Monday, April 13, 2015

In Rhythms Yoga: Family Yoga

Yoga is an experience that can be shared with the family for fun, exercise and meaningful connection. Yoga was traditionally done as a sole endeavor, a student and a teacher. Yoga is progressing with the changing times. Many variations and styles have emerged. Laughing yoga, acro-yoga, yoga-pilates, yoga-with cycling, and doga, dog yoga, are some styles to name a few.

Yoga for kids has become popular as well as family yoga. I am fortunate to be a yoga teacher that teaches families, kids and adults, through the ancient tradition. Sometimes, I get to teach all of the above at the very same time! Teaching family yoga is a very unique and powerful experience. Practicing yoga with kids and families is a bit different than traditional class where silence in class is revered and expected. There are times when the students are asked to be quiet,  but often, I want to hear their feedback and input. This allows me to better tailor my themes and goals in class and better teach to this unique combination of students.

It is very rewarding to hear what students learn from class, the “take-away moments.” They share that learning the breathing techniques are helpful in learning to relax when they are experiencing stress and anxiety with friends, family and in school, as well as relaxing in preparation for bedtime. Moms have walked into class and made requests like, “can we work on kindness today, my kids have forgotten what it means to be kind” or “can we focus on our low-back today, I am sore from working out with my trainer or from moving boxes at home.”

My goal is to provide something for everyone in class. Some really enjoy learning yoga philosophy, the teachings that encourage the practice of the deeper, more “soulful” concepts, rather than the physical postures themselves, the asanas. These concepts encourage more balance and harmony in day-to-day existence. For example, practicing ahimsa, or non-violence, and working to bring the concept of sthira sukham asanam, a balance of effort and ease, in everything that they do, have meaningful impact.

Each class, the students are invited to set an intention, or what is their goal of class? When I ask them if they’d like to share their intentions, they often say: experience more peace, let go of worry, live simply, be present, be kind to myself, self-love, etc...

Kids will often pick up on themes and philosophy quickly, and they are excited to teach their friends and family what they’ve learned. I hear stories when students have encouraged their parents when stuck in bad traffic, “Mom, use your yoga breath!” While parents in class may benefit from the physical workout and building physical and mental flexibility and strength. Practicing the act of gratefulness, being present, and letting-go of negative self-dialogue are ideas that hit-home for busy parents. We can all benefit from the idea of slowing down, and “weeding” our mental gardens by letting-go of “seeds” and “weeds” that do not serve us on our journey.

I am honored to see the fruits of my labor and love come to fruition when I see families leaving the studio filled with a feeling of peacefulness and feeling more at ease. It is heartwarming as well as reaffirming, to witness moms, dads, grandparents and kids holding hands or crossing legs, in a subtle form of hug, while resting in their final posture, savasana, or nothing-doll at the end-of-class.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga and breathing techniques.
Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Christi Iacono, 500 hr. cert. yoga instructor and owner of In Rhythms Yoga

Christi Iacono is a 500 hour certified yoga instructor, kids yoga instructor, and owner of In Rhythms Yoga. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mount Streets. She guides adults, kids and families in the ancient tradition of yoga. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her daily personal practice. She is passionate about sharing her experience, inspiration, and dedication with her students. She is committed to being a life-long student and teacher of the practice. Christi carefully works with each student in order to find the variation that best serves their body. Work to find the balance of effort and ease in every posture, “sthira sukham asanam.” Yoga is accessible to all.

IRY offers regularly scheduled vinyasa and yin-based classes on, Sat., Sun. (Yin-Yoga) and Wed. mornings as well as Tues. and Thurs. evening classes.

*In Rhythms Yoga supports the fundraiser, “Yoga for Hope”.
Donation Based classes are scheduled for: Thursday, April 30th, 5-6:15 pm, 875 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., S.D., and Tuesday, May 5th, 5-6 pm, In Rhythms Yoga, Clairemont, S.D.

*Christi teaches family and kids yoga. Contact her for more info. on kids and family yoga.

*Christi uses Young Living Oils at the studio to enhance yoga class, meditation and in her home.  Visit to learn more.
*Go to to see the full yoga schedule, instructors and for private lessons.

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