Resources

Articles and Resources

Walk Stop Wiggle Sit: A Focus Building Game for Kids

We love this playful game, taught here by LFY Founder Jennifer Cohen Harper. It builds focus and concentration, and helps kids practice using their thoughtful brain to reduce impulsive actions. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!    

What is Yoga Service: A Working Definition

Yoga Service: A Working Definition: The intentional sharing of yoga practices that support healing and build resilience for all, regardless of circumstances, taught within a context of conscious relationship rooted in self-reflection and self-inquiry. While yoga and service have long been practiced together, yoga service as a unified field is new and growing. As the field… Read more »

3 Simple Chair-Based Mindful Movement Practices

Mindful movement is an effective way to reduce stress and its physical consequences. When we bring a mindful approach to chair yoga, we provide an accessible and simple way to integrate mindful movement and practice into our daily life to get out of our heads, into our body, to find the present moment. Increasingly, researchers… Read more »

Working with Teens: Creating Engaging Mindfulness Experiences for Adolescents

As a high school teacher in the Bronx for 14 years I got to meet and deeply know a lot of teens. Having those relationships taught me a lot about what makes adolescents tick. I saw that the way adults view teens impacts the way teens see themselves, and ultimately the lives they think they… Read more »

Nurturing Gratitude in Young Hearts: Activities and Quotes to Inspire Appreciation

Gratitude is the ability to be thankful and to see and appreciate the good that’s in our lives. As an educator, mother of two children, and program director, gratitude is both professionally and personally important to me. In my own life, gratitude helps me keep a wider lens to allow my mind and heart to stay… Read more »

Secularity: Guiding Questions for Inclusive Yoga in Schools

As the school year begins and we have the priviledge of working with children from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, it is essential that we work to create inclusive and welcoming learning communities. An important part of this work, particularly in public schools, is a committment to secularism in our teaching, and to respecting… Read more »

This Moment is Your Life (and so is This One). A New Resource by Mariam Gates

When new books to share mindfulness and yoga with teens are released, we typically await them eagerly, as this can be a hard population to reach and good resources are scarce. Mariam Gates new offering, This Moment is Your Life (and so is This One), exceeds all of our expectations and provides teens and tweens with a… Read more »

Body of Emotions: A Mindfulness Practice to Explore Emotions with Teens

Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going inside ourselves. ~ Bessel A. van der Kolk The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma One of my favorite… Read more »

Holiday Gifts for Little Yogis

My Top 10 – Holiday Little Yogi Gifts The most important gift for any child is your attention and presence.  But if you happen to be looking for a gift for the special yogi or yogini in your life then below is a list of just a few or our favorite yoga gifts for kids.  We included the… Read more »

Spread the Love: Great Books to Cultivate Gratitude for Children of All Ages

Research from the Greater Good Science Center tells us that gratitude actually blocks toxic emotions even as it allows us to celebrate the present. Additionally, its been proven that grateful people are more stress-resistant and have a higher sense of self-worth. How can we help kids be happy with what they already have and cultivate an attitude… Read more »

Finding Your Anchor: 3 Creative Ways to Explore Mindful Breathing with Your Students

Anchor breath is one of my favorite practices to teach my students. Anchor  breath is the practice of using your breath to help focus your mind on one point. The instructions are to place your hand where you most feel the breath in your body.  I offer three options: on your belly, on your chest,… Read more »

The Peace Corner: An Essential Classroom Resource

The peace corner is a powerful and touching space in the classroom that supports self regulation.  It’s private. It’s structured. It includes choice. It’s an experiment. It’s inviting. It’s a movement toward independence onto the mat (or the desk or the rug spot) and ultimately into everyday life. It’s called the “peace corner” because there… Read more »

Movement as a Pathway to Mindfulness

HOW CAN MOVEMENT SUPPORT MINDFULNESS? Movement is one of the most fundamental and important functions of our body. We usually don’t notice our body at work because it is so wonderfully engineered to move. As a result, we often lack a strong mind-body connection. While some of us might pay a lot of attention to… Read more »

Tips for Teaching Trauma Informed Yoga to Children and Adolescents

I’ve been reflecting on my time spent this summer teaching yoga to children living at a local shelter in NYC and want to share some of the things I learned. The NYC shelter I worked in is provided as transitional housing for children and mothers who were victims of domestic violence. Due to the nature… Read more »

Managing Frustration – Empower Tools for Children

Life comes with a lot of challenges. Sometimes these challenges can lead to frustration. I find one of my most effective ways to empower the children I work with is to give them tools that help them navigate big emotional experiences, like frustration. What triggers frustration can be different for each individual. Some examples of triggers… Read more »

