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Yoga is the New Mandarin

Fall’s “it” class for tots

The rest of the country is probably rolling their eyes at us, but here in New York, yoga for two-year-olds is becoming standard fodder. Whether you’re simply looking to teach your kids about exercise and wellness from a young age, or are secretly hoping to improve their sense of calm and focus for nursery school interviews, here are some of the most popular yoga programs for kids.

Karma Kids Yoga
Karma Kids incorporates poses, games, stories and themes into their yoga classes for little ones, which include Mom & Baby Yoga, Story Time yoga, Parent and Child Yoga (toddlers) and Community Yoga (2 to 5 years). “We use fun breathing techniques to give children the tools to calm, center or energize themselves,” says founder and director Shari Vilchez-Blatt, who explains that New York City parents in particular are embracing kids’ yoga because it can address developmental or physical issues such as a weak core or weak upper body, ADHD, asthma and other special issues. Kids classes start at $25 for drop-ins, and are held in Brooklyn Heights, Chelsea, Tribeca, Upper East Side and Midtown locations. 646-638-1444; karmakidsyoga.com

New for fall, Namastar Yoga teaches age-appropriate poses in a dimmed room while a laser star machine projects the cosmos onto the ceiling. Movement games inspired by gravity and orbiting planets round out the classes, which end with a stargazing cool-down. $640 for the semester; ages 3-5; must be a Citibabes member to register. 212.334.5440; citibabes.com  

Yogi Beans
Mommy & Me yoga classes are available to babies as young as six weeks. “You can’t start too early,” says founder Lauren Rosenfeld. Classes for older toddlers, ages 2.5 to 3, feature music and picture books, and are available in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Hoboken, the Hamptons, and Westchester. “It enhances body awareness, increases confidence and teaches focus and concentration,” says Rosenfeld. From $350 for the semester. 212.787.9642; yogibeans.com

During black-lit, glow-in-the-dark “Gloga” classes, kids learn poses on simulated adventures: sometimes they are lions in the jungle, or sea creatures discovering a new water world. They also “explore ideas about kindness, compassion and gratefulness,” says Moomah’s Kimberly Graham. Classes are available for Mommy & Me (pre-crawling infants); 3s and 4s, and 5s, 6s and 7s.  Drop-ins are invited. $30 per class. 212.226.0345; moomah.com

Elahi Yoga
Built as a yoga studio for kids ages 0 to 6, Elahi is “an oasis for mental and physical well being for children raised in the city,” says founder Kami Evans, who discovered yoga for kids when her 8-month-old daughter was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. Various classes for infants and toddlers teach poses through stories, poetry, and songs. Special Needs classes are available as well. Classes are $40 each. 212.249.0607; elahiyoga.com