I have had the opportunity to work with Amira Gaynor, Founder and Owner of Namaste Kid, an award-winning Children’s Yoga DVD company. I was hired to do the hair and makeup for her DVDs. I was also hired to promote the DVDs at various award shows like the Golden Globes and met such hotties like Scott Wolf.
Me + Scott in the Golden Globes Swag Room
Amira is one of my heroes. She’s an amazing entrepreneur with a solid vision– to help kids develop core strength, balance, and confidence. Her DVDs have already won ‘best of’ awards and have gained the attention from several children’s groups, publications, and celebrities that I am not allowed to namedrop.
Me + Amira
Recently Amira asked me if Evan would like to be part of a photo shoot for the DVD cover(s). I told her that Evan has an enormous head and a Dumb and Dumber haircut, but she could give him a try. Turns out she liked his photos and he’s on the back cover of her new DVD, Sport Yoga ($15.49), and the inside panel of the new 3-disc DVD set ($39.99).
Evan on the Yoga Motion 3-Disc DVD Set
I am not going to lie to you. My son Evan does not do yoga on a consistent basis. I’d love to tell you that we practice sun salutations in the morning before we get dressed, have a healthy breakfast and talk at length about how excited we are for the day. On the contrary, my mornings usually consist of frantically trying to find him clean underwear, asking Evan for the upteenth time not to pee on the toilet seat, and reminding him that breakfast gets served at school (but still pouring him some low sugar fruit juice to hydrate him because I am slightly anal about the amount of fluids he consumes).
However, we do practice Pranayama yoga breathing often. Whenever he gets worked up or upset about something we take deep breaths in and out, focusing on the quality of our breath. The name Pranayama, according to linguistic sources, comes from the words “prana” (life force) and “yama” (control). This type of breathing is also useful when Evan can’t slow his mind down at night and has trouble falling asleep. I lay in bed with him and guide his breath until he is relaxed and falls asleep.
It is a goal of mine to introduce Evan to the poses of yoga to add to his breathing exercises. Yoga is so beneficial for children. Here’s a few (of many!) of the reasons why:
Children’s Yoga Helps With-
- Concentration –moving from one pose into another teaches children how to control their focus and attention.
- Flexibility, Strength and Balance- children are born with an innate flexibility and by doing yoga they are able maintain their flexibility, while developing strong muscles and balance.
- Self-Esteem-yoga does wonders for a child’s belief in his/her abilities and sense of self.
- Present Moment Awareness- yoga helps children focus on the here and now. It teaches children not to dwell on the past or worry about the future.
- Cultivates a calm and peaceful mind – Savasana or resting pose, allows children to understand the importance of being still and one with their breath (aka quiet time for mama).
- Encourages Imagination- children’s yoga teachers and DVDs often follow a story- being on a farm, a safari, or acting like a certain object. This sparks the imagination, allowing children to be creative and expressive.
- Reduces Stress- children experience just as much stress as adults do. Yoga provides an immediate outlet to reduce stress. It produces good endorphins. And whether they are aware of it or not, yoga helps children gain perspective. By slowing down the mind and body, they are able to process things (life) more clearly, without judgement, fear or negative emotion.
- Feeling Connected- doing yoga alone or with people helps children feel more connected to themselves, others and the world around them. It’s a great family activity!