A few weeks ago I spoke to an incredible woman who, somewhat unexpectedly, blew me away with her positivity, passion and drive. Her name is Fi Munro, and the reason for our conversation was so that I could bring you details of the brilliant children’s Yoga classes she’s about start in Errol and Perth for 3-8 year olds.
At the very end of our chat Fi shared a little of her personal story with me and over the next few days as I re-told the story I began to feel I was the last to know; many of my friends already follow her Facebook page ‘Fi Munro: Love, Light & Mermaid Tails’ which traces her battle with stage four ovarian cancer which, thankfully, she is currently in remission from.
Even though the last year of Fi’s life has been lived in the shadow of a horrible disease, she managed to complete her yoga teacher training, and has gone on to set up ‘Bliss - Yoga', specialising in children’s yoga. I can’t help but imagine all the parents spitting out their mouthful of tea at the thought of this poor woman attempting to ‘teach’ a class of rowdy five year olds to meditate. Scoff you may, but this teacher has a few tricks up her sleeve…
Prior to training as a yoga instructor she completed a PhD in children’s outdoor play and learning, for which her award winning work in this area is internationally recognised (go on, Google her, it’s pretty impressive!). Combined with her experience as a board member for Play Scotland, it explains how she’s already managed to reduce said group of give year olds to putty, much to the amazement of every other adult in the building. In recent weeks Fi’s been leading yoga sessions in forward thinking nurseries and primary schools and is now ready to take bookings for her first blocks of classes in both Errol and Perth!
The classes start with moves to burn off any excess energy before building to calming ones with story-led ‘postures’. The vast majority of postures in yoga are named after animals so it makes perfect sense to weave these into tales to capture the imagination. The result is a fun class where kids are engaged, and hanging on Fi’s every word. Classes are split into two age groups (3-5yrs/5-8yrs), meaning that the content is always an age appropriate introduction to yoga, breathing and meditation.
Perth classes take place in a beautiful yoga studio located in King James VI Business Centre (a two minute drive from Tesco on Edinburgh Road, making it the perfect place to drop off your little one(s) while you nip to the shops!). There’s also comfy sofas outside the studio if you’d prefer to wait there.
3-5yrs 3.45-4.15pm £4 / 5-8yrs 4.30-5.15pm £4
The eight week block will run from 26th April for Perth classes, and 24th April for Errol classes (held at Errol Community Centre), and costs £38 for 3-5 year olds, and £42 for 5-8 year olds.
You don’t need any fancy gear (yoga mats are provided) and you can book taster sessions and blocks online; it's quick, easy and secure!
Obviously yoga is great exercise but Fi’s keen that the classes provide a way for kids to develop a positive body image, as well as increase their confidence. The structure of the classes helps to build attention spans and simple exercises like belly breathing are well proven in aiding concentration, anxiety and stress. The knock on effects of all that goodness is improved strength, flexibility, stronger immune systems and even better sleep patterns-hurrah!
In my book anything which helps to drag kids away from electronics to explore their own physical abilities, be part of a healthy non-competitive activity and learn some tools which might help them manage stress is a winner. This is about getting back to basics; children discovering a connection between their minds and bodies which will stay with them forever. There’s no gimmicks, no frills, but there is a certificate at the end…and what kid doesn’t love a certificate?!