Little Cubs Yoga was set up in November 2019. Having spent over a decade as a Pilates Instructor, I was able to bring my passion for exercise and helping children, together. When my fourth child was born with Down Syndrome, I wanted to offer something that would include all children from ages 3 – 10 years so I set about becoming a children’s yoga teacher. It was a great success but something was lacking, I didn’t feel that it differed enough from another children’s yoga class; I felt like I could do more for the children with special needs and enhance the lives of the children who didn’t. As any parent who has a child a child with delayed speech will know, Lámh signing is used as a means of expressing yourself and communicating. We all know how children love to learn, how children want to be included and how important it is to know that we are not all the same (and how boring the world would be if we were). This is when I decided to incorporate some Lamh singing into the classes. Each week I taught all the children a new sign like, “Hello”, and “Friend” etc.. We would speak about how cool it would be to show a friend, family member what you learnt and even better to show your class what you have learnt. There is usually someone in the class who will use Lámh and you will always come across someone in everyday life who does. We call this part of teaching ‘Mindfulness’, being aware of your surroundings, those around you and being present in the here and now. It has honestly been a heart warming experience to see how much children love to learn.
With the success of Little Cubs Yoga I was soon asked if I would be interested in visiting a club for adults with additional needs. I wasn’t quite sure how this would go as I had designed my classes for children. Would they think that my class was to childish? Is it to childish? Would the name “Little Cubs Yoga” make it sound to childish? Well the answer to each question is YES. So, I sat down with my pen and paper and tried to think how I could incorporate a program to suit adults too while still sticking to my format of Yoga, Stories, Singing and games.
Turns out it was quite easy, I changed the title to “Yoga”, kept the stories and games, thought Lámh and relaxation techniques and it was a great success so much so that I visit the club each month and always receive the biggest of welcomes.
Next, I decided I wanted to offer schools, clubs, healthcare facilities etc an opportunity to use my services. I made many videos posing Yoga poses and explaining their benefits. Telling Yoga stores using Lámh signs and including yoga poses. Singing little songs with Lámh and poses. Teaching different breathing techniques and a whole lot more, posting on all my social media accounts. The interest was fantastic but posting on social media wasn’t enough, it wasn’t accessible to everyone and so Little Cubs Yoga website was born.
I hope Little Cubs Yoga brings lots of joy to lots of children and adults of all abilities. Yoga isn’t just about poses, it is about fun, learning, laughing, accepting and knowing that whatever your ability you are always welcome. It’s not what you can do, it’s the taking part that counts.
– Sinead Foley