5 Ways to Teach Thankfulness to Kids

Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to help students and our own children cultivate an “attitude of gratitude.” And it turns out, there’s a lot to like about gratitude. Research from the Greater Good Science Center tells us that gratitude actually blocks toxic emotions even as it allows us to celebrate the present. What’s more, grateful people are… Read more »

How I Learned to Police from Within: Thoughts from a School Resource Officer

I have always believed that my job as a Police Officer was about serving and protecting my community with compassion. Early in my career, I realized many people feel the police are heavy-handed enforcers of the law, devoid of empathy and reliability.  And for many, many years, I was upset with these people. How can… Read more »

What Can We Do When The World Feels Like It’s Falling Apart: Cultivating Safety in Community

I recently had the pleasure of being a panelist for the East Harlem Scholars Academy charter network community in a discussion about how to cope in the face of the rash of conspicuous police brutality, terror attacks, not to mention the inflammatory and degrading remarks provoked by presidential campaigns, and innumerable other anxiety producing incidents that have flooded our… Read more »

Songs for Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness

There are certain points in your life when you feel like everything is decided for you. You can clearly see your next hour, day, week and year. Life is a finished book, each chapter named, edited and ready to read. Some may feel that being in this space provides clarity, safety, and security because the… Read more »

The Upside of Stress: Book Recommendation

LFY founder Jennifer Cohen Harper was recently interviewed by Yoga City NY for their must read book club series. Learn why Jenn recommends Kelly McGonigal's newest book, The Upside of Stress, and how it relates to the children we work with.  “I particularly loved reading about how the body works to bring us together during stress.… Read more »

Bringing Best Practices to Yoga in Schools

LFY founder Jennifer Cohen Harper was recently interviewed, along with Traci Childress, by Kelli Love for YogaDork on the process of creating Best Practices for Yoga in Schools, a guidebook published by the Yoga Service Council and Omega Institute. Read these short exceprts below and find the full interview, in two parts, on the YogaDork website. … Read more »

Ha Kriya: A breathwork exercise

Check out one of my favorite ways to empower the children I work with. This segment will show you how to prepare a child for challenging tasks using our most powerful tool: breath. Thank you PESI for creating this video. If you'd like to learn more activities like this, check out the short WEBINARS we have available… Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music and The Arts – Song: “One Step At A Time”

“One step at a time see what you can find  with one step at a time  One step at a time what is on your mind  with one step at a time” “One step at a time see what you can find with one step at a time One step at a time what is… Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music and the Arts: “I Am” by Lianne Bassin

The creative process is a funny thing; I’ve always been fascinated with how and when inspiration strikes. Some songs that I wrote for Breathe In took so much time, so much writing and rewriting. And yet other ones hit me immediately, and it seemed like I finished them in just ten minutes.   “I Am,”… Read more »

Six Classroom Management Strategies to Live & Breathe By

A few years ago I decided to take on a position as a full-time Yoga Specialist at a charter school. I was ecstatic about the groundbreaking experience that lay ahead. It is also fair to say that I was totally naïve and in over my head regarding the enormous tasks that lay ahead: Design a year-long yoga… Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music and The Arts – Song: “Mr. Bear and Birdie”

I was recently thinking about the notion of sharing, and what it takes for a child to share what they have with someone else. This can be very hard for even some adults, let alone young children. I imagine that when asked to share, some children think something like this:  Why should I share what… Read more »

So What Is It That First Year Teachers Need To Know?

This year as an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College’s Department of Curriculum and Teaching I’m getting the opportunity to work with a lot of first year teachers and that’s made me think a lot about what supports good teaching. At Hunter College I’m working with dance, theatre, and music first year teachers.  These are Lincoln… Read more »

Beginning with Intention by Kelli Love

As I explore my intentions for the beginning of another school year, I take a look at what I want for my teaching practice and turn to vital topics such as embodied teaching and self-care.  My presence in the classroom is what I know to matter most, and yet the only way for me to… Read more »

Practice: Relaxation – What Can Be Done For A Sleepless Child?

