Take a breath… or two, or three!

Guest Blogger: Jessica McIntyre, Studio Blue Yoga 

Our fast paced lives give few opportunities for us to slow down, take a breath and reflect on the events or the emotions of the day. The same is true for our children. A typical day for a child could include a pre sunrise wake up, a 6 hour school day, followed by copious extracurricular activities, late night dinners and even later bedtimes – leading to tired and over stimulated toddlers.

Yoga is a holistic approach to offsetting the stress of our busy lifestyles, through breath, movement, stillness and relaxation. Kids Yoga, at Studio Blue Yoga, is practiced in a nurturing, stress free and supportive environment to encourage children to build self-confidence and self- love / acceptance. Yoga is not about perfection or competition, there is no winner or loser – it is about learning to be accepting of others and of ones self.

The following are a few key principles that yoga can teach or cultivate in our children:

Parents Say:

“The 10:30am class time is perfect, a great way to start the morning. Sabine is 3 years old and I love the pace of the class, starting with fun games and playful poses, and ending with some brilliant meditation and calming techniques for toddlers and preschoolers. We especially love the ‘stars in a jar’ and the breathing exercises with the aromatherapy flower, which we now use at home when a tantrum is coming on.” – Ana Yuristy, High Park and Roncesvalle

“We lead busy lives and so does our toddler! She goes to daycare 5 days a week, has swimming lessons and practices gymnastics. To be honest, we weren’t sure whether or not our family needed yet another activity. Our lives were already so busy! But toddler yoga isn’t just another activity; it’s something so much more.” – David Fair, Long Branch

“At yoga, Evie is learning the art of calmness. Teaching a toddler to breathe, stretch and be still, yet strong, is quite rare. So many activities focus on running around, jumping up/down, shouting out songs, whereas yoga is teaches our toddler to focus, be peaceful and find that awesome connection between her body and mind. We spend a whole hour together, being totally present and calm. She absolutely loves it… And so do we!” – Tracy Saunders, Etobicoke

As you can see there are many benefits for children who do yoga. It is also advantageous for parents to be present so that they can not only spend quality time with their toddler, but they too are learning skills as well as new strategies to help their toddlers cope with stressors that are bound to arise throughout each and every day. This year, stop to take a breath or two with your toddler and reap the benefits of yoga in 2015.

About Studio Blue’s Kids Yoga

Studio Blue’s fun and playful Kids and Parent classes, led by Trunk To Tail Music & Yoga for Children, are filled with group activities including songs, games, mild postures, and partner activities. The Parent and Toddler (ages 1-3) class is offered every Sunday from 10:30am – 11:15am and NEW Kindergarten and Parent class (ages 3-5) will be offered every Sunday from 11:30am – 12:15pm, starting on January 25, 2015. Visit www.studioblue.co/about/ for class schedules and descriptions.

More about Jessica and Studio Blue Yoga

Conveniently located in Toronto’s Dundas West area, Studio Blue Yoga offers a variety of Yoga classes for all levels from Foundation Flow for beginners to more challenging Yoga, Yoga Camp (Yoga + Bootcamp), Ballet Yoga Fusion and even a yoga Class set to Hip Hop music.  Studio Blue is dedicated to offer playful, positive and vigorous group exercise classes with certified instructors that channel their inner child in order to deliver nurturing and challenges classes for people of all physical fitness levels. Founded by Jessica McIntyre, a businesswoman turned yoga instructor, who completed a 500 hour intensive Moksha Yoga Training in Kerala, India and has been guiding people through her own practice ever since.

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Visit www.studioblue.co.

 

 

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Visit www.trunktotail.org

One thing I really noticed about having a baby in the house (and life in general I suppose), is that you wind up doing a lot more laundry than you’d expect… and that it doesn’t end.

This waterproof Peapod Mat is so fantastic! The top layer of cotton terry towel is so soft and breathable, and the middle layer of cushioning fibres seriously absorbs a large amount of liquids. The mat has a few stitched grid lines which prevents the it from getting all wonky and bunched up. The bottom layer of the Peapod Mat is coated and brushed to make it grippy and prevent leaking. The grip prevents the mat from sliding around, so you can just lay it on top of your fitted sheets.

Regular old plastic sheets may prevent liquids from going through to the mattress, but it will just collect and pool on top of the plastic.. More than likely you’ll wind up throwing a towel or two in there, and then still have to strip and change the bed sheets in the morning. If an accident does happen, the mat would be the only thing you would need to toss into the wash.. Kind of like washing one super amazing towel!!

You also won’t get that lovely stiff plastic crinkle with these soft and comfy mats. I’m pretty sure most kids don’t want their friends to sit down on their bed and then get asked why their bed makes that funny noise?? That makes me think of a friends 4 year old daughter. She gets super embarrassed and upset when she has accidents, and desperately tries to hide it. Poor sweet little girl has actually started to tell people that the roof is leaking, if someone notices that her sheets are soaked. 

peapod-mat-7With these compact Peapod Mats, young kids could even put them on themselves just before they lay down to go to sleep, and easily take them off to wash in the morning if they are wet. If theres no need for a complicated plastic mattress protection set up happening underneath the fitted sheets, the struggle to change it without the assistance from a parent can be eliminated. Easy Pee-pee-zy 😉

For us, cloth diapering actually helped decrease the amount of laundry that I had to do with an infant, believe it or not. You don’t get those lovely backend blowouts, and you actually wind up dealing with poop far less that you do with disposables (as cloth diapers actually keep the mess contained within the diaper!). Nighttime is usually a bit trickier though, as it often takes a bit of fine tuning for most families to sort out which overnight solutions will work best for them to prevent leaks.. Especially with heavy wetting babies, or toddlers (even before the diaper is gone and the potty training has begun). Co-sleeping is another time that parents will most definitely want to make sure the mattress is protected from overnight leaks. Nobody wants to have to deal with a urine stained king sized mattress!!

This fantastic mat is also perfect to have during naked baby time, and for after the bath, before the diaper goes on. Babies can’t resist the temptation to pee all wild and fancy free..Even if it’s just during that split second when you let your guard down and don’t get that next diaper on fast enough.. Bam, they pee!! It’s practically a law of nature.
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I’ve found these Peapod Mats to be great for protecting carpets, from the spills and splashes that happen when babies start to feed themselves, and during the transition to drinking from a cup (sippy.. straw.. lip activated lids.. doesn’t seem to matter. Only 15% of that water seems to be getting swallowed. The other 85% is either dribbled down her front, or deliberately poured out. Baby Sweetest has a thing for watching water flowing, I get it.. My floors get it too 😉 Babies and children love to make messes, it’s inevitable.

This is definitely going to be my go-to for baby shower gifts! They’re actually pretty awesome for everyone to have.. Adults with bladder control issues, or someone that is ill and cannot easily make their way from their bed to the washroom.. Pet owners that want a nice mess proof covering on the bed for their animals to lay on.. For protecting the seats in the car after a day at the amusement park or splash pad, or from anything that might spill onto or soil the upholstery.. Hot yoga mats for hot yoga mamas..Anyway, I could go on about these mats for far too long.

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Bottom line: I am so impressed by the quality and versatility of this amazingly comfortable waterproof mat. Seriously, I think I’m in love…

And now it’s time for a giveaway!! Enter for your chance to win a Peapod Mat of your own!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

 www.peapodmats.comstore_logo

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