Namaste: Best Yoga Studios for Kids

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There’s no arguing with 2,000-plus years’ worth of evidence: The benefits of yoga are many. Recent research shows that kids who practice yoga are improving their concentration and self-esteem, resulting in better grades and school and a foundation for dealing with stress in healthy ways. Classes in this area indicate that it’s never too early to start practicing yoga. Newborns as teensy as two weeks old can begin to stretch their limits – with a caregiver’s help. Whether you want your toddler, tot, tween or teen to find balance, physical activity, mindfulness or a combination of all three, the D.C. region has an option for you.

Photo: YoKid

YoKid’s vision is to help students lower stress and increase resiliency in school, social situations and life. Classes are available for kids in pre-k through 12th grade, and sessions run for six weeks. What’s more, instructors give students tools to practice independently. All participants also get a pass to the annual YoKid Challenge, a family-oriented festival where attendees try to complete 108 sun salutations.

Where: At schools and community centers
When: See website; YoKid Challenge is Sept. 21

Feels Like Om Family Yoga
Check out Story Time Yoga, a 30-minute class combining books and yoga; Mommy + Me PiYo for kids crawling to age 5, which starts with a mini yoga session for them followed by a Pilates class for Mom; Tot Yoga for mobile babies and toddlers is a 45-minute parent/child class; and 3/4s Yoga is a 45-minute class for the preschool set. An hourlong Family Yoga is available for ages 3 to 9.

Cost: $25 per family, up to three people for Family Yoga; $5 for Story Time Yoga
Where: See website
When: See website; YoKid Challenge is Sept. 21

Circle Yoga
Kiddos ages 2 to 18 can find something to suit their physical and mindfulness needs. In the class for the youngest tikes – Movers and Twisters – 2- to 4-year-olds explore yoga poses and relaxation alongside an adult. Teens can choose from Relaxation and Yoga or Teen Yoga, depending on their preferences.

Cost: $76 for a four-week mini session to $285 for 15 weeks
Where: 3838 Northampton St., NW
When: Fall session runs Sept. 5 to Dec. 18

Breathing Space
Although many of the poses in kids’ classes look the same, these courses are structured differently in that they use songs and games; props such as hula hoops, balloons and scarves; and storytelling. Additionally, they emphasize social interaction rather than an individual practice.

Cost: Depends on location, but $128 for eight classes, $144 for nine and $192 for 12
Where: See website for class locations
When: Sept. 16 to Nov. 18 or mid-December, depending on the class

Photo: Sun and Moon Yoga Studio

Sun and Moon Yoga Studio
Weekly classes are available to little ones as young as infants. Poses focus on strengthening caregivers to hold and carry the baby, while they also learn baby massage and movements that encourage neuromuscular development. Classes for older kids include Kids Yoga After School for elementary schoolers, Tweens Yoga for 3rd– to 6th-graders and Just for Teen Boys. Note: Family Yoga is available one Friday per month at the Arlington location and one Sunday per month in Fairfax.

Cost: $240 for 15 classes
Where: 3811 Lee Highway, Arlington, and 9998 Main St., Fairfax
When: See website

Honest Soul Yoga
Tot/Preschool and Mommy + Me classes are designed to help little kids learn how to relieve frustration, improve motor skills and increase their attention spans, while classes for children ages 4 and up are based on real-world scenarios so that kids have tools to thrive physically and mentally. Classes for tweens and teens aim to help them understand their changing bodies.

Cost: $114 for a six-week session, $152 for an eight-week session
Where: 6470 Landsdowne Center, Alexandria
When: See website

Dream Yoga Studio & Wellness Center
Choices for children include Family Yoga, X. There’s also Yoga for Tweens (10 to 13) that focuses on poses to work on balance, flexibility and strength, and breathing techniques to help quiet the mind. Yoga for Teens 13 to 18 begin learning meditation techniques to improve mental clarity. Note: Family Art & Yoga Night ($27 for each child ages 6 to 10 and adult, plus $5 per additional child) combines simple yoga poses with mindfulness-based art activities every other month on a Friday.

