The final week of Whole Kids Yoga is currently underway at Edgewater Fitness.
Posted by Kaitlyn Carr (Editor)
Sounds of deep breathing, stretching, calming music and giggles could be heard from a group workout room at Edgewater Fitness Monday afternoon as area kids practiced their yoga moves.
Roughly 20 kids aged 5 to 12 filled the studio for the third and final week of Whole Kids Yoga. The camp was started this summer by three Edgewater moms who wanted to share their love of yoga with their kids. “The benefit of yoga for kids is flexibility, strength, concentration and relaxation,” said yoga mom Amy Starkey “We are looking to do all that but in a non-competitive environment.” During Monday’s camp session kids learned different exercises and worked on perfecting solo and partner stretches. They also played “Musical Yoga Moves” and learned how to calm their bodies—well somewhat calm. “Since they are kids it’s hard to get them to calm down and focus, but they actually look forward to the relaxation part at the end,” Starkey said. Nine-year-old Ruby Freeland is beginning her second week of Whole Kids Yoga Camp. She said she really enjoys learning the different stretches. “I like how you get to find different parts of your body you didn’t know about when you do the stretches,” Ruby said. “My favorite part is the partner stretches—you get to do a bunk beds stretch.” Kasey O’Kieffe, 8, is on her third week of camp. “I love it; it’s so fun,” Kasey said. “I like the poses, especially the challenging ones.” Starkey said the kids come to camp with all different skill levels, but leave each day with new techniques and confidence. “It’s been going really well. The kids really seem to like it,” Starkey said. “It builds their confidence, and you can see a lot of them realize they have more strength and flexibility than they thought.”
Posted by Kaitlyn Carr (Editor)
A passion for yoga brought local moms Amy Starkey, Robin Countryman and Jennifer Keefer together, and has now inspired the trio to share their passion with their own kids and the community. The three women—all certified yoga instructors—have started Whole Kids Yoga and will offer three summer camps beginning June 24. But the whole idea started as a way for the moms to do something fun and healthy with their children. “At the time I first became certified I had two really young kids—3 and 1,” Countryman said. “I wanted to start something that I could do with them and that would grow with them.”
Now a mom of three, Countryman has been participating in yoga herself since 1999, and was certified to teach kids yoga in 2007. She currently teaches yoga at an after-school program at Edgewater and Central Elementary schools. Starkey said the concept for the business started as a way to teach kids about the movements of yoga in an informative but entertaining way. “The benefit of yoga for kids is flexibility, strength, concentration and relaxation,” Starkey said. “We are looking to do all that but in a non-competitive environment.” Whole Kids Yoga will offer three camps this summer, two in Edgewater and one in Annapolis. Starkey said the camps will feature crafts, photos, games and of course yoga.
“It’s not a typical adult class, we want them to have fun,” Starkey said. “We do animal poses, we go on adventures … So far, the kids are really, really liking it.” A few free demo session of Whole Kids Yoga have already been offered, and another one will be held at Edgewater Fitness on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. The session provides a small sneak-peek at what the camps will offer. For Starkey, an important component of Whole Kids Yoga is providing a physical activity for kids that is not competitive, but just fun. “Nowadays, athletics for kids are so competitive, so we are trying to take that out of it,” Starkey said. Both Starkey and Countryman spoke of the calmness and relaxation that come with yoga. While it is challenging to translate the patience of yoga to kids, both women said it is a challenge they enjoy. “Yoga provides greater focus, greater relaxation and kids can learn to stretch their bodies, minds and imaginations,” Countryman said. Whole Kids Yoga Summer Camps will run from 1-4 p.m. on June 24-28 and Aug. 5-9 at Edgewater Fitness. The Annapolis session will be held July 8-12 at On Pointe Dance Studio. Each one-week session is $150. To reserve a spot visit their website or call 410-798-1762.
When Jennifer Keefer, Amy Starkey and Robin Countryman met at an Annapolis gym, they never imagined one day starting a business together. However, this February the three women began talking about sharing their passion for yoga with not only their children but all kids. After tons of tea and playdates, the idea was born to create Whole Kids Yoga, a place where all kids can explore yoga and find some peace in today’s busy world. “We wanted to create a program that would help develop the whole child…body, heart and mind,” said Starkey. Keefer and Countryman have taught yoga for years. Keefer is an instructor at Evolutions Gym and Countryman offers yoga classes for children at Edgewater and Central Elementary. Starkey recently received her certification to teach kids. To start, the women will host two summer camps at Edgewater Fitness on June 24-28 and August 5-9. Classes run from 1 to 4 p.m. and are $150 per session. The camp is open to children five to 12 years old. Register by May 17 and you receive a 10 percent discount. Starkey said yoga offers many benefits for kids. It allows them to exercise motor, sensory and social skills while increasing self-confidence in a creative and non-competitive environment. “Through yoga, kids can de-compress and recognize their inner peace.” The three hope to rent or own studio space one day. “We have a lot planned and are excited about the journey we are on.”
Whole Kids Yoga Summer Camp
5 Mayo Road
Dates: June 24-28 and August 5-9