What is Yogi Tales?
This is a question that we have received more times than we can count and understandably so. What is Yogi Tales? And why would I bring my child to your classes as opposed to the many other kids yoga programs offered in New York City and beyond?
Well, the answer is simple:
Because we are different.
I know that sounds cliché, but I can’t think of a more appropriate way to describe our children’s programming. We have created a class that is equalparts music and equal parts yoga to not only entertain child and parent, but to educate them as well. Our goal is for children to want to come back again and again, not because their parents are making them, but because they truly love what happens every time they step on to the mats at Yogi Tales.
When I first heard Evan sing, I was simply in awe. Having worked in a preschool environment for over ten years, I had seen my fair share of musicians — some very talented. However, Evan was different. Obviously, he was a man which is unique in the early childhood setting—but it was his passion and love for singing to children that was so clearly apparent. He wasn’t doing this for a paycheck. He was singing because he LOVED it. And you could hear it in his voice and see it in his face. Add to the fact that he was an extremely talented musician with an amazing voice — it was very clear to me that I needed to work with him in some capacity.
And that is when Yogi Tales was born.
We knew each other on the surface as we were both working at the same place at the time and often had your typical small-talk conversations. But I remember walking up to him one day and asking if he was ever interested in joining forces and starting a live music kids yoga company. The nice guy that he is — Evan immediately smiled and said “yes,” but I don’t think he knew exactly what I was talking about at the time. Truth be told, I didn’t know. And I am still learning to this day.
I taught yoga in a storytelling-type format back home in Arizona before moving to the big city and wanted to bring that method back as I saw how much more enjoyable it was for young children. I found ways to create engaging stories which we acted out through yoga poses, but longed for a music counterpart.
And that is where Evan came into the equation.
I consider myself pretty talented in a variety of disciplines, but music and singing is the one art form that I positively cannot do well. It has taken me a while to come to peace with that notion because there is nothing I’d rather do that sit back with an acoustic guitar and sing my heart out without causing people to grimace in pain. But alas, this is the life that was chosen for me and I will continue to live vicariously through Evan’s musical talents.
After months of work, honest conversations, and play-testing, Evan and I began to see what Yogi Tales could become.
It is an experience.
It is exciting.
It is a time where child and parent can share, laugh, sing and dance together in a safe space.
It is where a 1-year-old child can confidently sit next to an 8-year-old and enjoy the class in similar… but also different ways.
It is where music helps to dictate the story and parents enjoy singing along as opposed to a majority of children’s music!
It is where yoga is taught in an imaginative format that instills confidence in the youngest of child.
So, what is Yogi Tales?
Well, now you know a little more — so come to our next class and experience it for yourself.
BY GRANT HENRY