Funny Children’s Story (2)

 
Deciding which of the stories our fans posted on Facebook about the funny things children say was really tricky. Here’s another favourite from Sarah:
 
“My little boy questioned me quite extensively the day before they were due back to school after the Xmas holidays about all the bugs that would be flying that day (this one-sided conversation was VERY early in the morning). He explained that… I’d been quite adamant that they wouldn’t be going to school and would stay at home to watch creepy crawlies instead!As I gradually woke up and started thinking about this mysterious allegation, I suddenly realised what was going on. “Frankie,” I said, “this ‘bug day’ – do you mean ‘Inset day’?”

“Oh yes – silly me! Insect day, not bug day” he replied!

Henceforth, inset days are now known as ‘Bug Days.’

Funny Children’s Stories (1)

Last week we asked our Facebook fans to tell us a funny story about something their child has said, and offered a YogaBugs lavender eye bag as a prize. Angie won with this story:

“Walking through the German Christmas market in Leeds, my daughter asked why it was called a German market? So I told her it was because the things they were selling were made in Germany. Then she looked at me and said, “but I thought things were made in China?!”

William’s Story – How Yoga Benefits Children With Autism

William has been practising yoga at his primary school for 3 years and is now 9 years old.  William is on the autistic spectrum and receives full time support at his primary school. where he is in mainstream education.He initially started with YogaBugs classes on a weekly basis during term time, but once he was 8 he moved up to Yoga’d Up classes. His mum Emma says that yoga has, without doubt, helped improve his confidence, his co-ordination, balance and strength. Commenting on the changes in William, Emma said:

“Autistic children are generally very flexible but lack strength around their joints. Their flexibility gives them confidence in an environment where they feel safe and not intimidated by their lack of agility and ball skills which is often the case during PE lessons.  William’s Occupational Therapist and his TA have both commented on the changes they have observed over the last few years. William is proud of his knowledge of the yoga postures and I feel that it has given him an opportunity to have his ‘own’ activity where so many of his friends have their football etc.”

Here are 7 reasons why yoga is such a great activity for children with autism.

1. Yoga develops motor skills
Kids with autism frequently experience delayed motor development. This can be improved as yoga tones muscles, enhances balance and stability and develops body awareness and coordination. As motor skills develop, children gain a greater sense of their physical self in space and in relation to others, and can improve their gait and stability.
 
2. Yoga improves confidence and social skills
Poor co-ordination can lead to low self-esteem as kids may be singled out or teased for not moving or behaving like other children, or not excelling in sports and outdoor activities. By learning self-control and self-calming techniques through yoga, they are likely to grow confidence in interacting with other children and refine their social skills. Learning to work together in a yoga class and playing with partner poses can also increase confidence within group settings.
 
3. Yoga provides sensory integration
Children with autism often suffer from a highly sensitive nervous system and are easily over stimulated by bright lights, new textures, loud noises, strong tastes and smells. Yoga’s natural setting of dim lights, soft music, smooth mats, and “inside” voices creates a comforting environment largely protected from unknown or aggressive stimuli in which calming down becomes enjoyable. Yoga’s physical poses allow nervous energy to be released from the body in a controlled manner.
 
4. Yoga provides coping techniques to both kids and parents
Whether teaching the child breathing techniques for self-calming, talking the class through a guided visualisation the child can use when getting anxious, or sharing flashcards of the day’s poses with parents to use at home, yoga provides an amazing toolbox to parents and siblings. It is a transportable practice that both parents and kids can draw from for a lifetime and share a meaningful home activity.
 
5. Yoga facilitates self-awareness
Yoga is particularly instrumental in helping kids with autism learn self-regulation. By becoming aware of their bodies and aware of their breathing, yoga provides them with the ability to cope when they start to feel anxious or upset. Since these children are visually oriented, savvy instructors add a visual element so that the child has a colored picture of each pose near his or her mat. YogaBugs classes incorporate other experiences known to benefit a child on the autism spectrum, such as massage, music, dance, rhymes and stories.
 
6. Yoga engages the emotional brain
We all know that yoga is far from purely physical, and this combination of movement, music, breath work and story telling activates the brain’s emotional region. This encourages children to develop awareness of their emotions and those of others, as well as keeps their attention in the class.
 
7. Yoga is orderly and consistent
Ideally, the class will be scheduled at the same time and same day of the week, with the students’ mats in the same layout, in the same room, with the same instructor(s).This element of order is very important for a child and communicates stability – a state much preferred to being unexpected and thus out of control. Students may also enjoy learning yoga sequences, such as modified sun salutations, that are performed in the same order at every class. The class should have an opening and closing routine or practice – singing, tuning in, etc. – that further supports the students’ need for order.

