When Headstart teacher Lesli Beery was trying to come up with a lesson featuring things that started with each letter of the alphabet, she could not find anything to start with Y.
“Y didn’t really have any good thing to go with it,” Beery said, “so I brought in (former yoga instructor) Amber Monson, and she did a yoga session with the little ones.”
Yoga with her students was an instant hit.
“They loved it,” Beery said. “Every day after that, they asked, ‘Can we do yoga?’”
That’s where Beery came up with the idea for kids yoga, which teaches kids the basics of the physical, mental, and spiritual discipline.
Her first kids yoga class, sponsored by Marion Parks and Recreation, began in June.
“So far I’ve really enjoyed teaching yoga,” Beery said. “They’ve been really great at it.”
Parents can bring children ages 3 and older to the weekly class at 10 a.m. Thursdays. However, it also has attracted kids from multiple day-care centers.
Joy Vogel, who has taken yoga classes herself, brings her day-care children.
“If any of these kids want to go into gymnastics later, it’s a great way to start strengthening muscles and stretching,” Vogel said. “It relaxes them as well.”
One of Vogel’s day-care kids, Myka Amos, said she likes going to yoga every week.
Myka’s favorite yoga move is “snake, because I like it.”
Vogel’s other day-care kids agree it is their favorite move because of the hissing noise that accompanies it.
Beery, who has four kids of her own, was not always on the instructor’s side of the yoga mat.
“I fell in love with it when I took a yoga class three years ago from Shannon Hofer,” Beery said. “When the Hillsboro class was going to stop, they asked me to take over.”
Beery was certified this month through American Association of Fitness and Sports.
Classes do not require pre-registration. Each session costs $2 per kid, or $10 for groups of more than five children.
Beery, who also teaches adult yoga sessions in Hillsboro and Marion, said she has received multiple inquiries from adults asking whether they could join in the kids’ sessions.
“A lot of the time, going into an adult class is kind of nerve-racking for someone who’s never done it before,” Beery said. “So if they want to start with the basics in the kids’ class, I’m fine with that.”
Aside from a 1 p.m. start time this week, kids’ yoga meets 10 to 10:30 a.m. every Thursday until August 11 in the Marion Community Building.