Springing into 2018!

Wow, we are already well into the new year and what a fabulous few months we have had! 

We are really excited to launch our first item of children's Starshine Yoga wear. All children that have been participating regularly in our yoga classes for 2 years receive a complimentary yoga t shirt. Well done to Anya, Vera and James who are the first to receive one...

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It has been lovely to see the other yoga wear our students are keen to wear to our classes...

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Flynn regularly turns up to our classes with a new yoga accessory! As does Anya...

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This term we have taught Year One at Glastonbury Thorn Primary School and we have been so impressed with how brilliantly they have learnt our yoga sun sequence. Here is Bethany teaching it to her class...

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We have welcomed yet another set of siblings, Elisa and Magnus, to yoga this term. You wouldn't think they were some of our newest recruits, well done both!

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It seems that it's not only children that are keen to join in our classes, but pandas too!!!!

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We have also been working hard on our partner yoga poses, supporting each other really well in some tricky moves including lizard on a rock, double pretzel, double boat and open heart...

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Here's to a fun filled summer term ahead :-) 

An awesome autumn term!

This is always one of our favourite times of the year at Starshine Yoga, with so many things to celebrate from Halloween, to Bonfire night and Diwali and of course, Christmas! 

We started the term trying out some new breathing activities...

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Here is our 'Ping Pong Belly Breath' where we try to breathe deeply without the ping pong ball rolling off our tummy! 

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We have also begun 'Back To Back' breathing in pairs where we are trying to feel each other's breath through our backs.

We have been trying out some new relaxation sequences too at the end of our classes. One of the firm favourites has been our whole body relaxation using scarves, although they do tickle a little...!

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We have enjoyed lots of new games this term. We like the competitive element of 'Dog Relay' as we are racing each other in teams...

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The children really enjoy working together and are great at working in teams. One of their favourite team games is 'Rock, Paper Scissors' where we use 3 poses; Dragon, Flamingo and Tiger. Tiger beats Flamingo, Flamingo beats Dragon and Dragon beats Tiger. We have to decide as a team which of the 3 poses to choose, then Melissa counts down 3, 2, 1, reveal...when we reveal our pose to the other team we see which group has won the round. 

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Lots of our games require the children to be creative. In 'Alphabet Hoops' they have to run to a hoop and create a pose beginning with the letter in the hoop. In this photo you can see an S in the hoop, so James was in Spider pose, Max was in Shark pose and Aadiya was in Slide pose!

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The students always enjoy partner games and 'Mirrors' has been a new one this term. When Melissa calls "mirrors" we must make the same pose as our partner trying to move our body in exactly the same way so that it looks like we are looking in a mirror at our reflection.

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'Butterfly Skittles' is probably the favourite game from the term. The children learnt a new pose; Butterfly, and they sit in this pose trying to bend and stretch to dodge a ball as it is rolled towards them!

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The children have been really challenging themselves this term with their impressive poses. Below you can see them doing Flag (also known as Side Plank), Wheel (also known as Bridge), Dragonfly and Pigeon. They loved doing Pigeon pose because lots of them say their parents do Pigeon in their own yoga classes!

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We have been continuing to practise mindfulness each week and one of the most rewarding mindfulness activities we did this term was 'Petals Of Positivity'. The children were each given the sheet below with 'I am' written in the middle. In each of the petals they were encouraged to write positive words. It was really heart warming to see what the children each wrote and for them to be reminded of how wonderful they are, something they can refer to if they are feeling down or lacking in some self - esteem. Perhaps we adults need to complete this activity?!

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We have continued to really enjoy our work in a number of primary schools.This has been our first term working with Glastonbury Thorn Infant school. We have spent each Friday afternoon working with Year 2 who were fantastic at partner yoga. Here you can see the children doing Double Boat and Twisted Seated Pretzel which is a tricky one!

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At Tickford Park Primary School the children were fantastic at describing what pose to do to their partner who was blindfolded! 

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At Loughton Manor First School Year 1 children have been practising yoga for the first time. One of their favourite games has definitely been 'Umbrella Game' where the magical yoga umbrella picks a pupil to show a yoga pose for the rest of the class to copy. 

