HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – A yoga instructor from Huber Heights is helping kids reduce stress and anxiety through stretching and movement during what has been a difficult year and a half.
Kristi Kirinch previously taught early childhood education. She has become certified in children’s yoga after seeing a need for children to deal with their feelings and find peace.
âWhat they learned is that yoga is about more than posing,â says Kristi.
She taught at New Heights Wellness Center on Taylorsville Road throughout the pandemic to help children ages 4 to 12 tap into their body and mind.
âWhen nothing else was happening, at least they had it. Honestly, it was a ray of hope for all of us. It gave me something to come up with, âsays Kristi.
Over the past two years, his classes have brought in other people.
âI thought it sounded fun so we decided to give it a try and really liked it,â says 11-year-old Aiden Thompson.
âI just love the way you can be yourself, do yoga, breathe and everything,â says Tea Vinevicius, 10.
âShe (Tea) introduced me and she wanted me to start coming,â says Claire Guiselin, an 11-year-old friend of Tea.
Kristi uses music and things like scarves and art to get kids connected.
âMiss Kristi sets up little handcrafted things that we do and we both make and sometimes we try to make models together,â says Aiden.
âWe have a program called ‘Masterpieces on the Mats’ and that was very important during COVID because the kids were engaging in yoga and then doing an art project on their mat,â Kristi describes.
She says that during a difficult year, yoga was a way for children to disconnect and relax.
âIt relieves you,â says five-year-old Emma Royer.
The lessons also provided a break for parents.
âAt first, Claire’s mother and I walked around waiting for the girls. It was therefore very beneficial for mothers and daughters, âexplains Ieva Maksvytiene, Tea’s mother. âIt’s an hour for yourself, which you know is a rare thing as a working mom. “
The skills these young yogis learn extend beyond the studio.
âOne of them told me that when he prepares for a test he is now practicing some of his deep breathing,â says Kristi. âI asked another six-year-old to tell me that when she felt angry, she took a deep breath. “
âIt slows you down a bit. So you know that you are careful and that you are present, and I hope they take it to school or whenever they go, âsays Ieva.
At the very least, yoga classes serve as a reminder to breathe.
Kristi is also certified in adult yoga.
To find out more or register your children for classes, click on here.