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Born Yoga Is Where the Youngest Yogis Come to Life

By Pamela Sosnowski

Despite the fact that many school-aged kids face daily stresses such as homework and bullying, most American yoga studios don't offer child-specific classes and programs. That realization, plus a personal history of her own childhood challenges, prompted Ashley Goldberg to open Born Yoga, a Birmingham-based yoga studio devoted to teaching the ancient practice to all ages, with an emphasis on the youngest yogis.

"Yoga has multiple benefits for physical and mental health, including managing stress," Goldberg said. "It may not seem like it, but kids can carry stress, too. This practice teaches them breathing techniques to help with stress and anxiety that they can take off the mat with them when they leave and integrate it into school work and social experiences."

At Goldberg's studio, children and teens can try out classes in a range of yoga styles that teach breath and mind control and pose holding. Aerial yoga is a studio favorite, where suspended fabric hammocks take the stress off joints and allow students to literally soar in the air perform and build their self-confidence. There are even parent/child yoga classes for babies and toddlers, which are part of the family yoga group of classes. Expectant moms and those wishing to conceive can take the prenatal yoga class, which features modified poses for pregnancy.

Born Yoga's environment is a warm and welcoming one, where kids of all fitness abilities are free to be themselves without fear of judgment. Goldberg and her team of highly experienced instructors incorporate singing, dancing, games, and more to make the classes engaging and fun. Every class delivers a multitude of physical as well as emotional benefits.

"Kids who are active will have stronger muscles and bones, be less likely to become overweight, decrease their risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and have a better overall outlook on life," Goldberg said. "It also detaches (them) from electronic devices and makes them feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group."

Goldberg herself is a childhood cancer survivor who took her first yoga class in 2008. After having surgery as a child she developed a sudden self awareness and a life perspective that she says differentiated her from her peers. She earned a masters degree in clinical psychology with a focus on child development and taught preschool for a few years (where she incorporated yoga poses) before opening Born Yoga in 2015.

In addition to its regular classes, Born Yoga hosts yoga camps during school vacations that last from one to five days. It's also a popular destination for yoga birthday parties, girl scout outings, baby showers, and other private parties. Several packages are available depending on the number of guests and types of activities planned. Several class memberships are available; right now the studio is offering a five-class new student package for $50, and the drop-in class fee ranges from $15 to $25.

Goldberg considers her studio more than just a brick-and-mortor space; it's a studio that feels like home for so many of her students, many of who proudly wear tops that proclaim, "I'm a Born Yogi."

"Overall, I achieved something that is greater than just a business," Goldberg stated. "Born Yoga is a community where kindness is the norm and limitations don't get in the way of reaching your potential."

For more, visit bornyogastudio.com.

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About The Author

Pamela Sosnowski is a freelance writer, social media manager, contributor for REBEAT...

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