A lot of children tell me they have a hard time falling asleep. Thoughts about the day, stress about schoolwork and tests, worrying about the wellbeing of mom and dad, and concerns for the future can keep them up. These distractions, plus children having their own mobile devices like smart phones, iPads, iPods, and you have the perfect… Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music and The Arts – Song: “Hugging Words”

As I begin the new school year, I'm been thinking about many things while setting up the classroom. I’m getting ready to meet a whole new batch of Pre-K students, and both little details and larger questions are entering my mind: What color should I use for this bulletin board? How do I get back… Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music and The Arts – Song: “Be Still”

I wrote the song, “Be Still,” after meditating one day. My mind felt crystal clear and at that moment it was so obvious that being still means being free. Not every meditation session goes as smoothly for me. It’s easy to be still when everything around you is quiet and slow. When you have no… Read more »

My First Year as a Yoga Teacher

My first year as a yoga teacher was the best year of my life; it was full of unexpected surprises, so much love and loads of gratitude.  I never missed a day of teaching and never wanted to. I wanted to be there for my kids, I wanted them to know how much I care… Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music and The Arts – Song: “Peaceful Place”

As we float onto summer, I become giddy like a small child. After an eventful and busy school year with my students, summer is a time for me to unwind, focus on myself, and most importantly, spend as much time as I can in my peaceful place: The beach.  I have memories of myself on… Read more »

Practice: Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxations are some of our favorite practices to teach students and teachers, teaching you how to relax your muscles through a two step process. First, you systematically tense particular muscle groups in your body, such as your neck and shoulders. Next, you release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you… Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music and the Arts: “Trees” by Lianne Bassin

I wrote the song “Trees” (listen to the song below) many years ago when I was walking across Central Park on a glorious spring day. I was gazing at all of the trees around me, marveling at how human-like they were. Each one had such different characteristics – some were intimidating, scary, big and sharp,… Read more »

PRACTICE: Meditation for Gratitude and Lovingkindness

From my perspective, the aim of the yoga and mindfulness practice is to awaken a joyful freedom, a benevolent and compassionate heart in spite of everything.  Gratitude is a gracious acknowledgment of all that sustains us. It is an appreciation of the moments of good fortune that sustain our life every day. It helps to… Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music and the Arts: Chirp Chirp – It’s Spring!

I love having my hands in dirt.  Something about its texture, the way it falls right through my fingertips and its vibrant, earthy smell makes me want to pause and take a deep breath.  I remember planting lima beans with my kindergarten students a few years ago on a beautiful Spring morning. Each child filled… Read more »

Queens Students and Little Flower Yoga on NY 1 NEWS

NY1 News came to visit us recently at one of our school sites, PS 205 in Bayside, Queens.  Little Flower Yoga is very proud to be teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to these incredible kids, and they had a blast posing for the camera. Check out the interview below, to hear thoughts from the kids, their classroom… Read more »

From The Field: The Power in Family Engagement

I've been thinking about how to bridge the school to home connection a lot lately and how it can be a missing link for educators and parents.  Developing deeper relationships with families has become part of my mission at school this year.  It's a big hope of mine that my students bring the life skills… Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music, and the Arts with Lianne Bassin: Monkey Mind Reflection & Audio Clip of the Song!

Monkey Mind is a term that describes the mind and typically means, “Agitated, easily distracted and incessantly moving behavior of ordinary human consciousness. Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another, so too, that which is called thought, mind or consciousness arises and disappears continually… Read more »

Connect with Your Kids: Layers of Sound Exercise

LAYERS OF SOUND: This mindful listening practice asks your students to explore what they can hear around them in an intentional way. Our hearing is so sensitive. We don't have any way to block out sound the way we can close our eyes to reduce what we see. All of the sounds around us are… Read more »

Working with Autism in Your Yoga Class – 5 Helpful Resources

Each month we will take an inquiry or subject (proposed by you) and offer direction and feedback.  Feel free to write in with your concerns or questions and we will answer and provide all the advice we can offer. —————————- Increasingly there has become more interest regarding yoga and autism.  If you are a parent… Read more »

4 Steps to Getting Started – Life After Kids Yoga Teacher Training

So… you dove into children’s yoga trainings, voraciously read and wrote about your experiences, apprenticed through the mentorship program, have been hugely inspired by your peers in training and how this work attracts so many different kinds of people, and now you are a fully certified Little Flower Yoga children’s teacher!  Congrats!  Your heart is… Read more »

Wishing Tree Reflection – Music, Yoga & Mindfulness

Each month Lianne will be writing a reflection on each one of her songs on her soon to be released album, “Breathe In”.  Her first song and reflection is called “Wishing Tree” and we hope you enjoy this as much as we do.…When you wish upon a star, Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart… Read more »

From The Field: The Empowerment That Comes from Understanding the Brain

In the Little Flower Yoga community The Whole Brain Child by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson is revered as a treasure trove of insight for educators and parents, and rightfully so.  Tricia Stevens explains some of the most poignant lessons she received from the book here.  I would like to add that it’s also a… Read more »

