There’s Bikram yoga, Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga and even pre-natal yoga. Then there’s family yoga.
“It’s more playful and creative yoga that uses traditional yoga poses and relaxation techniques,” said yoga instructor Julie Markovitz.
While the other types of yoga are more geared towards individuals, think of family yoga as a shared event in which all family members, especially children, are welcome to participate.
“I’ve seen a mom, a grandma and a daughter–all three generations, attend one of Julie’s classes,” said Debbie Huber, a Westlake Village resident.
Huber brought her 5-year-old daughter, Brilana, along.
The recently added family yoga classes to its schedule.
“Families have clamored for it, so we added it last spring,” said Jacob Broyles, community services coordinator. “It’s a unique type of yoga in the sense that it involves more than one member of the family. There’s no need to look for or set up childcare; parents just bring their children along.”
And they did. Last summer, about eight families participated in the once-a-week classes. Some brought more than child and some brought toddlers.
“I was surprised to see older children, too,” said Huber. “It’s not just the younger ones tagging along because mom made them.”
The appeal is beyond spending time with Mom or Dad, said Markovitz. “The classes incorporate imagination and ideas which I adjust according to the ages of the children present.”
“Did the sun come out today?” is a typical question Markovitz may pose to a group of younger children.
Depending on their responses, the veteran yoga and dance instructor will introduce a traditional yoga pose such as the tree pose after the requisite warm-up and child’s pose.
“Sway like the tree and make your arms swing like branches,” Markovitz cooed to the mostly 7 and below crowd.
For the next set of poses, Markovitz asked, “What can you find in a park?”
One little boy answered, “A bunny!”
And Markovitz proceeded to adapt a balancing pose, mimicking a bunny and then hopping merrily on the mat.
Huber considers family yoga quality time with her daughter. Marielle Bowers agrees.
The Thousand Oaks resident brings daughter Ava, 5, to the classes whenever she can.
"She looks forward to it," said Bowers. "On more than one occasion, I've caught her doing yoga poses at home and in other places."
“My daughter loves it and I love that she’s connecting with me and herself, an important skill given all the technology around us,” said Huber. “I’ve always been into traditional yoga and it’s wonderful that I can share this with my daughter now.”
Said Markovitz, “It’s a relaxing but active bonding time for most families.”
The five-week family yoga classes at the Recreation Center will start on September 15. No experience is necessary to participate. Children of all ages are welcome.
For more info or to sign up, please call 818-597-7361 or visit www.agourahillsrec.org.