New York Family: Strike a Pose

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Strike A Pose

From Parent and child classes to glow-in-the-dark "gloga"-Karma Kids Yoga now offers its unique mix of flexibility, focus and fun at a new studio catered to adults

By Stephanie Wolf

Stepping into the Magical studio of Karma Kids Yoga transports city kiddies into a whimsical yogi world of bright décor and floating butterflies. From special glow-in-the-dark mats to spongy green floors, straight down to the mini drinking cups- everything about this playful space is child-friendly. And as Manhattan's only studio 100% devoted to kids, Karma Kids Yoga is an extraordinary place for little ones to experience fun and flexibility. Not to mention, focus.

On a recent winter day, about two dozens little ones, from babes to tots, are fidgeting (and oh-so excited) while waiting for Story Time Yoga-a free half-hour class offered twice a week-to begin. Owner and Founder Shari Vilchez-Blatt kicks things off with a sing-a-long song. "Rub your hands, sit up tall, take a deep breath...OM!" The kids are engaged and animated as Vilchez-Blatt brings them along for a yoga adventure. Her passion for the practice and teaching it to children is evident in every pose and activity she leads.

As Vilchez-Blatt can attest, children gain a lot from practicing sun salutations and downward-facing dog. But before every class, she explains to parents that their child may not pay attention every second of the program. Kids don't necessarily have the attention spans to stay engaged for a full class and will often become distracted. But Vilchez-Blatt insists, "They are taking in a lot more than you realize? They participate in their own way." So while moms and dads shouldn't expect a quiet, serene yogi experience at Karma Kids, Vilchez-Blatt maintains that they will still gain the benefits of yoga. "It's kids yoga so we play," she says. "We make it really fun."

Surprisingly, it wasn't always "om"s and "namaste"s for Long Island native Vilchez-Blatt. Prior to opening Karma Kids, she spent 11 years in advertising, working for companies such as Hasbro, Binney and Smith?-a division of Crayola-Heineken and several smaller firms. When she got laid off unexpectedly, she decided to take a summer vacation from the breakneck pace of the advertising world and spent her time reading, resting and getting back into her yoga practice.

To read the full New York Family article click here.

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