What’s the Appropriate Age for Children to Start Doing Yoga?
I’ve been asked this question a lot by parents. I must say I’ve had kids ranging from 4 to 9 years old coming to my kids yoga class. However, I have allowed even younger kids to join my class, with one of their parents present.
I am inspired to introduce yoga to children at their earliest possible age, in order to encourage them to express themselves mentally and physically in wholesome, fulfilling new ways, through the combination of breathing, singing, performing poses and team building activities. Far beyond merely performing poses, Yoga for children is all about learning to acknowledge their own expression of enjoyment of space.
Having children doing Yoga, is a stepping stone for them to learn, and recognize just how everyday life is based on Yoga. In order to achieve this, I’ve introduced a simple method for them to observe and to express themselves, in knowing that Yoga is part of our life, Yoga is everything and their everything is actually Yoga practice some way or another. This approach allows younger children to not be afraid to express themselves and have fun throughout the process.
For instance, commonly I’ll have children perform the poses to the rest of the class and modify the asanas in a fun way, as well as give them kid-friendly names, which further allows them to be in their comfort zone when at times they are hesitant or withdrawn. Nevertheless, I have come to realize that allowing them to observe is one of the best ways to discover just how expressive kids can be, especially when it comes to sound; they will usually be singing or chanting mantras at the end of the class, regardless of how withdrawn or shy they seemed at first.
Yoga is, therefore, inseparable from life: It is movement, it is about breathing, and it is about helping each other. Yoga is everything. Being able to incorporate the Pilates principle with Coordinative movement helps children strengthen their body in a loving way. Breathing and Meditation helps them listen to their inner voice and stay calm, and set the main steps to the exciting, lifelong journey of awakening to their true essence of simply being happy within.”
Kids Yoga at Ubud Yoga Centre
Kids yoga is held every Saturday from 10-11am at Ubud Yoga Centre. Kids are welcome from around 4 years old, and parents or a nanny can sit in if children are shy on their own. However, parents are also encouraged to practice while their kids do, and there is a Bikram Yoga Express class held at the same time.
Ubud Yoga Centre is a family-friendly space where you can experience different kinds of yoga, pilates, relax with a drink and something to eat and let the kids play in the play area. If you are in Ubud for the upcoming full moon, their Full Moon Workshop on January 12th could be an experience to transform your life.
Kundalini yoga is known as the yoga of awareness, or in other words ‘experience’ because it cuts straight in to your inner world. Mantras are played along with moving your body, breathing, relaxing and meditating so the sound (energy/vibration) has a chance to permeate deep within and provide a profound experience.
Perhaps it can be related to the time you were at school for many years and then you went overseas and travelled maybe by yourself for the first time to a totally different culture. This ‘experience’ changed something inside. You returned home different, transformed because the ‘experience’ was more powerful, more profound than reading or being lectured to because these methods of teaching are only allowing you to experience life through the mind, it is linear, logical and life isn’t linear and logical, it is a mystery, the truth is none of us really know why we are even on this planet.
Because this life is a mystery, when we embrace the illogical, unusual, mysterious world perhaps through ‘strange’ poses, unusual chanting, different hand positions and new ways of breathing and meditating, we give our self a chance to have a visceral ‘experience’, something completely new enters our existence, and subsequently we open up space within. We grow, transform and alchemise like never before because we were given an opportunity of relating to our deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect.
Kundalini yoga allows you to incorporate new elements into your life which powerfully move, release and transform energy. You may have noticed that you naturally have more energy on a full moon. It’s very good to use this energy to cleanse, rather than using it unproductively. We can use this increase of energy to move forward and accelerate healing on all levels.
When the moon is full our glandular system is under pressure and so it is a great time to engage in activities to release this ‘pressure’, reset, create space and drastically improve our lives. When this pressure is not released we can easily feel restless, angry, confused in everyday life even if things are moving smoothly.
As the moon relates to our deeper consciousness we can, during the phase of full or new moon, work on an emotional level and cleanse, let go, complete and transform. And Kundalini Yoga is one of the most powerful technologies we have to reflect and reset, uplift and heal because it provides us with a direct experience.
The Full Moon Workshop
If you would like to welcome a powerful and deeply transformative experience into your life join us for a night of Kundalini Yoga incorporating movement, breathing, Hatha postures, chanting, meditating, sound healing, home made chai and uniting together in community spirit for the upcoming Full Moon Workshop at Ubud Yoga Centre on Thursday January the 12th 6 – 8.30pm. Celebrate and leverage from the powerful moon energies to achieve your intentions for 2017, reserve your place via ubudyogacentre.com
For more information about Alexis Hannagan who teaches Kundalini Yoga at Ubud Yoga Centre visit yogameditationsound.com
Book in for a retreat at Ubud Yoga Centre over the Christmas or New Year weekend to refresh and revive to start 2017. The retreats will both be with Alexis Hannagan, a long time teacher of Kundalini and Hatha yoga as well as personal and group fitness trainer, Kinesiologist and Mind Detox Therapist. You could end the year with a weekend that teaches you to relax and learn to connect with what makes you feel happy and healthy. Alexis has written all about the benefits of the retreats so read on!
How to relax and why it keeps us young?
I used to associate relaxation with being lazy, can you connect with this? And I still do catch myself at times, even being a yoga teacher and understanding it is fundamental in leading healthy, long, youthful lives. Relaxation is our natural state, but the world we live in is so fast paced, pressurised and overwhelming, a lot of us are actually living in a state of unease, stress and tension, only feeling relaxed occasionally. This way of being is a recipe for the body to break down, speeding up the ageing process and becoming ill because just like nature, our body has the inner intelligence to heal, repair and regenerate, but only if it is relaxed – in a harmonious state.
So how can we relax?
We need to look at the whole picture; into all facets of our self. The mind, Body and Spirit. Below i’ve listed key aspects you can easily incorporate into everyday life from the ongoing Mini Retreats I run in Bali at Ubud Yoga Centre, our next two taking place this December the 24th – 25th and 31st – 1st of January if you feel called to bring in the new year deeply revitalised and connected within.
1. Clear your mind.
Are you always concerned about things in life? When you look back at when you were very concerned about many things, were you able to get things done and be creative, happy and productive? What is it like if for one moment you take a vacation from the worry. I’m not saying to throw responsibility out the window, but to seriously reflect and see if you can meditate without all the concerns in your mind taking your energy, can you be without any worry and free your mind? How would this feel? What heaviness could you drop from your mind?
2. Start a meditation practice.
Because our minds are so active these days it is really beneficial to meditate with mantras because they powerfully assist in cutting through the negativity and clutter in the mind, creating more peace and relaxation. One of my favourite mantras to chant is the Mul Mantra (youtube it). To start you can simply sit cross legged, close your eyes, look down towards the tip of your nose to help slow your thoughts and listen to the mantra. Eventually you will be able to chant along.
3. Slow your breathing.
It really is this simple, but so many people don’t do it, because they are not conscious, they are not even aware they are breathing shallowly. When we breathe shallowly we can easily move into an anxious energetic state. Place your hand on your belly just below the navel and breathe slow, long and deep all the way to the top of the ribs. Focus on slow even breaths.
4. Connect to nature.
Mother nature’s energy is calm and re-balances our cells. When we ground into the earth whether swimming,walking bare foot, eating lunch in the park, the energy has a powerful healing effect and re balances the trillions of cells in our body.
5. Avoid all food that doesn’t make you feel good.
Cut down specifically on caffeine, soft drinks, power drinks, white flour and sugar etc, anything with stimulants or that’s refined will aggravate your nervous system and leave you feeling wired, awake yet very tired.
6. Incorporate harmonious sounds into everyday life.
Studies have proven the sounds of birds to be one of the most powerful sounds in healing. Sound is one of the fastest ways we can move into deep relaxation. Become aware of how the music and sounds you expose yourself to impacts the state of your mind, body and soul. Attend a sound healing class, if possible with The Hand Pan. Today I attended a yoga workshop and the teacher played this instrument at the start, I drifted off into a deep sleep in minutes and was extremely calm and relaxed for hours making me feel rejuvenated and more youthful.