Three Challenges Kids Face During the Holidays, and How You Can Help

The holiday season is wonderful, but it is also a challenging time for many, including many children. While this time of year is joyful and exciting and can be a wonderful celebration of family and community, it can also be overwhelming for many kids, even those in the warmest of households. Below are some of… Read more »

Cultivating JOY While You Teach

As we embark on the holiday season, I am realizing more and more that joy is an essential quality of life that needs to be present when I teach. Oftentimes, joy gets knocked down the totem pole of qualities of teaching, in both traditional and non-traditional classrooms, and many people think feeling joy simply means… Read more »

From the Field: The Value in Allowing Kids to Share What They Learn

As a children’s yoga and mindfulness educator I enter each lesson with a plan in mind, but there is also a grand scheme, my ultimate purpose for exploring this work with children. It’s my view that these life skills are a basic right of education, that there are certain underpinnings to what I’m trying to… Read more »

Chair Yoga – Myths Busted

Recently I took Little Flower Yoga's Chair Yoga Basics training and I wanted to share my experience with you. The training was so much more than I anticipated and it shed a new light on the world of chair yoga for me.  Too often I know thatI have given this style of yoga a stereotype and have sort of… Read more »

Let It Go: The Importance of Reflective Teaching

Did you ever have a moment teaching where you say something or do something that in retrospect was not supportive to your students? Yes, is the answer, no matter who you are (almost). Making mistakes is part of the nature of this work, and when you make a mistake or when you have a bad… Read more »

5 Reasons Teens Love Partner Yoga

In my last fifteen years of teaching yoga in schools, community centers and studios, one of the most effective methods I have found for engaging adolescents is partnership. ! Developmentally, teens have a strong need for interaction. Unfulfilled, the need for positive social experience can drive young people to lives of loneliness, depression and long-lived anxiety.… Read more »

Layers of Sound

This mindful listening practice asks your children and students to explore what they can hear around them in an intentional way.  Our hearing is so sensitive.  All of the sounds around us are competing for our attention all of the time.  Learning to attune our hearing to the sounds that are most important at the moment… Read more »

Less Reactivity and More Reflection

Simple tools to create more space in student/teacher interactions     Every so often teachers are caught up in interactions with a student or even a whole class where they feel reactive.  Anger arises, and it is very easy to say something regretful when we are caught up in the heated moment.  Reacting from anger is… Read more »

5 Tips to Reduce Anxiety

“Give It A Try”  So simple yet so full of power – yet so scary for some of us.   This morning I was fortunate enough to attend a conference at our local Board of Education for my son.  This was specifically for Special Needs Parents but one of the breakout sessions I attended was on Anxiety and… Read more »

What It’s Like To Be a Part of the LFY Mentorship Program – A Day In The Life

Mentorship teaching was a very fulfilling experience. As this was my first time teaching, ever, it was a revealing, informative, and very humbling experience. When I first started, I knew it wasn’t going to be second nature but thought it would be fairly easy since I love what I’m teaching. There is so much more… Read more »

Children’s Yoga and Trauma: A Teacher Spotlight with Melissa Kleinman

For many years Melissa Kleinman, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has worked in medical, not-for-profit, home and school-based settings empowering children to identify and regulate their emotions, form trusting relationships and develop a felt sense of control. Through this work she has had the opportunity to introduce yoga and mindfulness to trauma survivors, individuals with… Read more »

Caring Feelings: Practicing Kindness and Compassion for Children

The Caring Feelings activity is a child-friendly version of a Loving Kindness practice, which is a type of meditation that can help your child develop compassion, contentment, and a feeling of well-being. In a traditional adult Loving Kindness practice, kind thoughts would be sent to the self, to people close to you, to people you… Read more »

Power Down: Robot Relaxation for Kids

With the increase of ADHD, behavioral disorders, child stress and anxiety, relaxation is becoming more and more important for children of all ages. With so much going on in their lives, children need to find time to simply unwind, put their feet up, and have some quiet reflective time where nothing is being asked of… Read more »

Mindfulness for Kids – A 5 Second Practice

Well-Wishes Creating a practice takes time for all of us and for children it’s no different.   In our home I like to think of it as building a house.  First and foremost we have to build a foundation.  If there isn’t a strong base with anything we may be setting ourselves up for failure.   Nothing… Read more »

Inspired by Children – A Teacher Reflection with Nicole Ascher

Nicole is a preschool, special education teacher and a Little Flower Yoga teacher and she found her inspiration after observing a child in her own classroom practicing yoga poses.  Watching this young child practice yoga on her own will to regulate her feelings when she felt nervous gave Nicole the motivation to complete a 200 teacher-training program at Three Sisters Yoga in 2011.  Her… Read more »

The School Yoga Project and Social Emotional Learning: Research

CLICK HERE FOR ENLARGED VERSION OF RESEARCH POSTER   Database Coding and Interpretation:  April 20, 2014, Colin Pearsall Social emotional learning (SEL) theory posits that a child’s capacity for self-understanding and self-regulation is a gateway to achieving personal goals and participating in the community.  This research takes the reporting of SYP yoga teachers and interprets… Read more »

Chair Yoga Exercises for the Feet and Toes

by Mayuri Gonzalez, The School Yoga Project Director and Little Flower Yoga Teacher Trainer   Chair yoga is beneficial for teachers to practice during their long stretches of desk-time and for students, who spend hours sitting in their desks without many opportunities for physical activity breaks. Practicing yoga in the chair is a simple way… Read more »

How to Start and Maintain an At-Home Yoga Practice

    My yoga practice really deepened and developed when I started to practice at home by myself.  When you give yourself the opportunity to practice alone with only your inner guidance leading your movement (no online classes or DVDs!), it can open up a new opportunity for healing.  There is much value in practicing… Read more »

How to Make a Glitter Jar

What you need:  Container, water, glitter &/or glitter glue, food coloring (Optional: dish soap, glycerin)  (And bring kids of all ages – this is a favorite for sure)! Why to use:  A fun way to help kids focus.  Also a great way to teach children how important it is to notice how they are feelling.  This… Read more »

Help Your Child Find Their Own Strengths (I Am So Strong – A Meditation for Kids)

This is a powerful form of meditation that can help kids learn to focus rather easily.  There are various ways that you could fit this into a fun yoga class or add to a theme within a sequence of poses but I’d like to begin by making it as simple as possible. For me, I find that the best atribute… Read more »

10 Easy and Fun Ideas to Help Your Kids Relax!

Summer is here everybody and I have 2 questions for you.   1.  Who is ready to run all day and night to keep up with the kids?    2.  And who is ready to become a little wiser in helping them learn how to wind down and relax?   I am fully inspired to write… Read more »

Creating a Better World for Our Children – Teacher Reflection: Vanessa CL Weiner

Vanessa’s first experience with yoga was a gift certificate from her husband for classes together in 2002. What she didn’t know is that it would bring her back to the centered feeling she had during her childhood as a gymnast when her dad taught her to meditate. A new mom when she and her husband… Read more »

Yoga & Mindfulness for Kids – What 10 Years of Research Reveals

The efficacy of yoga and other mindfulness practices are supported by thousands of years of tradition. Now, science is confirming the benefits for kids, too. (exceprt from Little Flower Yoga for Kids) Yoga and other mindfulness practices have been the subject of an increasing amount of research as they have become more popular in the… Read more »

A Counselor’s Thoughts, Ending On a High Note

Throughout the country, as the warm weather settles in, schools are beginning to wrap up their academic year.  Excitedly, we as teachers welcome the final months of the school year and our children are equally as enthusiastic, becoming increasingly antsy in their seats as they await the final day of class.  Whether your child loves… Read more »

Six Simple Ways to Help Your Child Increase Focus Today: Tools from a Yoga and Mindfulness Practice

We often ask our children to pay attention. Pay attention to your school work, pay attention to your father, pay attention to your teacher. But we don’t always have a clear idea of what we are actually asking of them. When we ask our children to pay attention, what we really mean is something along… Read more »

Yoga Nidra – Practice Surrender for Children and Adults

Yoga nidra is an ancient but little-known yogic practice that's becoming increasingly popular as both a form of meditation and a mind-body therapy. It is a systematic form of guided relaxation and unique combination of alert awareness and deep relaxation. The literal translation of nidra is sleep. However, yoga nidra is a dynamic state, not the… Read more »

Joyful Commitment to the Local and the Global: An Interview with Karen Gilmour

We are so proud to spotlight Little Flower Yoga Teacher Karen Gilmour!  Karen is the director of Alluem Kids, an ever-growing yoga program for kids, teens and families located in Alluem Yoga in Cranford, NJ. Upon discovering yoga in 2004, Karen watched her true-self shine through every time she stepped on her mat and grew passionate about… Read more »

A Counselor’s Thoughts: Let’s Get Moving

As a former school counselor, LFY teacher Jess Belanger has a unique perspective to share with us. She will be contributing a monthly article to our conversation, offering information to help parents and teacher support their kids.  To learn more about Jess and all of our LFY teachers click here:  http://littlefloweryoga.com/about —– Throughout the school year, we have… Read more »

