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Yoga Enthusiast Maria Pekurovskaya Urges Parents to Explore Benefits of Toddler Yoga

While yoga is often thought of as an activity for adults, Maria Pekurovskaya points out that it is beneficial for young children as well.
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    PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- For Maria Pekurovskaya, yoga is a way to relax, strengthen her body, and connect with her inner self. As the mother of two, she has found that yoga is not only beneficial for her well-being, but for her children as well. The trend of toddler yoga is one that is gaining popularity according to a recent article in The Huffington Post. More parents are participating with their toddlers and discovering the potential it holds.

It takes a certain kind of instructor to teach yoga to toddlers. They do not have the attention span or discipline of adults, so the class takes on a different feel. At Karma Kids Yoga in New York City, sessions are only about 45 minutes and involve talking, singing, dancing, and puppets. Ten years ago the studio opened offering only eight classes, but now it is up to more than 100 per week. The classes for children who are "strong walkers" up to age three are one of the most popular. The children are engaged by taking imaginary trips to the zoo, the beach, or outer space. Where they are going will sometimes determine the type of animals they imitate.

Shari Vilchez-Blatt is the owner of the studio and often works with the young toddlers. Of the poses she teaches she says she always does down dog, butterfly, and tree pose, and then the rest varies. For adults, with yoga they aim to increase their strength and flexibility and reduce their stress. For toddlers it is slightly different because they are so young. Through learning stretching, reaching, and breathing exercises toddler can often learn to calm themselves according to Helen Garabedian, founder of Itsy Bitsy Yoga. She also notes that it is a way for parents and children to have meaningful interaction and do something physical and rewarding together.

There are not yet many studies that explore the effects of yoga on toddlers. Says Wendy Weber, a program officer in the division of extramural research at the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, "A toddler can't express to you what they're feeling - they don't have the language skills or introspection to be able to comment on their quality of life." That is one reason toddler yoga looks different than adult yoga. Also, children do not force themselves into poses that cause them pain. They come in and out of poses at their own discretion and as their body allows. This makes gentle yoga a relatively safe option. Teachers must have patience and an understanding of how to keep the children's attention and work within their abilities.

For Maria Pekurovskaya, it is an activity that her young daughter enjoys participating in. "I'm always surprised at my daughter's ability to focus in a yoga class, despite her young age," she explains. "With a little practice they get in a groove and next thing you know they're better at it than you are." Children learn and grow at their own pace. As a yoga enthusiast herself, Maria Pekurovskaya enjoys sharing in the joy of doing yoga with her daughter and watching her develop her skills.


Maria Pekurovskaya is the executive vice president and head of creative advertising at Universal Pictures. She creates trailers, commercials, posters, billboards and other forms of advertising for various movies that she oversees. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field as it is something that has interested her since college. In her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, listening to music, and reading. She is also a devoted mother to her two young children, spending as much time with them as she can.

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