Most of all, listen to yourself. Only YOU know what is best. What makes you come alive? Is it reading, cooking, playing basketball, swimming, yoga, walking your dog…? Do this, the simple act of engaging in healthy activities which bring you joy will pull you into the present moment, cultivate positive feelings of love, connection and gratitude, allowing your energy to flow and creating relaxation, radiance and fulfillment. After all, relaxation comes when we engage in activities close to our heart, that we enjoy.
Book Your Weekend Retreat Now
Learn more about Ubud Yoga Centre, which by the way is extremely family friendly, and their schedule of upcoming retreats at http://ubudyogacentre.com/
Also look for kids yoga-pilates and meditation classes, art classes and more kid-friendly activities!
While it is gratifying to paint your own nails at home, there is something about professionally made nails that really makes the digits pop! And if you need a little pampering – like trying out a new nail color from your favorite brand and maybe squeeze in a foot spa or a neck massage – you can count on these awesome Bali Nail Salons to primp and prep your nails:
Colors Nail & Juice Bar
Colors is a funky little nail spa on Jl. Pantai Brawa in Canggu, where just about everything is funky. They offer high quality nail treatments with some of the best non-toxic nail polishes around, as well as organic cold pressed juices. Go for a treat on your own or for the mother/daughter Princess package, which includes a massage and manicure, pedicure for only Rp220,000!
Photo credit: Colors Canggu
If you love nail art, you’ll love Maria Curau! They specialize in non-toxic, vegan nail polishes and unique designs. They welcome kids and love to experiment with fun colors, shapes and designs. The space is also a beauty paradise, with and open, tropical design, comfy chairs and rice paddy views. Make sure to make an appointment because this nail spa is very popular!
Photo credit: Maria Curau
Gellish Nail & Hand Spa Bali
Gellish Nail and Hand Spa Bali aims to be the best and most professional nail salon and spa in the island. Featuring cozy interiors and world class amenities, Gellish Nail and Hand Spa puts emphasis on safety, quality service, and of course, a fabulous experience!The salon meets the strictest hygiene standards, all tools are sterilized. The staff members keep the place spotless and are well trained to accommodate customers.
Photo credit: Gellish Nail & Hand Spa
Gellish utilizes a scientific approach in offering services to customers. Unlike other Bali nail salons, the technician will evaluate a customer’s skin to choose the right scrubs, lotions, and colors to offer. All the products for the hand and foot spas are organic and imported from the USA and Spain. The spa specializes in trendy and classic nail designs including acrylic, hard gel, nail extensions, and nail art.
Kayu Aya Square No. 19-21, Jl. Kayu AyaStep inside Nia Nail Art salon and experience pampering fit for a queen! Nia Nail salon boasts personalized care and unwavering attention to providing an unforgettable experience.Nia Nail Art offers a fantastic selection of nail art designs and materials, including brilliant stones, crystals, and beads. There are also thousands of nail color combinations to try at Nia Nail.
Photo credit: Nia Nails
One of our favorite treatments is the Nia Special Manicure. The package includes nail cut or file, cleaning of cuticles, massage, scrub, paraffin therapy, and nail polish. Kids under 12 years old can also try the Children’s Manicure. This includes nail file or cut, massage, scrub, and polish.
Step back to the 40s and experience burlesque-style nail care at Lady Marmalade. This upbeat nail salon and spa feature a richly decorated interiors, a dizzying selection of nail treatments and attentive costumed staff members to match!
Photo credit: Bali Go
Apart from the usual nail services – such as manicure and pedicures – Lady Marmalade also offers an impressive array of hair and spa treatments. At the center of the quirky themed salon is a circular nail bar where you can relax, get your nails done and get a massage while sipping on a glass of champagne, a cocktail, or wine!
Located in the heart of Ubud, Nail Spa Bali specializes in luxurious treatments for the nails, hands and feet. The salon is loved for its relaxing hand and foot massages as well as foot and hand scrubs. You will love the spa’s signature manis and pedis, as well as its impressive selection of nail colors, 3D nail art treatments and gel nail colors.
