Do I have to be "into yoga" to do Big Dog Little Dog (BDLD) with my child?
Not at all, BDLD isn't about perfecting shapes. It is about dedicating time to your child where you give them committed attention to bonding with you. We use movement and yoga-based principles to do this but you don't have to be a "yogi".
I'm worried I'm not flexible enough/strong enough to do this with my child. Is this a real concern?
Generally you will be flexible enough and strong enough to do the BDLD material with your child. People with specific injuries may find some material challenging but this would be true for all types of physical activity and will be addressed on a case by case basis with our qualified BDLD teachers.
How long does a BDLD class last?
Classes are between 45 minutes and 1 hour long depending on the teacher. See our 'Classes' page for detailed information on class dates/times.
What can I expect to do in a BDLD Level 1 (ages 4-8) class?
There are typically 6 components to a BDLD Level 1 class. These are:
Connect - Here there will be some simple exercise between you and your child to get you to "arrive" together and get ready to give each other your attention. Sometimes this involves a simple mirroring exercise or a breath awareness exercise.
Warm - Warm does what it says: we warm up the body through mobilisation of the joints using developmental movement phrases.
Fly - This is the fun stuff! Inspired by acro-yoga, the parent acts as a 'base' to the child while they do poses completely supported by you. Builds trust big time!
Support - In this section we have a try at inversions: shoulder stands, head stands and hand stands - all taught with "safety first" by our qualified teachers.
Calm - Partnering stretches to cool down the body.
Rest - You and your child will take a period of rest together, settling the body and listening to each other's breath.
What can I expect to do in a BDLD Level 2 (ages 9-12) class?
There are typically 5 components to a BLDL Level 2 class. These are:
Connect - At this level we focus on touch and breath work. Parents and children working as equals.
Yang - The Yang yoga section is devised from the Ashtanga yoga sun salutations. Parents and children learn how to assist each other.
Yin - If Yang is the fast and energising then Yin is the slow and cooling. We use sandbags and props to support each other in the poses and hands on work is used to connect the two of you as you work through the postures.
Focus - Hand mudras and counted breath work are used here to calm the mind and settle the body.
Rest - A final relaxation posture is taken together.
What's different about BDLD from "kid yoga" or "family yoga"?
"Kid yoga" is just for kids and involves image work and imagined stories to help children experience different yoga poses. Because BDLD is for both children and their parents we focus on connection, trust and parent-child integration rather than theatrics. No jungle adventures here.
"Family yoga" involves a loose invitation to all family members of all ages to participate in a yoga session. For example, you may get dad coming with three kids, grandma coming with mom and toddler, mom and dad coming together with an only child. BDLD is not this. Rather BDLD classes are for one child and one parent. This is because we strongly believe in the benefits of setting aside time to give your child your undivided attention. For example we have mom and dad both come with one child each. We have mom come with one child one week and her other child the next week. We have grandma come with one child and dad with the other.
Can I bring more than one child to a BDLD class?
No. The point of BDLD is that you invest your undivided attention into one child for one 45 minute period. You can always "rotate" children weekly but in the class you are solely devoted to that one child alone. Results of this type of 1-2-1 work are astounding. Read our testimonials.
What props do I need to do BDLD Level 1?
If you're attending a class the teacher will have everything you need but a yoga mat. One mat will suffice between you and your child. If you're engaging in a home practice (see our online course or our home practice manual) you will need a mat to share and a yoga block or brick.
What props do I need to do BDLD Level 2?
Our BDLD Level 2 parent's course will be made available online very soon! If you wish to prepare for a home practice you will need to acquire a yoga mat, several blankets and 2 sandbags (available from www.yogamatters.com). If you are attending a class, your teacher will provide all the props you will need except a mat (which can be shared between you and your child).