Young kids take so naturally to yoga, as I’ve seen from the lessons my son has had at preschool. It involves everything that that age group loves: exercise, concentration, imagination. So when the founders of a new Westchester-based kids’ yoga program contacted us to offer a demo class, I was happy to check it out.
Topsy Turvy Yogi offers preschool yoga classes in your home, and will supply all the equipment. The lessons, which involve storytelling and imaginative play, are led by Jessica Brown and Diana Scharf, two friends, Westchester moms and certified preschool yoga instructors. They’re trained to work with kids ages 18 months to 5 years specifically, and currently teach at two preschools in lower Westchester.
My son and three of his buddies, ages 4 and 5, had the best time. Jessica and Diana offer just the right combination of nurturing warmth and high energy, using relatable characters like Spider-Man and Rapunzel to draw the kids into poses. They also set up an obstacle course and had the ingenious idea of bringing “presents” to the lesson – wrapped boxes containing their teaching tools. The kids were so eager to see what was in those boxes that they hung onto their every word.
For younger children (18 months to 3 years), Topsy Turvy Yogi offers a toddler-and-me class that incorporates more parent participation. I couldn’t help thinking what a great thing this would’ve been for us three years ago, before my son was in preschool. At the time, we’d participated in a group play date that rotated among different homes every week, and this would’ve been the perfect activity for those get-togethers.
Class offerings are based on age groups, from the youngest “Buddha Babies” to the older “Master Yogis,” and range from $25 a child for a group lesson (minimum four in a group) to $60 for a private, one-on-one lesson (semi-privates are also offered). If you do decide to book an at-home lesson, mention Wee Westchester and receive a 10% discount!
Topsy Turvy Yogi is running a free toddler yoga class at the Temple Israel Center Nursery School in White Plains on Wednesday, April 13, at 9:30 am. They also do yoga birthday parties and are teaching a class this summer at Central Park Dance in Scarsdale. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details, or check out their website, www.topsyturvyyogi.com.