Photo credit: Nail Spa Bali
One of our favorite treatments is the Indulgence Package, which includes a complete hand, foot, and nail pampering. Enjoy hand and foot massages, scrub, manicure and pedicure with polish and nail art using the design of your choice!
Located in trendy Seminyak, Onnail Studio is a Bali Nail Salon that specializes in gel nails. Unlike regular nail color, gel nail colors have longer staying power and a fabulous luster that stays shiny for weeks. The gel is made from a UV resin that hardens when exposed to UV light. The nail color will stay pretty and pristine up to 3 weeks.
Photo credit: Onnail Studio
Thankfully, UV nail treatments at Onnail Studio are not harmful to the skin. The salon utilizes a machine that only generates B wavelengths from UV. Apart from gel nail color, the salon also offers other beauty treatments including eyelash extensions, as well as hand & foot massage.
Nail Creator Salon is one of the most popular chains of hair and nail salons on the island. Renowned for its fabulous selection of hair and nail treatments, Nail Creator Salon offers an array of nail care treatments, classic and contemporary manicure and pedicure designs, and so much more.
Photo credit: Nail Creator Salon
We love going to Nail Creator Salon for a quintessential French manicure (it never goes out of style!) or getting nail extensions for glammed up digits. If you are the mood for something fancy, why not treat yourself to a special pedicure soft & relax package? It is one of the best treatments Nail Creator Salon has to offer!
We’ve featured Think Pink nail salon several times and it deserves another shout out for its unique NYC-inspired interiors, posh facilities, and terrific service menu. The salon is also one of the best on the island so do visit if you want a luxurious nail care experience!
The salon features stylish pedicure spa chars with a rolling massage feature, a manicure bar with iPads, a pedicure theater, a separate acrylic/gel nail extensions room, a private treatment nest for waxing, and a nail drying station. If you love imported nail color brands then we are happy to report that Think Pink boasts of a great selection of premium nail colors from Chanel, Dior, Tom Ford, Laura Mercier and Dolce & Gabbana!
AMO is the ultimate beauty spa in Bali, offering nail care services and promising a flawless manicure and pedicure. The salon also offers a mobile service (AMO Express) so you can get your nails done in the privacy of your hotel or villa.
Photo credit: In Bali
Apart from the indulgent nail treatments, AMO prides itself for providing an extensive selection of mid to high-end nail colors by MAC, Dior, Chanel, and NARS. There are over 700 nail colors in the AMO archive to satisfy your inner chameleon! On top of that, AMO salon also offers a range of grooming and beauty services including eyelash extensions, blow dry, waxing, foot and hand massage, and foot soaks. Really, all your pampering needs will be taken care of at AMO salon!
If you are in dire need of rejuvenation, there are loads of fantastic spas in Sanur Bali to suit all budgets. Some spas even offer children and family-centric services such as candy flavored body treatments and foot spas! In today’s post, we are counting down the best spas in Sanur:
Aroma Spa Retreat
Located near Prama Sanur Beach Hotel, this stylish, beachfront spa offers a range of body treatments for the whole family. That’s right, sisters Sonya and Delma Davies entered the spa biz to help tired, weary parents de-stress!
Photo credit: The Travellist
Aroma Spa Retreat is the first to offer innovative technologies and massage therapies in the region. Some of the best body treatments you have to try are the Aroma Spa Retreat and the Luxury Relax Massage Package. Perfect after a long day of walking around sightseeing with the kids.
Jamu refers to a traditional Javanese herbal drink that promotes healing and relaxation. Based on age-old traditions passed down from generation to generation, Jamu Traditional Spa offers a host of holistic body treatments that restore and rebalance harmony between mind and body.
Photo credit: Bali Go
Featuring a calming setting, an array of herbal oils and essences, float away to la-la-land with Jamu Traditional Spa’s body scrub, massages, and body rejuvenating treatments. The spa also offers wellness remedies such as acupuncture acupressure, and hormone balancing.
Some of Jamu’s popular treatments include the Bali Limau Ocean Detox Scrub, traditional Balinese massage, spice body wraps, nut facials, manicure, and pedicure. The spa also offers several packages including the fabulous Jempiring package. This is a 2-hour treatment comprised of a foot bath, facial, body massage and a complimentary tonic for only Rp600,000.
