All I want for Christmas is yoga!!!

Following a parent survey we carried out in the summer, this term has seen us start a new yoga class on a Tuesday for children and teens aged between 8 and 13 years. It has been popular with already 10 members attending and we have enjoyed learning some challenging poses and sequences. Spaces are still available for this class so send us an email if you would like to book on.

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Emily from our older class brilliantly demonstrating camel pose…

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Not only have the older students been working hard, the younger students have been practising some incredibly challenging poses too. Here is Shreya (who has only recently started yoga with us) confidently having a go at plough pose…

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And Keira and Lexi demonstrating bow pose…

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We were thrilled to reach over 500 followers on one of our social media channels in October. Our aim is to reach out and help as many children as possible to learn yoga and mindfulness tools to support their physical and emotional well-being.

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In addition to our 8 weekly classes we have enjoyed some new projects this term. In September we ran 3 yoga and mindfulness sessions for Herons Lodge Girl Guide Group and we are now available for other Guides, Brownies, Cubs and Scout group session…

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We also ran the first of 3 Yoga and Mindfulness sessions for year 2 children and parents at Glastonbury Thorn Primary School and had some great feedback. The children at the school have been doing yoga every Friday, so it was really worthwhile for parents to attend and to see what we do in our sessions and learn ideas they can practise at home…

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We have been lucky enough to have many new additions to our yoga classes this term. Georgie is now volunteering at our Oxley Park Community Centre class on a Tuesday…

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And Max the worry monster has been visiting all of our classes. The children discuss or write down anything that is worrying them and we talk about the worries and possible solutions as a group. Then we feed them into Max, zip him up and he eats them up so that we no longer need to worry about those issues!

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With so much in the media about the importance of cutting down our plastic usage, we have been keen at Starshine Yoga to make an effort to do this too. We used to use plastic straws to play our air soccer breathing game but we have got rid of the straws and challenged ourselves to do it without…

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A new term always brings new ideas. The children have especially loved our feather breath at the beginning of sessions where they challenge themselves to see how high they can blow a feather using one deep yoga breath…

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They have also been excited to use our powerful relaxation gems at the end of sessions to help relax our bodies and minds…

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And our solo massage where we learned to massage our own hands and feet has been a big hit too!

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We always love to see and hear how much our students love the classes. Thank you to Flynn who designed this brilliant poster for us! :-)

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This term’s festivities started with our Halloween themed yoga sessions. The children (and adults) always enjoy dressing up…

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But Christmas will always be a special time of year at Starshine Yoga. This year we made Gratitude Yoga Mat decorations for the Christmas tree…

Step 1: Write down something you are grateful for on your mini yoga mat.

Step 2: Decorate the other side of the mat.

Step 3: Roll up the mat and fasten with sellotape.

Step 4: Wrap a pipe cleaner around either end of the mat and hang on your Christmas tree.

With a focus on mindfulness we had some amazing discussions about what children were grateful for (particularly important at this time of year) and we were humbled by so many of the children’s ideas…

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Not only did these prove such a big hit in our classes but a yoga company based in Chicago even decided to make them too…!

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We know that many of our students have an elf on the shelf visit their home in December and Maya even brought hers along to a yoga class for it to participate in! If you also have an elf at home, here are some ideas of some yoga moves they could do…

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Cobra pose

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Dog pose

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We would like to wish all of our students and parents a very merry Christmas and a happy new year and we look forward to seeing you in January. We have exciting news coming in 2019 so keep watching this space…

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Summer, summer, summer time!

Gosh! What a fantastic and busy summer term we have had at Starshine Yoga! We always love the summer term as it allows us to take our yoga outside which the children love...

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And on those really hot days we take a break with an ice lolly!

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Once again, we have had lots of new children join this term including Lily, who is one of our younger members of our Tuesday afternoon class. She may be young but here she is confidently leading the sun sequence...

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So many new members have joined that we are now oversubscribed for our Tuesday class and have a waiting list!

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But don't worry, we are looking at running an extra class on a Tuesday afternoon! 

This term we ran another yoga party, this time for Keira who turned 7!

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We have been working with a community group funded by charity grants called Time 4 Autism which supports children with autism and their parents.

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Here is Owen and his mum Tracy working brilliantly together in Boat pose:

At Glastonbury Thorn Infant School we spent this term working with the youngest students, Foundation Stage who are just 4 and 5...

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It is a pleasure working at Glastonbury Thorn every Friday afternoon and we are so pleased that they have been awarded with the 'Outstandingly Happy School' award, the first infant school in the country and first and only school in the local authority to achieve this!!

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In June we were thrilled to be asked to run the children's yoga session in Campbell Park for the International Day of Yoga. 

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We had some of our current yogis come along and lots of new faces too which was lovely to see! We learned yoga moves, played games and did some relaxations.

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The parachute was a big hit!!

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We have been busy this term running some more fantastic mindfulness, well being and yoga sessions for corporate teams. One of these was Clarity, a local brand strategy and marketing communications agency. What a great, enthusiastic team to work with!

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And what fantastic feedback we had from team Clarity. We will now be running yoga sessions for them every month. 

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Clarity is not the only new team we have been working with this term. We have also started a new yoga session for the teachers of Giffard Park and Willen Primary School.

We would like to congratulate Max, who has been coming to our yoga sessions for 2 years and now has his celabratory Starshine Yoga t shirt. What an experienced yogi he is and a brilliant role model for others, well done Max!

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Football may not be coming home but we were pleased to see the England football team recovering after their world cup matches with yoga sessions! We know how good yoga is for strengthening, toning, increasing flexibility and helping to prevent or recover from injury. 

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We love receiving feedback from our students and parents and were thrilled with this message from one of our mum's, thank you Lucy! :-) 

Have a great summer everyone!

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!