Kids and Teen Yoga in Black Communities

To honor Black History Month, we want to celebrate one of our teachers, Melylah Botte Smith. She was IYK® Certified in 2008 and we’ve been connected with children and yoga ever since. She’s working to improve the Black maternal health crisis in the US.

Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Access to quality health care and a higher likelihood of chronic conditions that can complicate pregnancy and childbirth means Black pregnant people need more support.

Here’s how yoga can help improve outcomes for Black maternal health:

1. Body connection. Attending prenatal and postnatal yoga classes connects you to your body and your baby. It demystifies what you may have heard or read, and makes it real! Knowing and feeling how your body works, and how to connect with your baby, benefits Black culture.

2. Community bonds. Being with others who are going through what you are is critical. While every body and every baby is different, sharing milestones along the birth and parenting journey is the same. Creating community for Black birthing people and parents is nurturing.

3. Better experiences. Breath work and body awareness help ride the waves of labor with confidence and resilience especially with the support of a Black birth doula. Someone who understands your culture, and you as a person, is life-changing for a Black birthing person.

Having access to birth workers who can support you and understand you, like Black yoga teachers, doulas and midwives, creates safer birthing spaces and supports the physical, mental and emotional experience for birthing Black people and their babies.

Our goal at IYK is to create access to yoga for every child. Get trained to support the Black community and check out our friends at Black To Yoga.

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Kids Yoga Family Event Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is coming and there are so many ways to celebrate sweethearts! Loved ones include partners, children and friends. For some, Galentine’s Day is the best day of the year! Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we celebrate each other. 

Love is defined in many ways. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, love is a verb: to hold dear and cherish. I have a few thoughts about common phrases people say about love. One of my favorite songs is by The Black Eyed Peas, Where Is The Love? And as much as I do love this song, it hurts my heart. The lyrics are:

  • People killin', people dyin'
  • Children hurtin', hear them cryin'
  • Can you practice what you preach?
  • And would you turn the other cheek?
  • Father, father, father, help us
  • Send some guidance from above
  • 'Cause people got me, got me questioning
  • Where is the love?

In the presence of world events, it is the right question, where is the love? I also hear people say, “show me some love” which is to say gimme some. I need what you’ve got and I want you to give it to me now. This one also kinds hurts my heart because it’s a demand.

Share the love feels really good to me. It says my cup is full, and therefore, I have some to share with you. It’s voluntary. It’s when you are so delighted by something you want to share it with those closest to you. That’s how I feel about yoga. I learned to Share the Love of the Practice from Larry Schultz. That’s what he did at It’s Yoga, and it’s what we do at IYK.

Come to our Valentine’s HighVibe Family Event on Sunday, February 12. A portion of proceeds benefits Hamilton Families.

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Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Camp SF

With New Year’s resolutions barely set (and maybe even dissolved), parents nationwide start thinking about summer. The summer camp scramble to sign kids up begins in January. Limited spots and large demand often lead to a highly competitive environment. Many parents (mostly moms) have a summer-camp spreadsheet color-coded with registration dates and cross-referenced to work calendars and vacation travel. Because it’s an art, and a science, to manage 12 weeks of no school.

A 2019 survey from the Center for American Progress found that for three-quarters of parents, securing summer care was at least a little bit difficult. Only one-fifth of all parents are stay-at-home so accessibility and affordability matter - especially for working parents.

How can you stay calm and get set for summer? Here are some ideas…

1. Forget the frenzy for far away camps and check out local summer camp guides like this one from San Francisco Bay Area Moms. There may be new programs you didn’t know about that are worth checking out from a valuable resource.

2. Team up with another parent, or your class, to create a list of recommended camps they may be attending. Enrolling in camp with a friend is fun for the kids and sharing the task of identifying camps and securing spots is more efficient and rewarding for you.

3. Engage your child’s interests and expose them to something new to expand their skillset. Working with several weeks of camp, it’s easy to select their favorite activities and introduce them to something new. Education and enrichment, especially outdoors, deepens their experience.

Growing comes from challenge, so look for camps that create a “safe container” to explore and make new connections. And definitely try our Presidio camp if you live in San Francisco.

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Kids Yoga Family Event Lunar New Year of the Rabbit

The lunisolar calendar keeps track of the moon and sun’s different phases. It’s used by many ancient cultures to determine the Lunar New Year—that's why the holiday falls on different dates each year.

This year, on January 22, 2023, it’s the Year of the Water Rabbit. The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture and 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope. People born in a year of the Rabbit are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious.

In yoga, we embrace these characteristics in our practice. Like a rabbit, we can be gentle, quiet, elegant, and alert as well as quick, skillful, kind, patient, and very responsible. Furthermore, sometimes reluctant to reveal our minds to others, perhaps with a tendency to escape reality, but always faithful to those around us.

At IYK, we are inspired by all cultures and we incorporate them into the experience for kids and families to enrich themselves with not only with the physical practice, but with the mental, emotional and social benefits of learning together. We welcome everyone so they can get to know themselves and share their voices. It makes us better and complete to be inclusive and celebrate a variety of cultures.

Attend our upcoming IYK® HighVibe Event for Lunar New Year to learn a soothing exercise, Bunny Breath, and much more!

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Kids Yoga Family Event MLK Day Stars

“But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr.

This quote was in Dr. King's final speech the night before his assassination: I’ve Been to the Mountaintop speech - April 3, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist, one of the most prominent leaders in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. An African American church leader and the son of early civil rights activist and minister Martin Luther King Sr., King advanced civil rights for people of color in the United States through nonviolence and civil disobedience.

It’s true that seeing the stars only happens when it’s dark. It’s the contrast that allows them to shine so bright. But I wouldn’t stop there. Much like thunder only happens when it’s raining, there are no rainbows without rain.

There are sad truths in our past, present and likely our future. We are each tasked with the call to achieve and lead like the stars we are. We can be our best and make the world a better place. We do this by being connected, connected within ourselves and with others. We do this by choosing love and using our voices to demand equality and achieve the American Dream for everyone. We must rise as Dr. King called us to.

Start by uniting your body, mind and heart at our upcoming IYK® HighVibe Event to honor MLK Day.

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Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!