In the Spotlight: The School Yoga Project – Montebello Road Elementary School

The School Yoga Project, a program of Little Flower Yoga, is honored to work with some incredible schools. Each month we will be sharing the story of a school with you, so that we can explore the wide range of options for integrating yoga and mindfulness into your learning community, and celebrate the impact on… Read more »

3 Things I Learned From The Whole Brain Child

As a yoga teacher, a mom and a person that is around children a great deal I found The Whole Brain Child by Dr. Daniel Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PH.D. incredibly helpful on so many levels. Upon finishing the book I had two immediate thoughts: Every mom and dad should get this handed… Read more »

Tree Pose Exploration

Tree Pose Exploration Tree pose is among the most recognizable of yoga poses for a good reason. It is a balancing pose that is both challenging and achievable, and once you’ve practiced a bit the feeling of steadily grounding down and reaching up at the same time is very satisfying. Tree pose is also the perfect place to… Read more »

How to Use Books in Kids Yoga Classes

Reading meaningful and engaging books can really add to a child's experience of yoga and mindfulness. When we chose relevant books for our kids, we provide opportunities to connect more to themselves and the world around them by  seeing themselves in the characters that they are reading about.  When selecting your book, try to imagine… Read more »

A Counselor’s Thoughts: Autism Awareness

As a former school counselor, LFY teacher Jess Belanger has a unique perspective to share with us. She will be contributing a monthly article to our conversation, offering information to help parents and teacher support their kids. Click Here to learn more about Jess and all of our LFY teachers. At long last, the sun is… Read more »

A Counselor’s Thoughts: Reaching Every Student

As a former school counselor, LFY teacher Jess Belanger has a unique perspective to share with us. She will be contributing a monthly article to our conversation, offering information to help parents and teacher support their kids. Click Here to learn more about Jess and all of our LFY teachers. In our adult lives, it is… Read more »

Expanding Energy Meditation

This meditation is a favorite for many children. When you are really focusing in on the practice, it is an exciting way to feel the energy that makes up the entire natural world (including us!) right in our hands. This activity offers such a concrete way to know if your mind is wandering. As soon as you take… Read more »

A Counselor’s Thoughts: Snowed In? No Problem

As a former school counselor, LFY teacher Jess Belanger has a unique perspective to share with us. She will be contributing a monthly article to our conversation, offering information to help parents and teacher support their kids. Click Here to learn more about Jess and all of our LFY teachers. If you live anywhere in the… Read more »

A Counselor’s Thoughts: New Year, New You

As a former school counselor, LFY teacher Jess Belanger has a unique perspective to share with us. She will be contributing a monthly article to our conversation, offering information to help parents and teacher support their kids. Click Here to learn more about Jess and all of our LFY teachers. Happy New Year, All!  2013 has… Read more »

Kids Reading Recommendation: The Museum

Check out this fantastic book by LFY teacher Susan Verde! It is an amazing exploration of feelings experienced by a child visiting a museum. My daugther, Isabelle, loves it and she's only 15 months old. I think older children would appreciate it for entirely different reasons.  The Museum, by Susan Verde

Cultivating the Social and Emotional Competencies of Educators, A Report from The Garrison Institute

A couple of weeks ago I had the tremendous good fortune to spend my time with about 90 educators of educators. This inspiring community is made up of people who care deeply about our children, and also care deeply about our teachers. They came together at the Garrison Institute to share, explore, question, and create… Read more »

A Counselors Thoughts: Children and Holiday Stress

As a former school counselor, LFY teacher Jess Belanger has a unique perspective to share with us. She will be contributing a monthly article to our conversation, offering information to help parents and teacher support their kids. Click Here to learn more about Jess and all of our LFY teachers. Throughout the school year, kids… Read more »

Yoga for Common Childhood Challenges

Childhood today is filled with challenges, stressors and obstacles that can be overwhelming for parents and children alike. We want to support our kids and keep them safe and healthy, but without overprotecting, over-medicating or stigmatizing them. Yoga offers families an effective tool to address many of the most difficult concerns during the school age… Read more »

Kids Reading Recommendation (and great gift!): Visiting Feelings

This gorgeous book is a wonderful holiday gift for the children in your life. I am considering buying an extra copy, so I can cut it apart and frame the pages in my daughters room!  Author Lauren Rubenstein is an amazing part of the Yoga Service community, and is donating book proceeds to Go Give… Read more »

Heart and Belly Breathing

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO AUDIO GUIDE

Reading Recommendation: Learning to Breathe

Reading Recommendation: Learning to Breathe, Patricia C. Broderick I had the good fortune this weekend of spending some time with author and creator of the Learning to Breathe program, Patricia Broderick, at the Garrison Institute's Mindfulness in Education: Cultivating the Social and Emotional Competencies of Educators Symposium. Patricia's work is thoughtful and her mindulness program for adolescents… Read more »