(The story above is produced with the agreement of Emma and William).

Inspiring Olympic Stories: Daley Thompson

Daley Thompson was the world’s greatest decathlete, drawing on a competitive attitude and ability that was unparalleled. Until Daley arrived on the scene, the decathlon was one of the least popular spectator events in athletics. He changed this with his flamboyant style. The number of world-class decathletes shot up during the ‘Daley decade’.

The decathlon requires proficiency in ten events – the shot put, discus and javelin throws; the long and high jumps; the pole vault; the 100 m, the 400 m and the 1500 m run and the 110 m hurdles. The winner is considered the all-round athletics champion. Daley Thompson claims more decathlon honours than anybody before or after him. He was the first person ever to hold the World, Olympic, Commonwealth and European titles at the same time, as well as the World Record. Daley set four World Records. In 1984, he became only the second person in Olympic history to claim the decathlon gold twice. He was unbeaten in competition for 9 years.

Born on July 30th 1958 in Notting Hill, London, of Scottish and Nigerian parentage, Daley first competed in the decathlon in the 1976 Montreal Games as an 18-year-old. He finished 18th! Four years later at the Moscow Olympics, he won the gold medal.

Daley retired from athletics in 1992 as a result of injury, and went on to play football for Wimbledon and Mansfield Town FC. He was awarded the MBE in 1982, an OBE in 1986 and advanced to CBE in 2000. He was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1982.

Daley was a leading ambassador for the winning London 2012 Olympic bid. He focused on highlighting the benefits that hosting the Olympics would bring to education and sport in schools, and he played a key role lobbying the international IOC members right down to the final vote in Singapore. Daley is also involved with two major charities, Laureus Sport for Good and Barnardo’s.

Have Daley’s achievements given you inspiration for the YogaBugs Olympic competition.

Sign Up To National School Sport Week

“When anyone tells me I can’t do anything, I’m just not listening any more.”
Florence Griffith Joyner – American athlete, 1988 Summer Olympics

To celebrate the launch of our Olympic competition on Monday, this week we’re bringing news of other ways that children can get involved in the build up to 2012. Has your school signed up to National School Sport Week? Participating schools will receive a Flame Followers resource pack to help them plan for how to celebrate when the Relay comes near your community.

On the first day of National School Sport Week, 25 June 2012, is World Sport Day. By signing up, schools are able to access resources to plan for an Opening Ceremony as part of World Sport Day.

So what is your school waiting for? You can sign up here at www.schoolsportweek.org/

YogaBugs Olympic Competition

As the countdown for the London Olympics begins, we’re joining the build-up and running an Olympic competition. The aim of the competition is to encourage children to learn about the different Olympics events, to get them to be creative and to use their wonderful imaginations.

We are running two competitions; one open to children up to 7 years, and the other open to children from 7 to 12 years. So, read on to discover how your child can enter and be in the chance to win some fantastic prizes!

Olympic Drawing Competition For Children Up To 7 Years

There are 26 fantastic events for the Olympics, do you know all of them? Which ones do you like the most? Cycling, athletics, tennis, or maybe swimming?

Can you imagine yourself at the London Olympics and taking part at your favourite event? Do you think the YogaBug could do it with you?

We are asking for children to draw a picture of them taking part in their favourite Olympic event with the YogaBug!  Children can use pens, crayons, glitter… anything that gets them creative and having fun!

The winner will be selected in April and will be sent a YogaBugs goody bag that includes a t-shirt, water bottle, playing cards and some fun stickers! The winner’s picture will be featured in our newsletter and will be displayed on our website gallery… but that’s not all! We will use the winning picture to create an activity download on our Fun Zone which will be used in YogaBugs Breakfast and After School Clubs nationwide in the summer term.

Entries must be submitted by 31st March 2012. They must be drawn on A4 paper and are to be sent to YogaBugs Head Office, 1301 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, B28 9HH. Please include contact details so we can contact you if you are the winner.

YogaBugs Olympic Adventure For Children From 7 – 12 Years Old

Can you imagine yourself taking part in the London Olympics, which event would you be doing? What would you see around you? Would your friends be there taking part in the events too?

We are looking for children to write a short story about them and their friends taking part in the Olympics. And remember they’re using their imagination, so anything can happen!

We will pick the winning story and make it into a YogaBugs Adventure that will be used in schools nationwide in the summer term. The winner will also receive a YogaBugs goody bag that includes a t-shirt, playing cards, water bottle and UV wrist band!

Entries must be submitted by 31st March 2012. They must be drawn on A4 paper and are to be sent to YogaBugs Ltd, 1301 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, B28 9HH. Please include contact details so we can contact you if you are the winner.

