats until they couldn't hold anymore air. They were also to move their arms, starting with hands at hearts center, mirroring their breath, until their arms were straight up to the sky when they could hold no more air. And that's when the volcano explodes! They let all the air rush out, folding forward, letting their arms float to the ground. We talked about what our volcanoes could be filled with, if they could be filled with anything. A popular choice was money, but I wanted our volcanoes to be filled with LOVE. I told the children to imagine what it would be like if volcanoes exploded with LOVE instead of lava. To make it personal, I had them focus on somebody in their life who meant a lot to them. When they all had a picture of that person in their heads, they filled up their whole selves with LOVE, and then exploded once again releasing that LOVE out to that someone special. And then we drew....

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Looking for a good book with some great content? These are some that I've used for Yoga Storytime and some I can't wait to share with the kids:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall is here

Fall is here!!! The view of the Rahway River behind the studio is breath taking! We are so lucky to be surrounded by such natural beauty at Alluem. Come visit and enjoy the space, even if you're not taking a class at the time. Feel free to sit on the deck and enjoy the crisp air! Bring the kids! Skip some stones - but be mindful of the ducks!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Body Awareness

You often hear your yoga instructor telling you to focus on a particular body part while practicing certain poses - "make sure your knee is aligned with your ankle", "turn your hips to face forward", "make sure all edges of your back foot is pushing into the ground". It's true we don't often think about what our body parts are doing through out the day unless we are physically putting them into action. We rely on our sensory receptors to get us through the day with out falling over or bumping into walls.
Some children, however, can show delayed proprioceptive development which can make life for that child very frustrating. These children often show signs of clumsiness, have trouble manuvering tiny objects, may use too much or too little force - such as opening and closing things or even hugging, and may tend to chew on or put things in their mouths. Often times this is a natural delay and just takes time to mature as the child does.
Yoga is a wonderful way to aid in that process. First and foremost, a regular yoga practice will help strenghten muscles to aid in their growth, improving proprioception. Games and activities are also used in children's yoga to further this development - and since children love to play, you can't go wrong with games!
The Hula Hoop Pass is a game I played with the class to help the children with their body awareness. Joining hands and coming into a circle, with a hula hoop around one child's arm, the children were directed to pass the hula hoop without breaking the circle or using their hands. The kids can use their arms, legs, head, neck, anything they can to get the hula hoop to the next person. The kids have a lot of fun with this one while becoming aware of cause and effect - how can I move my body to pass this hoop on to the next person? Even the hoop alone resting on different body parts helps stimulate the sensory receptors. Put this activity to upbeat music and challenge the kids to see how fast they can go makes it that much more entertaining!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Alluem Yoga is on Facebook! Click on the link here to become a fan or follow the link in the sidebar! Thank you for your continued support!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Solar Plexus -Our Inner Sun

Kids love to yell. Nothing wrong with that. We all need to yell sometimes! The HaKriya is the perfect way to focus on that practice. The HaKriya is said to stimulate your entire body while improving your circulation and sharpening mental clarity. I had the kids begin HaKriya by focusing on their Solar Plexus or their "Inner Sun". The Solar Plexus is that space between our chest and our belly button. I instructed them to breathe in and reach up with one hand. We pretended that we were grabbing a piece of Sunshine and pull into our Solar Plexus. Now that sunshine is so powerful that it causes us to make a “Hah!” sound. Then we’re going to alternate arms and do it on the other side, one right after the other. And all this sunshine is going to warm up our bodies real fast! The kids enjoyed this and smiled their way through the "Hahs!". When we were done I asked what can we do with all this Inner Sun? Besides using our energy to move on to our Sun Salutations, with our inner sun we can feel warm, bright, powerful, confident. I reminded the kids that if they’re ever afraid of something they can think about pulling out that Inner Sun inside of themselves and shine like the sun! I drew this worksheet up for them to use: