Sunday, September 4, 2011

Family Love Yoga with Crystal D'Angora

Crystal D'Angora and Baby Rane

FLVillagers joined together with their lil ones in tow on Saturday August 20th with FLV's very own Playdate For A Cause (PFAC) Leader, Crystal D'Angora.
This was our first workshop where the children were included in the class and it was definitely a nice change that I know all the families appreciated. I loved the way Crystal interacted with the kids along with the engaging activities that she provided for them.  She showed us a combination of movement, breath, and meditation methods to strengthen and lengthen our entire bodies that emphasized on balance, strength, and flexibility, as well as Kundalini techniques taught by Yogi Bhajan. Not only what is a fun physical workout but the inclusive exercises Crystal showed us are proven to improve children's proprioceptive and developmental awareness. 

Learning how to breathe with our children, get centered, stretch, play, rejuvenate ourselves, and allow the energy to flow was such a wonderful way to bond with our families!   It was definitely a fun way to spend a Saturday evening together!

Here's a little bit of history about our beautiful Crystal:

Crystal D'Angora combines nearly 10 years as a certified Kundalini and children's Yoga and Pilates instructor and an eclectic background in theater, dance, Kundalini and Hatha yoga to create a holistic fusion of physical expression and discovery.  After teaching theater to homeless and abused youth through Los Angeles Free clinic's "Project Able," she attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC, Los Angeles in Literature and Child Development.  Her own yoga experience, which began in 1995, re-ignited the same sense of playful freedom from her youth in theater and dance, but also offered additional methods to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally.  

Crystal's passion for conscious choices in both birthing and parenting is supported by years of nanny experience, her undergraduate degree, and her commitment to a yoga and wellness oriented life-style.  She continues to find new ways to create a safe and fun environment for students (ages 2 years and up) to explore and express their unique physical and mental gifts.  Crystal's current work as co-founder/instructor of the Light Leaders Yoga teachers training program for children's yoga teachers, in addition to teaching various yoga classes and workshops at Golden Bridge, The Yogi Tree (FLV's home), and in her home studio, are all great sources of joy and growth.

Crystal combines her many years as a Pilates and Kundalini, prenatal, and children's yoga teacher with her new mommy-hood and love of movement to help you find the joy of movement in your body. You will enjoy structural re-alignment, balance, flexibility, and strength in an easy-going environment that puts your role as "parent" first!  

Yoga and meditation are some of the best tools to model a playful sense of confidence, concentration, and self-discipline for our babies/toddlers.  We know that when parents feel calm, confident, and loved that our children can thrive.  The vigorous Kundalini yoga kriyas, coupled with meditation and deep relaxation, is a perfect fit for parents and the energetic and active young bodies and minds of our little ones.  

And here are a couple of samples from the class that Crystal sent me to share with you: 
  1. Hot air balloon -Tuning in
            A. Basket - Easy pose – -Sitting tall, with pretzel legs (child pretends to be in the basket of a        balloon).

            “First we want to make the riding basket”

            *Next, use your imagination to turn your body into a big bright balloon.  Can you find your balloon’s color and shape (third eye)?  Place your hands on your tummy and fill it with air, now let it all out”  (3x’s)

            B. Prayer Pose – Rub the hands for “Hot air”

            “The air in our balloons have to get hot to make it fly.  Can you pretend to make a fire by rubbing your hands together?”

            C. Mantra –“Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo (I bow to the teacher in my heart) or Ohm (the sound of the Universe).” This reminds you to listen to your body when it tells you how it feels (i.e. if it needs a break or an extra rest.

            “Wow!  You were really flying.”

2. Yoga Hokey Pokey - (Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar)

Start slowly with basic steps only:

You bring your hands up high.  Bring your hands down low.  You jump right back and slither like a snake.  You bring your tail up high and wag it like a dog.  Start all over again!  Then begin to add parts such as warrior jumps, (...Bring your tail up high and jump it to and fro, etc.).  This is also a great opportunity to invite children's creative suggestions!

These were just a couple of examples of the family fun we all got to experience!  It was definitely an amazing way to share some quality time with our lil ones, as well as get some exercise (physically and spiritually).

The following are some pictures of this evening...


Look at that nice form!

Warrior Pose

Wow!  Look at that head stand!


Touch your toesies!

A message from Crystal:

"I founded Light Leaders Yoga after 8 years of developing my skills as a children's yoga instructor.  With concrete evidence that yoga and meditation help to improve children's overall performance in school and general well-being,  we know the need for yoga in young lives will only increase. We also know that for children living in the stress of today's world, yoga helps kick out any surplus of negativity, fear, anxiety, anger, depression and other undeserved pressures which trickle down onto their young spirits from society. Yoga and meditation are some of the best tools to instill confidence, concentration, and self-discipline. We know that when children feel calm, confident, and  loved they can succeed.

I have direct experience with the effects that this powerful yoga has on young students and have noted ongoing progress in their lives as a result of a weekly practice.  We, as parents, can share and spread these teachings and techniques with our children to connect more deeply every day.  Using this mindful and playful practice, let's help to create healing communities for the next generation across the world."  

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