Kids & Family Yoga
Kids yoga in Washington, DC
Our classes for kids, teens, and families are designed to teach yoga and mindfulness through the playful use of yoga poses, breathing techniques, relaxation practices, and meditation.
We strive to create a non-competitive environment where each child feels accepted and valued. Our hope is that kids and families can take what they learn in Circle Yoga Kids classes out into the world to reduce stress in their daily lives, boost their self-confidence, respect and value others, and enjoy a lifelong love of yoga and mindfulness.
Beyond weekly kids yoga classes, we offer Circle Yoga Summer Camp, the Circle Yoga Kids Teacher Training, and yoga birthday parties.
Circle Yoga kids classes are all non competitive. Children are never graded or judged. No matter their level of experience or ability, students are invited to participate in the way that is most comfortable for them. We don’t focus on having children master yoga poses. Rather, we provide a brave space, where children can:
- Be themselves
- Express themselves
- Feel at ease
- Feel less anxiety
- Feel valued
- Be respected
- Be joyful
- Build special friendships
The benefits of yoga for children
Yoga is a great way for kids to get connected with their bodies. It can help bring active minds into union with active bodies, and can help kids learn to calm both. Kids feel empowered by their ability to learn new poses, stretch into new positions, and stabilize their minds in a non-competitive environment.
At Circle Yoga, kids can have fun, stretch their imaginations, play, and relax. For some kids, the yoga studio may be the only non-competitive activity that they engage in all week. Circle Yoga is a respite for kids where they can develop to their fullest physical and mental health and well-being.
No matter experience level or physical ability, every child can do some form of yoga. At Circle Yoga, kids benefit from the physical aspect of yoga, gaining strength and flexibility. There are psychological and emotional benefits as well. Our classes enable kids to feel safe and emotionally brave- knowing that they are accepted for who they are. This in turn, provides kids with a sense of ease, which is particularly important for kids as they sometimes feel the stress of their school, home and social lives. Yoga time can feel like a joyful respite for kids.
Through practicing yoga and engaging in mindfulness games and activities at Circle Yoga, students gain:
- Body awareness
- Impulse control
- An open heart
- A greater sense of ease
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a set of tools for creating a fuller, more contented life. While mindfulness may seem a bit of a mystery to some, it’s really quite a simple concept. Mindfulness is a practice of choosing attention, and gently bringing our attention back when we are distracted. Children are particularly responsive to mindfulness. Mindfulness is healthier for our bodies, it helps to relieve tension, it aids us in interpersonal relationships, and it helps us to choose how we want to behave or react in any given situation. Usually, when we stop and are mindful, we then react compassionately towards others and ourselves. Practicing mindfulness allows us to enjoy life in the present moment and to lead a less stressful and more contented life.
The benefits of mindfulness for children
The underpinning philosophy of the Circle Yoga Kids program is steeped in mindfulness practices. Mindfulness can help kids to:
- Calm down
- Lower anxiety and stress
- Help with impulse control
- Find self awareness
- Skillfully respond to different emotions that arise
- Be more empathetic
- Grow conflict resolution skills
- Experience more joy
Often, as kids grow older, they’re guided into the intellectual world and can begin to lose their ability to be mindful. Our hope is that Circle Yoga Kids classes offer children a foundation of mindful awareness that will help them maintain their sense of self as they age.
More resources on the benefits
Learn more about the benefits kids yoga and mindfulness with these resources:
More than just a game: Yoga for school-age children
Harvard Health Publishing | Harvard Medical School
by Marlynn Wei, MD, JD
7 Ways to Help Kids Calm Down Without Using a Screen
by Betsy Stephens
Why Kids Need Yoga as Much as We Do
by Marsha Wenig
Mindfulness for Children
The New York Times
by David Gelles
7 Ways Mindfulness Can Help Children's Brains
by Marilyn Wedge, PhD
All of our teachers are certified through the Circle Yoga Kids Teacher Training, where students are required to have their own yoga and mindfulness practice, so they can be attuned to their students and be responsive to their needs. Our teachers help guide students to emotional balance, creating a nurturing environment where kids and families can flourish at the studio and in their outside emotional, academic and social lives.
Following the events of September 11, 2001, Annie Mahon knew she had a role to play in bringing a sense of inner peace to children and families in Washington, DC. After sharing the practices of mindfulness, conflict resolution, and yoga with children through the DC Public Schools for two years, Annie wanted to locate her programs in a safe and welcoming space. She founded Budding Yogis (now Circle Yoga) on Northampton Street in 2003. Soon after, Linda Feldman joined and together they created a place where kids could relax, practice yoga, and just be—and where everyone would be welcome, regardless of age, physical condition, or previous knowledge about yoga.
It wasn't long before parents who came to yoga with their kids were asking for yoga classes, too. The studio expanded to include a yoga program for adults, which is what is known today as Circle Yoga Cooperative. Learn more about Circle Yoga.