Our Yoga class with Ms. Marianna Stoika will be held on Fridays. Children will bring a packed lunch, and after lunch the yoga class will take place in the Bird's Nest Classroom.
The class is limited to 8 children, so please let us know if you are interested!
My name is Mariana Stoika and I would like to share with you my love and passion for yoga. This is my third year working at Montessori Learning Center Bird’s Nest class and ninth year working with children.
Being a Montessori teacher taught me so much about kindness, respect, love and understanding. It is such an honor to work with children that have different backgrounds, believes, personalities and strengths. At the same time, all of them share a lot of. Each of them desires to be recognized, nurtured and accepted by society for who they really are. Most importantly they are beautiful humans being with tremendous potentials. Every child is unique and special. I always make sure that they become aware of this.
In Montessori school, we always teach children about balance, grace, coordination and concentration as well as importance of being mindful, peaceful and gracious. Similarly, yoga helps create a sense of union in body, mind and spirit and is physical, mental and spiritual practice. As you can see Montessori philosophy and yoga philosophy have a lot in common. This is why I got very interested in teaching yoga to children.
I got my yoga instructor certificate last January and began doing yoga with children in Bird’s Nest class last March. It is fun and enjoyable time for children as well as for me. I always start my class by greeting children and then we chant and do some breathing exercises. Most of the time I will bring a book to the class about different animals and we will imitate and act like book characters. Also, we might discuss in which part of the world these animals live. There always is a hidden message for children to discover during a yoga class. For example, recently I brought the book ‘’Mad mouse’’ to our lesson. The story was about a mouse who was very mad because she could not hoop, stomp, scream or roll around on the ground like hare, bear, bobcat and hedgehog. The only think she could do was to stay really-really still. When the hare, bear, bobcat and hedgehog tried to stay still they could not do it. The message is that it is ok to be different and unique and that each and every one of us has some special skills that no one else has. Closer to the end of each class we do breathing exercises again. Then I talk either about how to be a good citizen, how to practice peace, be content, be clean, the value of hard work, what makes one unique, or about healthy and unhealthy food choices.
We always finish our lesson with one of children’s favorite parts of yoga Savasana. It is when children lie down on their backs with their eyes closed. I dim the light and turn the yoga music on. I always bring lotions (organic) with the different senses. I swing each child legs, massage their forehead and put a lotion on their wrist. After a few minutes I will slowly ask children to seat in pretzel legs pose. Namaste!!!!
P.S. Children are welcome to bring their own yoga mats. It could be an extremely pleasant experience for a child to shop for a yoga mat and choose his/her favorite color. A child needs to bring his/her own yoga mat at the first day of a class and will bring it back home when it needs to be cleaned or all sessions are completed. However, if you do not want to purchase your own yoga mat at this time the school will provide it for your child.