For schoolteacher and mother Carolyn Lundie, yoga is more than just a calming form of physical exercise; it’s a means to become a more confident, self-aware and understanding individual. Lundie says it took practicing yoga to help her feel “more at ease and more at peace” with herself. She was eager to share that feeling with others around her, especially children and teens, so she started YogaButtons.
YogaButtons is a community space that brings children and families together through yoga. The studio values teaching kids the tools they need to relax while still having fun and exercising creativity, as well as providing a safe, comfortable environment to build self-confidence, community and friendships. I had the chance to talk with Lundie to learn more about her business and yoga in general.
YT: How can yoga affect your well-being?
CL: Yoga is a connection of moving and breathing, so any time you’re doing yoga, you’re practising breath work and getting closer to who you are and understanding yourself better.
YT: What are the benefits of starting yoga young?
CL: Traditionally, yoga is practised around the world from a very young age, while in Vancouver we have a very popular adult practice. I started YogaButtons because the earlier you start, the earlier you can develop positive self-awareness and self-esteem.
YT: What do you have to say to male teens who consider yoga a female activity?
CL: We have some awesome male teachers at YogaButtons. And you can wear whatever you want to yoga and be yourself! It develops strength, flexibility and coordination, and it helps with a lot of other sports you may be practising. Hockey players, for example, they do yoga to strengthen and stretch their muscles.
YT: Why do you feel it is important to implement more yoga in schools?
CL: Kids’ lives are very busy during the school day, and after school as well – there are a lot of activities that parents have kids involved in. They need to learn the tools to self-regulate and relax. It complements the other physical sports and gym activities within the school system as well. On an emotional wellness level, it helps [kids] when they’re dealing with stress and anxiety.
YT: How often should a teen practise yoga to gain its benefits?
CL: As often as possible, as often as feels good to them. When starting out, we encourage maybe once or twice a week, but we have some teenage girls that are coming three to four times a week. They like the connection to the other girls. You just have to listen to your body and respect your body and not push it too hard. I would recommend whatever feels good to the individual.
YT: What type of yoga would be most beneficial for teens and why?
CL: I would start with Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is like an introduction to a flow yoga, so you learn the animal and nature poses and that gives an overall wide range of what yoga is.
YT: How have you benefited from yoga?
CL: Well, it’s really built my self-confidence and self-awareness – I became a business owner probably because of understanding more about who I am. I’ve become physically strong and very flexible, but mostly it’s my connection as a teacher and as a mother and as a friend [that has benefited]. I feel more at ease with myself, more at peace with myself, and really just a sense of calmness and understanding of myself. >> YogaButtons offers classes for children, teens and adults. Visit yogabuttons.com for more info.