A Counselor’s Thoughts: Yoga and Academic Success

As a former school counselor, LFY teacher Jess Belanger has a unique perspective to share with us. She will be contributing a monthly article to our conversation, offering information to help parents and teacher support their kids. Click Here to learn more about Jess and all of our LFY teachers. It's Monday night.  You check… Read more »

Resource Recommendation: Yoga Skills for Kids and Teens DVD

Check out this amazing resource from our friends at Shanti Generation! Partner yoga for teens builds healthy relationship and communication skills, and fosters a strong sense of community in your classes. Abby Wills is a wonderful teachers, and we are thrilled that this dvd is out there in the world. It includes ten 5 minute… Read more »

I’m Full of Love

This children’s meditation is a variation on a traditional kundalini yoga meditation. It is an active meditation that reinforces your child’s capacity for kindness. It is accessible and engaging for children who have trouble keeping their body still, and for many children this becomes one of their most relied-upon tools in everyday life. You can… Read more »

Recommended Reading: Brainstorm

I just pre-ordered my copy of Dan Siegel's newest book, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain. Pre-ordering the book gives you access to a brainstorm video, and of course insures that you get it asap! Dan's work has had a tremendous impact on the work of LFY, and I can't wait to… Read more »

Our Book!

We are so thrilled to introduce LFY Founder Jennifer Cohen Harper's new book: Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance     Huge thanks to New Harbinger Publications, and to Dan Siegel, author of The Whole Brain Child (and several other fantastic books)… Read more »

Back to Basics Reading Recommendation

As we all get back into the swing of the school year, it seems like a good time to brush up on the fundamentals. This year we have added a fantastic new resource to our required reading list of our Children's Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Training course. 30 Essential Yoga Poses, by Judith Lasater, is… Read more »

Single Pointed Focus Meditation

A very simple but effective type of meditation is the practice of fixing your gaze on one steady object for a set period of time. You may have heard of an adult practice of fixing one’s gaze on a candle flame. With children we get more creative to find safer variations of the practice. 1.… Read more »

A Cooling Practice: Seethali Breath

As we make our way into the hottest time of year, Seethali Breath is a great practice to try at home with your kids. This is a cooling breathing practice that children tend to love. It is useful to practice when the weather is hot, but also when the emotions are heated. Stick your tongue… Read more »

Flower Pose: Welcome Spring!

Welcome the first day of spring with Flower Pose! A seated balance that is very accessible. It is both grounding and uplifting, bringing balance to your physical body and to your emotions. This is one of many activities that will be included in our upcoming book: Little Flower Yoga for Kids, being released this summer… Read more »

Valentine’s Day Loving Kindness Practice

Happy Valentines Day! We hope that you are enjoying a day filled with love for your family, your friends, your children, and yourself! Here is a child friendly version of a loving kindness meditation practice that you can share with your students or your own child today. This is one of many activities that will… Read more »

Contemplative Education Database

We are so happy to be a part of the Garrison Institute's newly launched, free, publically accessible database of contemplative teaching and learning programs. Users can search the database according to program characteristics such as location, contemplative approach, and target audience. For example, a teacher in New Jersey could use the database to search for… Read more »

Back to School Practice: Mindful Listening

This mindful listening practice asks your students to explore what they can hear around them in an intentional way. Our hearing is so sensitive. We don’t have any way to block out sound the way we can close our eyes to reduce what we see. All of the sounds around us are competing for our… Read more »

Teacher Reflections: On Gratitude and Teen Girls

Teacher Reflections: Mary Gillen Blog posts from our Little Flower Family I’ve been teaching yoga to pregnant teens at a youth correctional facility in the NY since May. Each week I drive white-knuckled, fighting 18-wheelers for a lane, to what seems like the farthest corner of the city. I pass small houses and corporate compounds,… Read more »

Natural Elements: Connect, Move & Relax

This activity, inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh's pebble meditation, connects students to aspects of nature, and the different kinds of strength that make up the whole. In this Little Flower Yoga version of a pebble meditation practice, we incorporate movement, drawing and journaling, along with the a mindfulness practice, to create a complete experience for… Read more »

Teacher Reflections: Back to School

Teacher Reflections: Salvador Martinez Blog Posts from our Little Flower Family Oh, yes! It’s time to store the bathing suit, shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops, and bring forward the layers.  Time to switch the summer beverage of lemonade to perhaps to maybe a hot chocolate. It’s fall and the kids are back in school! That… Read more »

