Giveaway: Win a Kids' Yoga Birthday Party at the Brand-new Yogi Beans Studio
It's not surprising that yoga is becoming increasingly popular in New York City. Life here, as wonderful as it is, can be seriously intense—especially for kids. While lots of NYC adult yoga studios offer specialized classes for children and families, only a handful cater to kids all the time. Yogi Beans, which just opened its first freestanding studio on the Upper East Side, is one of these programs.
Recently, I took my six-year-old daughter—who may dress like a pink princess but has a lot of what people call "boy energy"—to a Yogi Beans class. She's taken yoga before and it's one of the few activities that gets her to calm down, focus and follow directions. I was really impressed with what I saw but perhaps the biggest endorsement comes from my daughter, who's now begging for me to sign her up for the semester.
We've got the scoop on everything Yogi Beans' new studio offers, including awesome looking birthday parties. In fact, one lucky reader will win a Yogi Beans birthday party for 12 kids valued at $625!
Founded by ex-corporate lawyer Alexa Klein and fitness expert Lauren Chaitoff, Yogi Beans has been around since 2007, working in schools and out of rented spaces. Its brand-new, two-room, second floor studio is light and cheerful, with butterfly stencils and framed photos of kids doing yoga on the yellow walls, and a soothing fountain in the waiting room (which doubles as an event area). All of the classes take place in the back room, which is separated from the front by a thick curtain so adults can't observe but you can hear all the fun going on.
Lauren teaches most of the classes and she really knows how to engage kids. The class started with a real workout as the kids stretched, exercised and generally got all of their manic energy out. She even had them yell and do warrior poses. In addition to practicing classic yoga moves, creativity is encouraged and all of the kids came up with their own unique poses (my daughter's was "The Artist:" she stood on one foot, pretend paintbrush in hand).
There was a good amount of conversation at the beginning of the session. At one point a student complained that she couldn't get a pose right and Lauren reminded her that, "yoga is a practice not a perfect." I was amazed at how Lauren kept her cool with seven five- to seven-year-olds in a relatively tiny room, constantly speaking out, but all of that stopped midway through. Suddenly all of the kids were quiet and focused and concentrating on what Lauren was asking them to do. It was a remarkable transformation. By the end, the lights were turned off and they were relaxed and stretched out on their mats with their eyes closed as Lauren gave them foot rubs. My kid was way more mellow coming out than going in!
Yogi Beans offers a variety of kids' classes for ages six weeks to 16, from parent and me classes to family and teen sessions, even prenatal yoga. The studio also hosts yoga birthday parties that can be tailored to the birthday child's wishes. The package includes an hour of yoga and a half hour in the event room, pizza, juice and paper goods. Past themes have included ballet and the Beatles. Add-ons include face painting and spa treatments.
If you'd like to enter our Yogi Beans birthday party giveaway, please fill out the form below. The winners will be picked at random and announced on our Facebook page next week.
Yoga Beans is located at 1018 Lexington Avenue near 73rd Street, second floor.
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