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Baby barre and family yoga: New West studio kickstarts program for children

This New West studio wants to help kids melt their stress away this summer
Join a family yoga class with your young one this summer at Move studio in New West Photo: gahsoon/E+/Getty Images

Move studio is making its first move to help kids chill out this summer.  

Whether it's the hard-to-crack math problems or the incessant grim news on television, kids have been stressing out more than before, says a study. As per a report published on Jama Pediatrics, there has been a two-fold increase in depression and anxiety among children and adolescents worldwide since COVID-19.

Which is why, the eight-year-old New West studio, which has been offering yoga, Pilates and dance for adults, recently decided to offer "fun" mindfulness tools to help kids manage whatever it is that’s keeping them from having a ball this summer.

Move studio founder Jenny Hart, who has been teaching dance (ballet, contemporary and jazz) to kids almost all her adult life, noticed a change in the needs of the children in the last three years.

“I don’t know if it’s COVID or just all the new ways of life, if you will. All the technology, all the struggles and the realities that children face these days … it’s a little bit different than what we faced,” said Hart, who was a staff at the theatre department at Douglas College and is currently an instructor at West Coast College of Massage Therapy.

Hart wanted to address this change and "offer something to the New West community that isn't currently offered" — meditation and yoga for kids.

“We’ve got dance classes for children, we’ve got gymnastics, we’ve got all these things to help physically let their energy out."

But what about the tools that they can use for dealing with anxiety and stress? — she wondered.

“Kids need to slow down, get off of their screens and learn how to self-regulate in different ways.”

The studio hopes to help them do just that with its new "Move Family" program that offers a host of classes and workshops for kids and family — like baby barre (where adults will wear their babies in their carriers and do a barre class); pre-natal and post-natal yoga; kids, pre-teen and teen meditation; family meditation and more.

But wouldn’t getting kids to meditate be a challenge?

“The word meditation can be a little bit intense. It gives the impression that ‘Oh, I’ve got to sit there and be quiet.’ And that’s not at all what we’re talking about. We are talking about moving, mindfulness and themes that are appropriate to children.”

The meditation classes will include age-appropriate tools like imagery and play, she said. Through the guided classes, kids will learn how to slow down their breathing and how to change their thoughts, she said.

“When things start getting hectic and heavy," added Hart, "they’ll know how to slow down, to self-regulate … and create space for themselves.”

Move studio recently moved to a new location — 239 Sixth St. Move Kids Camp starts in July. Check out more on Move studio's Move Wellness website.