Cost: $20 drop-in rate, $112 for seven classes; Family Yoga is $22 for first two family members
Where: 1485 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 104, McLean
When: See website

Simon Says Yoga
Children’s classes are broken up by age group. For the 6- to 10-year-old set, the hourlong classes incorporate acting like animals in nature, playing yoga freeze dance and having quiet time. For children 11 and older, instructors offer tools to cope with stress and struggles with headaches and sleeplessness. There’s also a 50-minute Pilates class for the older group.

Cost: Family Yoga costs $30/two participants and $40/three participants, kids and teen classes are $125/eight-week session
Where: 4611 Sangamore Road, Bethesda
When: See website

Photo: The Yoga Center of Columbia

The Yoga Center of Columbia
Four class types cater to kids here. The first is Baby and Me for babies from six weeks to crawling, which incorporates postpartum benefits for moms, such as strengthening abdominal and pelvic muscles. Another is for walkers, and it deals with gross motor skills plus a short relaxation segment. Children’s Yoga covers 5- to 10-year-olds and introduces balancing poses and breathing exercises along with games, while Yoga for Preteeens and Teens begins to add in body awareness, self-respect and self-confidence.

Cost: $18 drop-in rate for Baby and Me; $120 for 10 weeks of other children’s classes
Where: 8950 State Route 108, Suite 109, Columbia
When: See website

Tranquil Space Yoga
Lots of options to connect with your littlest loved ones here. The Baby + Me class is open to newborns as young as two weeks and aims to serve as an emotional support group as well as a time for light physical activity and play with your wee one. Another class – Me + Baby Too targets mobile kiddos. Tots + Tykes Yoga for the 4 and under set includes rhymes, songs, marching, jumping and more.

Cost: $20 drop-in rate or $80 for four-week series of Me + Baby too; $18 drop-in rate or $90 for six classes of Tots + Tykes Yoga
Where: 1632 17th St., NW, and 3528 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
When: See website

Washington DC Jewish Community Center
The Itsy Bitsy Yoga program is taught here for children eight weeks through 4 years. These classes let kiddos and caregivers mingle as they work on postures designed to promote physical development. For example, caregivers will learn to manipulate babies’ bodies to ease gas, while tots gain confidence in their first wobbly movements and tykes begin to increase attention span.

Cost: $134 for non-JCC members, $98 for members
Where: 1529 16th St., NW
When: Itsy Bitsy Yoga classes are on Wednesdays. Tykes meet at 10:45 a.m., Tots at 11:45 a.m. and Babies at 12:45 p.m.

Willow Street Yoga
The Little Families class here is for toddlers ages 2 to 4 and caregivers. It incorporates games, repetitive routines and social interaction. Younger siblings are also welcome.

Where: 6930 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, and 8561 Fenton St., Silver Spring
When: Sundays at 11:30 a.m., Sept. 24 to Oct. 29

Lighthouse Yoga Center
Baby & Me Yoga here is inspired by the Itsy Bitsy model, but caregivers get a literal moment to breathe, too, learning techniques to help relieve stress. Yoga for Movers and Tots mixes songs, games and poses for crawlers to 3-year-olds.

Cost: $100/series
Where: 4203 9th St., NW
When: Baby & Me runs through Sept. 28 and meets for six weeks on Thursdays at noon, Movers and Tots meets Fridays at 11 a.m. from Sept. 8 to Oct. 13

East Meets West Yoga Center
Three classes target budding yogis. Lil Karma Kids for ages 3 to 5 uses yoga poses in games, stories and songs, while Karma Kids for ages 6 to 11 works on strength and flexibility, concentration and focus, and self-esteem. Teen Yoga for ages 12 to 16 tries to bridge the major developmental changes going on with this age group by adding in meditation to help them quiet their adapting bodies and minds.

Where: 8227 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 310, Vienna

Does your kid have a favorite yoga spot? Share deets in the comments below. 

–Stephanie Kanowitz