Family who stretches together stays strong, healthy together: Family yoga offered in area

April 18, 2013|By AMY DULEBOHN |
  • Carlina Weller helps her daughter, Sydnie, with yoga as her son, Greyson, holds a pose family yoga class.
Ric Dugan /

When Tricia Murray opened her yoga studio earlier this year in downtown Greencastle, Pa., she wanted to offer a variety of classes to her clientele. The mother of two said she had taken her kids to family yoga classes and thought she would give the class a try at her rookie business.

Murray, a registered yoga teacher and owner of Balance Yoga and Wellness Studio, began offering the class in February. She has expanded to teach two classes each Saturday, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

"I thought it was a great idea for kids to keep them active and engaged in class. And the kids and parents can do it at home, too," she said. 

The class keeps children well engaged for the entire 45 minutes, including through the use of various poses and stretches. These are individual stretches, and partner stretches with Mom or Dad, playing games and listening to a story.

The theme for this month is nature, in honor of Earth Day, which falls on Monday, April 22. Murray and the families talk about how important it is to protect the outdoors. Then they do activities about things found in nature, including taking lion's breaths, bees breaths and doing star jumps. The poses reflect this as well, with the snake, butterfly and caterpillar poses.

Murray said the core age group for the class is ages 3 to 8, but can vary based on the child's attention span.

"Sometimes kids younger than 4 can lose interest," she said, but added that all kids and siblings of those who attend regularly are welcome.

Murray said yoga can be a great way for kids who aren't particularly athletic or don't do well with organized sports to stay physically fit.

"It's low key and more of a free play," she said. "This is a way to encourage motion and movement, and it doesn't have a competitive edge to it."

In addition, Murray said that yoga is good for the psyche, as participants learn to move their bodies in healthy and healing ways.

"Yoga can be so healing and transformative. It can be just exercise or it can be so much more," she said. "I hope that this class can help kids learn how to deal with emotional stuff, as well."

Engaging in the activity, too, can help parents and children bond. "I hope parents can use this as an hour of special time together (with their children)," she said.

Emily Geeza of Mercersburg, Pa., who came to a recent class with her husband, Matt, and their daughter, Astrid, 3, said the family comes as often as they are able. And, she said, Astrid loves the class.

"She looks forward to it," Geeza said. 

Geeza is an instructor at Balance, and her husband is an endurance athlete. She said they are an outdoorsy family, and Astrid's activity at home is more informal, but she loves to play outdoors.

Geeza said she would recommend yoga to anyone.

"Yoga is something I'm really passionate about. Family yoga is really fun. It is available to people of all ages and activity levels. There are no limits. Yoga is a great activity for everybody. It is a great way to learn about your body and how your body works," she said. 

As for the future, Murray is taking things as they come at Balance. "I hope that (the class) stays full and busy, and I can add more classes for youth and teens," she said. 

If you go ...       

What: Family yoga

When: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays

Where: Balance Yoga and Wellness Studio, 11 N. Carlisle St., Greencastle, Pa.

Cost: $5 per person; pass packages are available for purchase

Contact: Call 717-643-0390; or email

More: Registration is not required. More information and class schedules are available at www.balance-studio-co; or on Facebook

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