Glo is a hip, upscale wellness center located in the south end of Sanur Bali. As a spa and salon in one, Glo offers an array of body and beauty treatments including deep tissue massage, manicures and pedicures, spray tans, and more.
Photo credit: Bali Spa
What’s unique about Glo is the impressive selection of body treatments. Some of the treatments and beauty packages are geared towards moms, pregnant women, and kids! Imagine spending an hour or two just bonding with the kiddos over facials, manicure, or soothing body wraps!
Cosmo Salon and Spa is the brainchild of former-hairstylist Nining Iverson. Bringing together warm, Balinese hospitality with world-class treatments, Cosmo Salon & Spa promises nothing but the best treatments for the face, body, skin, and hair. Nining insists on using top quality beauty care products to provide a different kind of spa experience.
Photo credit: Cosmo Bali
Top treatments at Cosmo include the bamboo massage, keratin treatment, and L’Oreal Steam Pod. If you love massages, we are happy to report that Cosmo Salon & Spa specializes in full body massages. We love the classic Swedish massage (perfect for relieving headaches and muscle soreness) or the Cosmo Signature Massage, which is comprised of Balinese, Shiatsu, and Deep Tissue massage.
Leha Leha Spa is owned by professional masseur, Ida Bagus Made Manuaba (Gusde). Gusde spent years perfecting his unique massaging technique. After a career in the body wellness industry that spans more than a decade, Gusde decided to establish his own spa, one that offers fabulous treatments and massages that rival that of services offered at luxury spas.
Photo credit: Leha Leha Spa
Leha Leha Spa offers a customized selection of body treatments. We can’t get enough of the Leha Leha De-Stress Muscle Full Body Massage, which features a soothing combination of Balinese, Thai, and Shiatsu massage. Bliss! According to Gusde, the Leha Leha De-Stress massage eases muscle soreness while purging the body of toxins. We also love the coconut body scrub and the 30-minute foot massage. If you love for spa packages, we recommend the “Because I’m Worth It!” package and the “Get Ready to Glow” package.
For would-be brides or grooms, Leha-Leha also offers his and hers packages, Here Comes the Bride Package and Get Groomed packages, respectively.
Located right next to Fairmont Hotel on the beach path, The Nest Beachside Spa promises rejuvenating treatments that will invigorate the mind, body, and soul! Imagine being lulled to sleep with a soothing a massage while being treated to a stunning view of the ocean. The Nest Beachside Spa offers a curated selection of body scrubs, body wraps, massages, facials, and nail treatments that’ll have you feeling new again!
All guests will be greeted with a welcome drink, a cooling towel, and a special lime and peppermint sorbet to awaken the senses. And If the kiddos are tagging along, you’d be glad to know that The Nest Beachside Spa offers great body treatments for the kids too!
Don’t let Carla Spa’s unassuming façade fool you, this is an excellent budget-friendly spa in Sanur Bali with an impressive rep in the biz! The spa specializes in full body massages that soothe muscle pain, alleviate stress, and improve circulation. And at only Rp90.000 an hour for a full body massage, the prices can’t be beat! This is also a great spa to try hot stone massage, fish spa (a fun way to exfoliate the heels), Thai massage, ear candle wax, and slimming massages.
Photo credit: Carla Spa
And if you love a good deal, we recommend checking out any of the spa’s six all-over body treatments. The packages feature different combinations of face, beauty, and body treatments at discounted prices. Really, who can say no to a great deal?
As if you weren’t relaxed enough in the laid back town of Sanur, you can also have amazing spa treatments no matter what your budget. Choose from a fantastic range of massages, scrubs, facial and nail treatments, and take the whole family for a special treat!
What does every little girl turning 8 want for their birthday? Time away from their 3 year-old brother of course! My daughter Lola, sweet thing that she is, decided she wanted some serious momma time this year, so off we headed for an overnight stay in Canggu Bali, the island’s most happening neighborhood.
Thanks to Lani and Ayu at Gu Guide, we were both totally spoiled with a weekend of excellent food, a large helping of ice-cream and some serious spa time.
