For John Elshoff, yoga has played an important role in his life for nearly fifteen years. He took his first class from the Muscatine Community Y’s (the Y’s) first ever yoga teacher and has loved it ever since. Four years ago, Elshoff completed his own yoga teacher certification and started teaching classes at the Y himself.
Over the summer, Elshoff had the opportunity to teach yoga to children for the first time. First, United Way approached him and asked him to teach several yoga classes at their free summer meal sites. Then, Amy Hessel with the Y’s Kids Club asked him to come lead several classes for the group to introduce them to a new activity that can keep them active. After these experiences, Elshoff decided he wanted to offer yoga for children at the Y. However, he knew from his experiences that kids needed more supervision than he could provide alone. To solve this conundrum, he came up with the idea for parent-child yoga. The idea caught on, and Elshoff has begun offering parent-child yoga at the Y for the very first time.
Each week, Elshoff offers parent-child yoga from 1:00-1:50 pm. In a typical class, Elshoff leads kids in second through fifth grade and their parents through a variety of different poses including standing, sitting, and even paired poses. “I try to make it entertaining and challenging, but I don’t work them too hard because I want them to learn the fundamentals of yoga,” he explained.
Though Elshoff’s classes have started off small, he knows class sizes will grow as more families discover the benefits of parent-child yoga. “You get a really good opportunity for a parent and child to spend quality time with each other while learning something new without getting distracted,” he emphasized.
If you and your child would like to check out parent-child yoga for yourself, Elshoff encourages you to call the Y at (563) 263-9996 or stop in at the Y.
As a longtime yoga practitioner, Elshoff firmly believes that yoga can help improve flexibility, reduce stress, and offer a fun way to stay fit. With his parent-child yoga class, he looks forward to getting to pass these benefits along to people of all ages, and to helping families spend quality time together.