The inspiration for my new journey with yoga is my daughter. She helped me to uncover my passion for supporting families through yoga. As I launch my classes for children aged between 3 and 13 years old and for families in Terenure this month. I want to share my story with you guys.
The classes are run by me, Elaine Walsh-McGrath. I am a qualified children’s yoga teacher. They start in the War Memorial Hall in Terenure on Saturday afternoons.
How I teach yoga to children
At Enchanted Yoga, I teach yoga through the medium of storytelling and adventures for younger children. It is more factually based for older children. For the tweens I focus more on correct alignment and emotional wellbeing. For families the session is about spending time together, having fun and lots of cuddles and hugs. I use Hatha Yoga in my classes which is physical yoga. It combines the use of breathing techniques, physical poses, games and relaxation.
The classes are split into the following age groups; three to five year olds, six to nine year olds and ten to thirteen year olds. I also run an inclusive Family Yoga that welcomes families who have a child with additional needs. The structure of the session includes a breathing exercise, fun warm up game, classic hatha yoga asanas or physical postures and a relaxation to end the session.
I started Enchanted Yoga to give families the tools to reduce stress in their everyday lives and promote well-being.
My yoga journey
I used to be a busy advertising consultant. I have been practising yoga as a hobby for over ten years. I saw the benefits of yoga first-hand. It helped to manage my stress levels working in a busy environment. I continued to practise during my pregnancy. It was great to practise yoga and have the support of other women going through the same thing as me.
When my daughter was born in 2017, she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. It was a challenging period in my life. There can be a lot of health implications for children with Down Syndrome. Apart from being a first time Mum I had to digest all the information that is shared with you. I also had to attend numerous hospital appointments with Síofra. Despite that I continued my yoga practise at Mum and Baby Yoga.
The classes were wonderful. So relaxing. I felt supported and normal there. I met lovely women who were all in that post natal sleepless crazy phase of their lives. I could forget about hospital appointments and everything that comes with a diagnosis. At Mum and Baby Yoga the teacher mentioned that yoga would be great for my daughter, when she was a little older because it would really help her core among other benefits.
That idea sat at the back of my mind for about a year and then I thought… I love yoga … why don’t I train to teach yoga. I can help kids feel the benefits that I feel. So I took on the training and observation and practical work that is involved with becoming a teacher for children in 2018. And I’m delighted to open my own business, Enchanted Yoga.
My dream is to provide families with an emotional support as life is incredibly busy these days. With so many ways to be connected virtually, sometimes it’s hard to have a real quality connection. I offer classes for children that help them to have fun using just their imagination and their bodies through physical poses in yoga. I also offer classes to families so that they can have some quality family time together. Experiencing hugs and positive messages with each other is great to see.