Yoga for Kids: Swim, Yoga, Rest, Repeat

As my kiddos are deep into their swim season and preparing for the State Championship meet this weekend, it is this time of year that we begin to notice the importance of incorporating some key yoga stretches into their every day.  Below are a few of their favorites, broken out by specific body part:

Shoulders

Keeping your shoulders healthy is of utmost importance when swimming as it is at the forefront of every stroke.  When shoulders gain flexibility you ensure you have a full reach and range of motion. 

Picture: Cow Face ArmsCow Face Arms – On your inhale, reach your right arm up and as you exhale bend at the elbow reaching the right hand down to rest on the neck or between the shoulder blades.  On your next inhale reach the left arm out with your hand facing back.  As you exhale bend at the elbow and reach your left hand up towards the mid-back, either connecting your fingers or using a shirt or towel to connect the hands if the fingers cannot reach each other.  Breathe here for 3-5 breaths before switching sides.

Hips

Hips can become very tight when swimming due to the repeated hip flexion required.  Therefore, finding a gentle, yet effective, hip release can 

kids bridgekeep hips feeling loose. 

 

Bridge – Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the mat about hip-distance apart (think of your feet as “elevens”, parallel) under knees.  On your inhale, lift hips, lower back, mid-back away from the mat.  To help hold the pose longer, place a block at any one of its three heights below the sacrum (located just above the tailbone).  Rest arms to either side of the body and breathe here for 3-5 breaths.

 

Quadriceps

Stretching your quadriceps allows you to maintain a strong kick as well as powers both starts and turns.

kids bridge variation for quadsBridge Variation with one knee dropped – Begin this pose from Bridge (described above with or without the block).  On your inhale, slide your right toes behind your left heel, keeping the toes on the mat.  As you exhale, try to release the right knee down towards the mat.  Breathe here for 3-5 breaths before switching sides.

 

Abdominals

Maintaining a strong core, allows you to better coordinate the movement of your arms with the movement of your legs which results in the most efficient stroke.kids boat

 

Boat pose – Sit on the mat with your knees bent, feet planted.  Place your hands behind you, planted on the mat or use your hands to support you behind your thighs.  Lift both feet away from the mat at the same time, seeing if you can keep your shins parallel to the mat or extend your legs so your toes are at your eye level (lifting the toes above the head will transfer the work to the hips rather than make the abdominals work).  As you build strength extend the arms to either side of your knees.  (Or for a challenge “row” your boat with your legs lifted making it through a verse of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” before lowering the feet back down to the mat.)

 

Total Body

This pose stretches the Achilles, shins, calves, hamstrings, back, shoulders, and arms making it an all-around efficient stretch when you are short on time but need a quick swim stretch. 

kids downdogDownward Facing Dog Start this pose from all fours. Fingers spread wide, shoulder-width apart.  Lift your hips up, thereby making a “V” with your body.  Ground in the knuckle of the index finger to protect your wrist.  Send your chest to your toes, head to the floor.  For tight hamstrings, bend at your knees and press your torso towards your thighs.  Breathe here for 3-5 breaths.

 

Breath

An integral part of swimming is the breath connection to your stroke.  Often the most effective breath is a short inhalation followed by a long, drawn out exhalation.  When you get this breath-movement connection it will strengthen your power, strength, and endurance in the water.  Learning to control your breath on land will help you better make this breath connection in the water.kids breath

 

Consider the following breathing exercise:  Inhale to a count of 2 and then exhale to a count of 4. Complete a few rounds before continuing. Then try increasing the inhale to a count of 3 and exhale to a count of 6 and so forth.  As you increase the length of the inhale, continue to increase your exhale as well, thereby ensuring the exhale is always longer than the exhale.

~ The divine in me salutes the divine in you.  Namaste ~ 

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What’s Happening in January 2017 to get You (back?) on your Mat

~ The divine in me salutes the divine in you ~

Every New Year, we are often motivated to detox, kick start, and get moving.  I encTemple at Angkor Wat - Cambodiaourage each of you to consider adding yoga into whatever regimen you currently have set for yourself.  It may be that yoga is a new challenge for you, you’re trying to add power to your practice, or you’re attempting to slow your practice down.  Whatever your motivation, January is always a great time to turn over a new leaf and discover that new you is just another layer of the you you’ve actually always been.

I am offering many opportunities to join me on the mat this month, please click on any of the experiences below to learn more. I can’t wait to practice with you!

Yoga for Kids at SoulShine Power Yoga (Saturdays in January, 1-2PM)

FREE Partner Yoga at Athleta (Sunday, January 8th, 9:30-10:30AM)

Sun Salutations 101 at Peace of Mind Pilates (Sunday, January 29th, 11AM-1PM)

Beginner Yoga Series at Peace of Mind Pilates (Mondays, 11:00AM-Noon, 6 week series starting 1/9)

Power Vinyasa Flow at SoulShine Power Yoga (Mondays and Fridays, 8:30-9:45AM)

Yoga for Runners at Essex Physical Therapy (Mondays, 6:15-7:15PM)

Poolside Yoga at Essex Physical Therapy (Saturdays, 8:30-9:30AM)


Yoga for Kids at SoulShine Power Yoga

Saturdays, January 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th

1:00-2:00PM

Register Online Here  *Please create a separate account for your minor to sign them up*
Join me for a fun-filled, four week series of yoga for kids! We will explore fun techniques for decompressing and reducing stress, partner yoga, and lots of games and activities! We will practice active poses (kids-yogaboth individual and partner), balance work, breath work, and relaxation, all in an amusing and entertaining setting. The temperature will be about 80 degrees to help muscles relax. This series is best suited for those aged 7-9, however age is just a recommendation.

