Why did we create Prana Play?
It all started when...
…I was creating my kid’s yoga lesson plan for the week as Boston snow sifted over the white landscape outside my kitchen window. Cup of ginger tea in hand, I chose that weeks theme from the classic children’s story The Little Engine That Could. How amazing to have kids use breath-work, yoga asana, games, art, and of course a story, to explore this theme:
No matter how big or small we are, no matter how old or young, if we have the intention to make a difference and help, WE CAN. And it all begins with believing in ones self and choosing to TRY. Until we TRY, we can’t know how strong we are or what we can accomplish. Believe and then try!
I was so excited and busy weaving the theme into the sections of my class, like innovative breath-work (think conductor breath!), when I suddenly had this thought: It would be so much fun to have a giant yoga train that the kids could “ride” and do our asana (yoga poses) on together!
My imagination lit on fire! I immediately began to design in my head the first giant yoga mat for kids classes—the PranaPlay Yoga Train. The next thing I did was tell myself: “You’re no artist!” And the third thing I did was put into practice the very theme I was going to teach my classes that week: BELIEVE AND TRY!
I worked out the train in my head and how I could use yoga mats to make it. When my friend came over that evening (a highly creative do-it- yourself-er!) I explained the idea to him and he offered to help. We spent the weekend together (and at times I was exiled to run errands so he could work out details of the engine!) and the first Yoga Train was born!
The train was a huge hit with the kids and every yoga teacher who saw it (including those who only teach grown-ups)! The kids were more focused, more engaged, more excited, and more attentive than they had ever been. My fellow adult yogis wanted to try it out and take a kids class just to use it. And my profound, veteran kid’s yoga mentor and teacher wanted to buy one.
I have been on fire with the idea ever since. I can be anywhere, usually in the car or shower, and suddenly have another idea for a kid’s yoga class theme followed by a new giant yoga mat idea! Their shape and size pop into my head as if they were planted by magic and I somehow find myself able to sit on my living room floor with recycled yoga mats and create just about anything -- like my pirate ship!
I get requests from the kids now—like a motorcycle, helicopter, castles, zoo animals, and yes, even an "Uber" car!
I am never happier than when I am creating these mats and lesson plans because they are born out of the intention to bring the power and joy of yoga to our littlest yogis. What that means to me is using every tool I have to teach kids about the power of connection--connection to the self, to each other, and to the world. And that is THE key to happier, more aware, and kind human beings!
The mats have been called "magic" and they are. But that magic is not some distant, unattainable sparkle dust. The magic is LOVE. And we all have that--we just have to remember to sprinkle it around every day!
PranaPlay mats and the lesson plans that accompany them have come to me so that I can bring them to all of you! So please contact me if you have questions or if you or your organization need special accommodations to access them. Our goal is creating tools to help foster more aware, more resilient, happier, kinder kids that will head out the yoga-door and evolve our world! We strive to include every one in that goal!
With so much gratitude and love,