By Heather Collins
Audrey Beaugh has turned her passion for childhood education and yoga into a Carmel-based studio for kids from 18 months to 18 years old.
Beaugh has practiced yoga for more than 15 years and naturally started using some of the breathing techniques and simple stretches of yoga in the classroom while teaching kindergarten in 2006. The practice helped the kindergarteners to focus, calm their bodies and incorporate movement into their daily routine.
“I think yoga is a natural fit for children because there is predictability and rhythm to yoga that children enjoy and that allows them to really explore the movements and have fun with it,” Beaugh said.
Beaugh started her business, Silly Hearts Yoga, in 2015 while living in Denver, but she said it really took off after she moved to Carmel in June 2016.
Beaugh describes Silly Hearts Yoga as a mobile yoga center for kids. She doesn’t have a dedicated space, but she brings the classes to schools, daycares, community park events, birthday parties and more.
“Each day is different. The children share their energy and enthusiasm with me, and I carry that with me,” Beaugh said. “Seeing children connect with yoga and blossom into little yogis is really the best part.”
Carmel mother Sandra Richardson said Silly Hearts Yoga has helped her three-year-old daughter, Helena, learn how to move her body and quiet her mind. Helena participates in Silly Hearts Yoga classes once a month at Carmel Cooperative Preschool.
“We use the phrase ‘take a yogi breath’ a lot when she is upset and can’t quite stop crying,” Richardson said.
Richardson said the classes have helped Helena to believe in herself. Richardson said Beaugh is in tune with the children’s feelings and needs.
“I am in absolute awe of how she is in control of a yoga session with 12-plus toddlers,” Richardson said. “Beaugh is friendly, down-to-earth, welcoming, interesting and just what our community needed.”
In 2007, Beaugh became a certified children’s yoga teacher after attending training at Mini Yogas in Santa Monica, Calif. Beaugh earned her bachelors degree in early childhood education in 2001 and began teaching kindergarten, early childhood education and preschool before receiving her masters in early childhood special education in 2009.
Beaugh said Silly Hearts Yoga classes are designed for children. Beaugh incorporates music, books, games, songs, breathing techniques and mindfulness throughout the classes.
“I understand child development and what is appropriate for children of all ages, so in my yoga classes you will hear children making the sounds of animals, playing games, talking, laughing and just being kids,” Beaugh said. “I try to teach children to listen to their bodies and do what feels good. Children are not being judged in yoga, as it is non-competitive, so it remains fun for children of all ages and abilities.”
As a former classroom teacher, Beaugh said her biggest passion is trying to get yoga and mindfulness into local school curriculums. She teaches classes at Midwest Academy and has hosted classes at the Carmel Clay Public Library and Westfield Washington Public Library. Silly Hearts Yoga currently hosts classes at the Carmel Cooperative Preschool, Midwest Academy, Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, as well as several other schools, including Zionsville Community Schools and The Orchard School. Carmel Elementary School will host a special yoga day in March 2018. Silly Hearts Yoga will offer after-school programs throughout Carmel public schools this spring.
“I am looking forward to many more years of offering yoga to the children in our community,” Beaugh said.
Silly Hearts Yoga also offers birthday party classes, workshops and private classes.
Beaugh lives in Carmel with her husband, Michael, their son, Charlie, 4, and their infant, Delilah.
For information, visit sillyheartsyoga.com.
Audrey Beaugh said the benefits of yoga for young children are:
- reduced stress
- increased focus and concentration
- improved sleep
- improved flexibility and balance
- increased self-confidence
CHECK IT OUT
Silly Hearts Yoga has the following classes scheduled:
- Family Yoga: 11:30 a.m. to noon Mondays through March 19 at the Westfield Washington Public Library, 333 W. Hoover St., Westfield. No class Feb. 19.
- Little Yogis: 5 to 5:45 p.m. at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, 3085 W. 116th St., Carmel. New sessions begin March 14 and May 2. Class is for ages 3 to 9.
- Summer camps: June 18-22, June 25-29, July 23-27, July 30 to Aug. 3. For ages 4 to 8.
Learn more at sillyheartsyoga.com.