Studio offers youngsters a place to learn yoga
From practicing to teaching, Maria Kokinasidis has been part of the yoga community for nearly 20 years. In May, she decided to take her passion one step further and opened up her own studio.
Located in the heart of Cote St. Luc, Yoga Bear offers a broad range of classes and workshops for yoga enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. When she noticed an increasing number of children and teens were dropping into the studio regularly, she decided to develop separate classes specifically for younger yogis. In Kids Yoga, instructors guide little ones between the ages of 3 to 7 through simple poses and engage them by incorporating books, music and puppets into the sequences.
Along with these classes, the studio also offers yoga academies for those 11 to 17, another for kids ages 5 to 10 and an all-girls academy for those between 5 and 10. These courses take place twice a week for five months and kids are guided through meditation, more complete sequences and work on their postures.
“When [children] come here and they are able to zone out and be in an environment where they can be completely relaxed, they’re tuning in with their bodies and with themselves,” Kokinasidis said.
Kokinasidis has certifications in several different branches of the practice including power yoga and yin yoga and has taught as a volunteer at centres for people with mental health issues, physical disabilities and at seniors’ residences. “Yoga should be for everyone, it’s medicine,” she said.
The studio also offers workshops where yoga is blended with other types of dance and movement like belly yoga or African dance. For expecting mothers and new moms, Yoga Bear also offers specialized classes. Massage sessions are also available.
For more information, call 514-508-2327 or visit yogabear.ca/en_US