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We had a great time dressing up for Halloween and even made our own Starshine Yoga pumpkin!

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We also dressed up in our Christmas classes and had great fun creating our own yoga versions of Christmas objects...

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Sally as a present!

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Emily as a sleigh!

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James as a snowflake!

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Keira as an Angel!

We finished the term making Christmas tree decorations. The children thought of a word personal to them to describe yoga and then decorated the star. We hope this will bring a touch of calm to the children's houses over the busy Christmas period. 

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Happy Christmas and enjoy a festive mince pie like the one we will be leaving out for Father Christmas!

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A splendid summer term!

Wow! What a busy summer we have had at Starshine Yoga! With the warmer weather of the summer term we took every opportunity to do our yoga classes outdoors as the children really do love this!

From outdoor yoga races...

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To team games...

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And our relaxation sequences...

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We are lucky enough to have lots of siblings at our yoga classes, often because one sibling has started yoga and then recommended it to their brother or sister...

Katy and Jesse have recently taken up yoga with us!

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Lexi and Sienna have been yogis for a while now!

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Olivia is an experienced yogi too and has recommended it to her younger sister Millie!

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We have been doing some different mindful relaxation exercises at the end of our classes, one of which is mindful colouring. It is great watching the children really unwind and relax as they quietly focus and concentrate on their own colouring. 

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In June we were asked by another school; Wilby C of E Primary School in Wellingborough, to run a mindfulness and well-being session for their staff. It was a great afternoon with lots of mindful activities discussed and practised.

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We are keen to find out what our students have been up to over the summer holidays! Our founder and teacher Melissa tried a spot of yoga while she was paddle boarding in Lake Annecy on holiday! While in France she also became an Ironman...

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As an experienced triathlete Melissa is used to triathlons but the Ironman event was one she had to train especially hard for. It involved a 3.8km swim followed by a 180.2km bike ride and then a 42.2km (marathon run) without any breaks! On the day it was 33 degrees and it took her 14 hours and 50 minutes. In addition to the swim, cycle and run training, Melissa attends yoga every week herself for many benefits. It enables her to develop her muscle strength and stamina, something that is really important for long distance events. It increases her flexibility and prevents her from getting injured, again something that is extremely important to ensure she can maintain her training and get to the start line of events. It also of course gives her some time and space to relax and switch off from the demands of training for a big event and every day life. 

We hope all of our children and parents had a wonderful summer and we look forward to seeing you in the Autumn term!

A super Spring term!

Wow, what a busy Spring term we have had! We have loved having new children attending our classes and we have loved watching the confidence of some of our youngest yogis grow. Here is 4 year old Lexi leading the Sun Salutation sequence:

In February we reached a milestone! We now have over 100 children attending our classes each week!

During the week of Mother's Day we made Gratitude Hearts in our relaxation sequence. We discussed what things we feel grateful for in life and we were really impressed with how articulate the children were at coming up with their own ideas for this. They mentioned feeling grateful for things like family, friends, food, water, toys.  

The children have also been really keen to make mood stones in our relaxation sequences. We gave children small pebbles which had been cleaned up and we discussed different words to help us feel relaxed. Again the children wowed us with their vocabulary, coming up with words such as calm, peaceful, relax. The children have been encouraged to use these mood stones at home as well as in class to aid their relaxation. 

In February we ran our first yoga children's party. Vera asked to have a space themed yoga party and it was a great success! We combined stories, poses, games and relaxation techniques to entertain the party guests. 

Throughout February and March we have been lucky enough to work with Glastonbury Infant School. We modelled some infant yoga and mindfulness sessions to the children and teachers at the school and the Year 2 classes were really focused throughout their first yoga and mindfulness sessions. 

We also led our first staff yoga and mindfulness training session at Glastonbury Infant School to support the well being of the staff at the school. What a fantastic staff team the school have. They were eager to learn new strategies to support their well being and we received great feed back on our evaluation forms. Thank you to all that attended for being so welcoming!