How we came to be:
We began in a converted dining room!
Yogapeutics opened in January 2013. It was my side job to my full time work in occupational therapy and was located in a 240 square foot space which was once my family dining room! I sold out classes 4 months before they even began, so I knew there were a lot of kids that wanted movement and mindfulness in the way I was presenting it. Yogapeutics quickly outgrew the dining room space. I searched far and wide to find our current space on Brodie that offers an abundance of natural light and a covered porch for lingering and waiting outdoors. The latter is a nod to my home studio, which utilized the front porch as a reception space, and we found that both kids and parents loved it. (Being outside is calming to the nervous system.)
What was the inspiration behind starting Yogapeutics?
I was inspired to start Yogapeutics in the way many parents reinvent themselves after having children: by my daughters. I wanted to teach them and their peers what they need to know to succeed in today's world—which is to move their bodies often, find the joy and play in their journeys through life, and have a toolbox readily available to them when big feelings are overwhelming.
As an occupational therapist, I'm well versed on studies that demonstrate the benefits of movement and physical activity on both brain and body development. In today's world, kids do a lot of sitting - at desks for academic work and in front of screens - much more than any generation before them. Parents are less likely to let their kids ride their bikes on the streets or go unsupervised in the community because of heightened safety concerns, and recess in public schools is either minimized to a half-hour or removed for academic and punitive reasons. Despite the unintended societal message that children need to be still, the key to success is finding a way to move through modern life frequently and in various ways. Once I hung those hammocks in my dining room, I couldn't get the kids out, and that's when I knew Yogapeutics was the ultimate integrative tool for teaching how the brain works, increasing physical fitness and discovering mindfulness.
What types of classes does the studio offer?
We offer aerial yoga and mindfulness classes, camps, private sessions, and aerial yoga equipment for kids, tweens and teens. We use a fabric sling rigged from the ceiling called a "yoga hammock." We use these hammocks to practice yoga in the air, and it's so much fun! In our classes, we also combine neuroscience, mindfulness, and easy-to-use stress relief strategies that kids can take out of the hammock and into the world.
How does Yogapeutics differ from other kids fitness programs around town?
Yogapeutics is a comprehensive practice combining neuroscience, western therapeutic practices, and sensory processing with the wisdom and teachings of yoga and mindfulness. I’m a licensed Occupational Therapist with sensory processing expertise and a yoga teacher with training in both traditional hatha yoga and aerial yoga. You won't find anything else like us in the world. Yet. (We’re training others in this too!)
We keep our classes small (8-9 kids max), to allow for more one-on-one interaction with the instructor and to create an environment of low noise and sensory serenity. Classes are offered like college courses in that they are taken in semesters. This provides the students with consistency throughout training, ability to build upon prior knowledge and allows development of a supportive and connected community within each class.
Austin is the only place I could ever imagine launching Yogapeutics. It is my home, the city where my children were born, and a town not afraid of putting new twists on traditions. It was the perfect environment to introduce a new concept of exercise that incorporates mindfulness and balance. I wanted to give Austin and its children the best of my work first and foremost.
I hope to have the honor of working with your child in the studio! Register now to hold a hammock!