First stop in the Gu was Milk & Madu, on Jl. Paintai Berawa for lunch. This great semi-open restaurant with a lovely garden and plenty of space for kids, was buzzing with the Sunday crowd of families and friends when we arrived. But because it’s so big and open, it was still very chilled and not overcrowded.
They have an excellent selection for Kid’s, including faves like fish & chips, spaghetti and fluffy pancakes. Lola, connoisseur of fish & chips, said this was one of the best she has ever had.
Round 1 of Birthday celebrations started with a slice of delicious carrot cake and us singing Happy Birthday embarrassingly loudly. Thanks Lani (for the cake and embarrassing singing)
Then off we went to check out our digs for the night, The Calmtree Bungalows, down a peaceful little lane off Jl. Batu Bolong.
Calmtree Bungalows is made up of 8 traditional wooden bungalows with thatched roofs set around swimming pool and lush garden. We were in a family bungalow with a king bed downstairs and 2 singles upstairs. It was rustic, but really comfortable and a wonderful change from modern resort rooms.
Parents with toddlers, this probably isn’t the bungalow for you, but for older children or if you have a baby still sleeping with you, one of the smaller bungalows would be great.
There is a nice seating area outside and a big open bathroom. Rooms are fan cooled and have mosquito nets, and even in the heat of February, we had an extremely comfortable night’s sleep. And the staff were out-of-this world; sweet and helpful and really chatty with me and Lola.
Dinner was ice-cream at Creamery, which I decided was ok because it was a special occasion. Creamery is an absolutely must-do in Canggu with kids (or without).
This decadent ice cream is made right in front of your eyes with billows of liquid nitrogen, plenty of cream and all the fantastic toppings you can imagine. Lani brought some of her crew along, who knew exactly what they wanted and dug in!
Lola made it about half way through her cookie monster, full of cookie dough, chocolate chips and chocolate sauce, but she did manage to squeeze down about half of my lemon-lime sorbet; one of the best I’ve ever had! We also loved the colorful murals…totally instagrammable! Next time we’re going for the red velvet ice cream sandwich, which, by the looks of other customers orders, seemed like the most popular thing on the menu.
In the morning we went for a lazy swim and devoured an enormous breakfast of pancakes for Lola (with ice-cream would you believe), yogurt, fruit and and muesli for me and a freshly squeezed orange juice. The perfect start to a day of beach, shopping and spa!
After breakfast we headed down to Batu Bolong beach and spent some time watching the surfers. There were tons of people learning to surf in the smaller waves, including some older kids. Next time, we’ll have to have a go ourselves!
Then it was shopping time! Blak on Jl. Batu Bolong, was our first stop. Blak is an awesome store with clothes for kids, and specifically tweens. It’s not easy to find tween clothes, so Lola absolutely loved all the cool, not kiddy outfits. They also have a selection of toys, homewares and are soon to have a little café/sweet shop upstairs.
Rocking a new outfit, well half of us, we strolled over to Betelnut, where they have a healthy and super tasty kids menu for yet more food. Lola’s choice of a cheeseburger was packed with lots of secret veggies, so I was a happy momma.
The service was notably amazing too. Our food arrived in less than 10 minutes, which was perfect because we had a serious pampering appointment to get to!
Full up and ready for a nap we rolled ourselves to Goldust Beauty Lounge, where we were treated like queens. Goldust is a fantastic spot for a momma-daughter date or a moment away from the kiddos.
We sunk into the big comfy chairs and allowed ourselves to be pampered with seriously excellent mani/pedis and a special hair treatment for my golden child. Goldust’s upstairs space has a homely comfort to it with the wooden floors, plush rug and dim lighting. It’s also great because there isn’t through traffic like there is in some spas. It’s almost like having a spa treatment in your own living room….except way tidier and quieter than my living room.
We’ve decided that Canggu is kind-of like visiting a different more hipster country, when you’re bumpkins from Ubud, but we had a fabulous time. Lani and Ayu, thanks so much! Can’t wait to descend from the hills next month for another chapter of Bali Kids Guide in The Gu!