Absolutely all levels are welcome!

Please plan to wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move. All participants are encouraged to bring their own mat, water bottle, and hand towel. (Mats are available for use with donation.)

$60 for the 4 week series or $15 to drop-in

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FREE Partner Yoga at Athleta (1 Church Street, Burlington 802.652.1837)

Sunday, January 8th

9:30 – 10:30AM

No registration is necessary for this free event.

Partner Yoga truly lives up to essence of yoga.  Yoga translates to mean “union” and there is no better to enjoy yoga than when in unison with a partner.  You’ll engage in a one hour partner yoga class with me, while also getting a chance to try on Athleta’s newest, softest, total coverage POWERVITA fabric that hugs your body perfectly.

Expect lots of laughter, fun, and yoga!  You’ll also be given an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a pair of POWERVITA capris for you and a friend.

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Sun Salutations 101 at Peace of Mind Pilates

Sunday, January 29th

11AM – 1PM

Register Online Here

Sun salutations are a series of yoga poses performed in a continuous flowing sequence, that are intended to improve strength and overall flexibility of the muscles. However, often participants are uncertain of the poses and either flow through them misaligned or without consideration of personal body limitations.

In this two hour workshop, I will work with a limited number of participants, thereby providing individualized alignment and modification suggestions, that are not necessarily provided during a traditional yoga class. Participants will learn the foundations of the postures that make up sun salutations, building the poses from the feet up to the head with hints and tips on what is most appropriate for individual bodies. Focus will also be given to transitions and how best to flow through the sequences.

Space is limited to only 8 participants. While some knowledge of yoga may be helpful, beginners are welcome to this workshop. Feel free to bring with you as many questions as you like.

$30 if signed up before January 10th / $35 after

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Beginner Yoga Series at Peace of Mind Pilates

Monday 6 week series running January 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th and February 6th and 13th

11:00AM – Noon

Register Online Here

Why Yoga? And more importantly, what can it do for me specifically? Yoga is translated from Sanskrit to mean, union, and unlike stretching, yoga is more than just the physical postures one takes during a practice. It’s the connection (or union) of the physical practice to the mind and breath, that allow us to release tension we hold onto, often times without even realizing it. While most recognize that by doing yoga their bodies will become more DSC_8171 cropflexible, many do not realize their mind will as well, fostering an awareness of our own body and how it reacts to your everyday environment. In this Beginner’s Yoga Series, we will explore this linking of the body to our mind and breath. As well as, identifying foundational yoga concepts and where your body fits into your own practice. All levels welcome.

*Classes only good for these 4 weeks during this time slot. Not exchangeable with other classes. Drop ins will be allowed at regular drop-in rates, or punchcards may be used.

$60 for the 6 week series or $14 to drop in

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Power Vinyasa Flow at SoulShine Power Yoga

Mondays and Fridays

8:30-9:45AM

Register Online Here

SoulShine Power Yoga is wholeheartedly dedicated to the health, wellbeing and empowerment of our students.  In this moderately paced vinyasa yoga class all levels are welcome.  This class can work for beginners but has options for more experienced yogis/yoginis.  This class is heated to 95 degrees.

$15 to drop in or you can purchase a punch card

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Yoga for Runners at Essex Physical Therapy

Mondays

6:15-7:15PM

Online registration is not available for this class.

This class is held around the pool deck and the temperature in the room is @88-90 degrees. The idea is to use the heat to open tight muscles we tend to repetitively use when we run.  However, this class is appropriate for anyone looking to stretch and relax their muscles.  This class will take place at the Essex PT Meadows location next to CVS.  Enter through the side pool door (around the back) of the Essex PT Building.  Don’t forget to bring along a bottle of water and hand towel!

$10 to drop in or you can purchase a punch card

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Poolside Yoga at Essex Physical Therapy

Saturdays

8:30-9:30AM

Online registration is not available for this class.

This class is a general yoga class, welcoming any age, ability or level.  Your interests help drive the content for the class.  Gain strength, flexibility, balance and breath in this class designed around your needs.  Both modifications and challenges will be offered throughout.  Feel free to let me know prior to class what you are interested in working on. This class is held in the Essex PT Meadows location next to CVS.  We meet around the pool deck.  Please enter through the side pool door of the Essex PT Building.  Don’t forget to bring along a bottle of water and hand towel.

$10 to drop in or you can purchase a punch card

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Rachel Lacourciere, Yoga Teacher | 802.922.7162 | niyamanotebook@gmail.com

Yoga for Kids at SoulShine

 Saturday, December 10th
1:00-2:00 p.m.
80 degrees
Cost: $15.00; preregistration & prepayment required*

*Please create a separate account for your minor to sign them up!

Sign up here. 

kids-yoga

Games, games, games!
Who doesn’t love games, especially if you are a kid?
In this class we will explore fun techniques for decompressing, learning how to reduce stress. We will practice active poses (both individual and partner), balance work, breath work, and relaxation, all in an amusing and entertaining setting.
The temperature will be about 80 degrees to help muscles relax. This class is best suited for those aged 7-9, however age is only a suggestion.
Absolutely all levels are welcome!
Please wear comfortable clothes that allow movement.  All participants are encouraged to bring their own mat, water bottle, and hand towel.
(Mats are available for use with donation.)