In a time when children are inundated with screens, social media and schoolwork, the Calmes sisters want to teach kids how to manage those stressors through yoga.
Mind Over Body Studio, a Pilates, Yoga and Healing Arts Studio on East High Street, has a schedule full of unique offerings — from traditional Pilates classes and aerial yoga to Cat Yoga and kids birthday parties
The studio is operated by Laura, Melissa and Beth Calmes — triplet sisters who share many passions. They are all classical musicians, belly dancers and instructors in various health and wellness fields.
Melissa teaches most of the Pilates classes. Beth is completing her health coaching certification. Laura is the yoga instructor and leading force behind the children’s classes and parties.
“I’m a big kid myself,” Laura said. “I like getting on the kids level and helping them fill their toolbox.”
During kids yoga, those toolboxes are filled with coping strategies such as breathing techniques and recognizing emotions. While meditation can be a part of the practice, kids yoga is anything but boring.
“Trust me, they’re not going to be bored because we are working on a lot of levels,” Laura said. “It’s as interactive as possible. We are creating opportunities for their imaginations to work.”
Some recent birthday party themes included mermaids, which incorporated ocean-themed movements; superheroes, which focused on strength and confidence; and an Emoji party where the children drew faces on balloons and then worked on identifying the emotions.
It’s no surprise that Laura’s favorite children’s book is “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. As a mother to a son, now 22, she knows how important it is for kids to acknowledge difficult feelings and learn to cope with them.
“(Yoga) teaches them how to quiet their minds and reflect on how they feel so they can recognize the feeling of calm,” she said. “It’s finding the tools to get through the stress of the school day, and how to navigate socially to honor and respect each other.”
Melissa echoed the sentiment that kids are often so tuned in to devices they aren’t tuned in to their own bodies.
“It’s such a wonderful tool to teach kids to have a relationship with their physical bodies,” she said. “Kids can be so busy nowadays and yoga helps them learn how to slow down.”
The sisters are rebuilding the class schedule to include kids yoga classes for ages 5-18. Parents are welcome to drop off, stay and observe or even join in. Birthday parties in the studio or off-site group classes are currently available.