Falling Leaves: A Relax Activity

This is a great relaxation exercise to try any time you feel tired, stressed, angry or frustrated. It is also very helpful if you can’t fall asleep. Begin with a gentle warm up, and then start your relaxation with tree pose. Stand tall, find a still point to focus on, and imagine your feet rooting… Read more »

Back to Back Breathing: A Partner Breathe Activity

This is a simple activity that many students (adults and kids alike!) get into and don’t want to get out of. It is a safe and comfortable way of offering loving contact and invites partners to expand their awareness outside of their own bodies. Children often say they feel calmer and more comfortable in this… Read more »

The Five Elements of a Little Flower Yoga Class

Often we are asked what our children's yoga classes actually look like. What are we teaching? Are we just practicing movement? Where does the mindfulness come in? Do kids actually calm down? Below is an overview of the five elements that we consider essential aspects of any child's yoga experience. Activities that explore these five elements… Read more »

Crossing the Line: A Connecting Activity

Crossing the Line is a group activity that has a very strong impact on both children and adults. It is a quiet, meaningful experience of recognizing our similarities, and is a great way to reinforce a sense of community within your class. We use it most often with teens. Stress and anxiety are often caused… Read more »

Shining a Light on Domestic Violence: LFY Founder on WFUV Radio’s Cityscape Program

Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It can happen to anyone – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, orientation or socio-economic status. This week on Cityscape the subject is explored in a wide variety of communities. Little Flower Yoga Founder Jennifer Cohen Harper participates in the conversation, discussing the use of yoga in women and children survivors.… Read more »

Earth Day Mindfulness Practice: Exchanging The Breath

Exchanging the breath is a beautiful meditative breathing practice that encourages people to mindfully consider their connection with each and every person and living thing on our earth. It is deeply calming and healing. 1. Find a comfortable seat or other position. Take a few moments to relax your body and make sure that nothing… Read more »

Loving Guidelines for Showing a Child All That is Possible: An Elephant Journal Article

As we come to the end of Autism awareness month, I am very aware of all the information and advice that has been swirling around the children’s yoga world talking about how to support students on the spectrum. There has been some really wonderful sharing happening, but I want to take a moment to remind… Read more »

Movement Activity: Seed to Forest of Trees

This simple activity is a great way to welcoming in the Spring with your children! Tree pose connects you deeply to the earth, sharpens your focus, strengthens your legs and builds balance in your whole body. 1. Start off in seed, or child’s pose, sitting on your knees, folding over them from the hips and… Read more »

International Journal of Yoga Therapy: Teaching Yoga in Urban Elementary Schools

Teaching Yoga to children is a fulfilling but challenging journey, particularly in poverty-stricken urban school districts. The physical, mental, and emotional impact of poverty on children has serious implications for their academic achievement. Introducing Yoga as part of their regular school experience shows tremendous potential for helping students navigate challenges that interfere with learning. This… Read more »

Yoga Service Council

Little Flower Yoga is one of the founding members of The Yoga Service Council, an organization dedicated to using the tools of yoga to foster joy, resilience, and well being in every person regardless of circumstance so that all communities can thrive. Our mission is to support individuals and organizations to best serve and empower… Read more »

The Home for Little Wanderers

The Home for Little Wanderers is a Boston based organization dedicated to ensuring the healthy behavioral, emotional, social and educational development and physical well-being of children and families living in at-risk circumstances. In 2010 The Home invited LFY to Boston to train a group of staff members in yoga and mindfulness skills, and launched a… Read more »

Sanctuary for Families

Sanctuary for Families is a vital organization that provides shelter and support to victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking. Women and children who have suffered abuse have often had their spirit battered along with their bodies, and rebuilding their sense of trust, self-worth and capacity for joy is a crucial component of their recovery.… Read more »

LFY on “Here Women Talk” Radio.

The Topic: Who owns Yoga's Soul? as written about in The New York Times. Co-hosts Jessica Durivage and Diane Ferraro, both with extensive backgrounds in yoga, wellness and holistic health, welcome special guests Sheetal Shah of the Hindu American Foundation (“HAF”) and Jennifer Cohen Harper of Little Flower Yoga. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN CLICK HERE… Read more »

Music for Yoga

Little Flower Yoga has partnered with amazing singer and songwriter Celia Rose to develop our new collection of Children's Yoga Music! Celia is a truly wonderful spirit, who has been teaching socially minded songwriting workshops to children throughout the world as an ambassador for peace. She has worked with children in Africa, Haiti, Israel, France… Read more »

Read More Articles