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Kids yoga instructor wants some competition

There aren't many kids yoga instructors in the Triangle. Jennifer Bluestone hopes to change that.

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There aren't many kids yoga instructors in the Triangle. But one of the few, Jennifer Bluestone, is hoping to change that.

Bluestone is kids yoga program director at Evolve Yoga in Raleigh. Bluestone told me she's seen the benefits yoga has for kids. And she'd like more kids in the Triangle to have the chance to try it out.

"It just boosts your self esteem," she said. "You don't have to win the race and you don't have to be the fittest person in the room. I really think it's a gift for kids. I really would have loved it as a 12-year-old with braces and bad hair."

So Evolve will play host Aug. 26 to Aug. 29 to a four-day training session for people interested in teaching kids yoga. The workshop, which costs $850, will be led by YogaKids, a leading program for yoga for kids. Participants will earn a certificate of completion at the end of the program.

Before the four-day session, YogaKids will offer a three-hour workshop for those who are interested, but aren't sure if they want to commit to the full program (and $850 cost).

On July 11 and Aug. 8, a three-hour session will offer participants a taste of the four-day workshop. It's $79 per session. Another workshop on July 11 will focus on how to use YogaKids with teens. On Aug. 8, the focus is on teaching the program in the classroom.

Bluestone tells me it's best for participants to have at least a basic knowledge of yoga. She says the training could benefit school teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, dance teachers ... basically anyone who works with kids.

"My ultimate goal is to get yoga to as many kids as possible," she said.

For more information about the training programs, go to yogakids.com.

Evolve Yoga in Raleigh's Five Points offers yoga classes and camps mostly to grade schoolers, but also has had programs for preschoolers on its schedule as well. Bluestone hopes to begin offering classes for tweens and teens as well.

And the studio does have a few openings left in their summer camps for 8- to 11-year-olds the weeks of June 14 and Aug. 2. It includes yoga, along with art at The Painted Butterfly next door. Go to the studio's website for details.

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