Good luck from the YogaBugs Team!

What’s On This Weekend – 10 February

With severe weather warnings for ice and snow and very cold conditions predicted for the weekend, you may be looking for some indoor activities to get the kids busy over the weekend? And importantly, ones that use up some energy too! We’ve got the solution on the YogaBugs Fun Zone. Here you’ll find a series of activities you can download, including a new “Spot The Difference.”

So what else could you do this weekend? You could go off on a space mission to rescue Jurij, an astronaut who’s stranded on the moon, or warm up your bones with our Winter Warming Routine. If you’re going tobogganing, stretch your muscles with our Early Morning Routine. And after a day’s excitement, calm down with one of our Bedtime Routines. If you’re not familiar with all the postures, you’ll find our handy guide to the most popular YogaBugs postures on the Fun Zone too.

Have a great weekend!

Give It A Go 2012

We’re passionate about getting children and families physically active so we were very excited when we heard about the “Give It A Go 2012 campaign. This is the first, ever London-wide sports campaign and aims to support more people having a go at sport in their local area. All 33 London boroughs will be organising free sports provision for people of all ages and abilities over six weeks from Monday 13th February 2012.

With the Olympic and Paralympic Games fast approaching, 2012 is an exciting year for sport in London. Give it a Go 2012 offers to try a new sport or activity or rediscover one you once loved – all for free! There’s something on offer to suit everyone’s interests with over 150 free activities on offer across London ranging from Archery to Zumba!

You can find out more about the activities on offer at http://www.giveitago.org/. Have you got a similar initiative going on in your area?

Graduate and Young Entrepreneur, Simon Duong, Wins YogaBugs Franchise

More than 2000 applications, from graduates aiming to win a franchise opportunity with YogaBugs, were whittled down to one lucky winner! Simon Duong, who has a first class degree in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship from Coventry University, learnt that he had won the franchise at the Midland Business Awards on Friday evening.

In common with many budding young entrepreneurs, Simon has already tried his hand at running an online business. Passionate about health and fitness and inspired by the inventiveness of Richard Branson and James Dyson, Simon jumped at the opportunity to be part of a growing company which gets children and families active through its creative, story-style yoga inspired classes.

“I knew of YogaBugs through the company’s appearances on Dragons Den. Yoga is a tried and tested activity, and its popularity in this country is increasing. In the same way that Jamie Oliver’s campaign has been transforming school dinners, I believe the YogaBugs programmes have the potential to get more children active.”

The judges for the competition were Mark Goode, CEO of YogaBugs, Jabbar Khan, Director of leading Midlands restaurant Lasan and Professor Chris Prince, Executive Dean of Birmingham City Business School. Applicants had until 24 November 2011 to submit a short two-page business case. A short-list of candidates were invited to make a short presentation to the panel of three judges, and this was whittled down to three, all of whom were invited to the Midlands Business Awards on Friday, 3rd February.

Although thousands of graduates are still struggling to find work, YogaBugs CEO, Mark Goode, was nevertheless amazed when the company received more than 2000 applications in its competition to win a free franchise contract.

As a company, YogaBugs is passionate about helping the next generation so we thought we should give a chance to young adults to progress in these difficult times. Simon impressed me with his passion, determination and confidence. His entrepreneurial skills, attention to detail and enthusiasm are key attributes in a successful franchisee. I was very impressed with the high standards of applications. There were many young potential entrepreneurs who, if given the chance, could take this county forward in business. That’s why we will be meeting with the two runners-up to discuss them working with YogaBugs in a similar capacity.

Partnering with Birmingham City University was an obvious choice as we have an existing relationship with them. In summer 2010, we joined the student graduate scheme, employing Birmingham City University graduate, Oliver Tuck, as our graphic designer. We were extremely pleased with the hard work and high level of skills Oliver brought to the company.”

The competition was run in partnership with Birmingham University’s Research, Innovation & Enterprise Services (RIES) and open to competition to graduates and third year students from Midland Universities. Birmingham University has an impressive track record of supporting business start-ups – 200 since 2003 with 68% of those businesses still trading. As a creative University, it recognises that a number of students will enter self-employment. This franchise opportunity therefore fitted the ambitions of the University to support enterprise, employability and entrepreneurial skills in this uncertain economic climate.

Reflecting on his success, Simon Duong said:

“I really appreciate the opportunity YogaBugs has given to a young graduate like myself. The result was kept under wraps until the winner was announced at the Midland Business Awards on Friday evening. I’m over the moon to be given this break and can’t wait to get started so that children in South London get the yoga bug.”