A great idea for an original Christmas present

Happy Christmas From The YogaBugs Team

Happy Christmas From The YogaBugs Team

What do you buy the child that has everything? Finding the right gift at Christmas can be difficult, finding an original gift even more so. Yet creative parents across the UK seem to have found the perfect solution. YogaBugs.

“It has been quite surprising. We have had a nice upturn in visits to the website and bookings for the New Year, with parents or close family booking children into classes as Christmas presents. They are looking for something that lasts way beyond Christmas, something more than just a toy.” said a spokesperson from Bugs HQ.

YogaBugs is a unique children’s activity devised by the consultant to hit CBeebies show Waybaloo, Fenella Lindsell. The sessions take children on wild adventures where they can be lions, jungle explorers or pirates. This is all done through yoga postures giving the children a physical workout by stealth. The sessions also have hidden benefits as the classes have been devised to also improve literacy, numeracy and self-esteem. The sessions are really inclusive and accessible to all.

Linda a mum of a YogaBugs child, reckons YogaBugs is the ideal Christmas gift. “I love the way in which Yogabugs has enabled Annabel to explore worlds and visit places in her imagination; it is the perfect antidote to a busy school day.”

All YogaBugs instructors are qualified, highly trained, well motivated and CRB checked. This is why parents across the UK see YogaBugs as the perfect antidote to games consoles, tablets and DVDs. 


Hullabaloo Over Changes To Yoga Inspired Show, Waybuloo

WaybulooThe BBC has been forced to make a U-turn after hundreds of angry parents complained about changes to the hit childrens’ show, Waybuloo. More than 150 official complaints were received, with hundreds more expressing their fury over the internet.
BBC bosses brought in Come Dine with Me’s Dave Lamb to provide a voiceover. Parents and – more importantly – toddlers hated the changes. Waybuloo is one of CBeebies’ most popular shows. The show features four fictional characters called the Piplings who live in Nara and play with real children, referred to as ‘cheebies’. It encourages children to get interested in exercise by showing them a simple version of yoga. YogaBugs founder, Fenella Lindsell is yoga consultant to the show.

The changes were unveiled by the show’s boss, Vanessa Hill, on Sunday night. She said: “We wanted to make the show easier for families to watch together, engaging older siblings to enjoy the action too….. And what a narrator we’ve got! We’ve struck gold with brilliant Dave Lamb. I hope that we’ve created a series that is funnier, clearer in the stories it tells and is something the whole family will enjoy together.”

Complaining that Waybuloo had been “ruined”, one parent complained: “I’m raving, they’ve put a narrator (the annoying bloke from Come Dine With Me) over the top of Waybuloo. I’m so mad I’ve even complained on the BBC website.” Whilst another said, “We’ve had to switch off. It has ruined a lovely, calming programme.”

After the first instalment proved to be so unpopular, BBC bosses quickly conceded and agreed to bring back the original format. “We appreciate all the comments we’ve received on the new format for Waybuloo.”



Olympic Torch Carrier Nominee, Fenella Lindsell, On Why PE Doesn’t Need To Be Competitive

In this week’s Scrubbing Up, BBC’s Sports and exercise medicine expert, Dr Andrew Franklyn-Miller asks whether the opportunity to encourage children to be more active is being missed in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics. He warns that the physical competence of future generations is being put at risk because of a failure to give PE the same priority as other subjects in the school curriculum. Contrasting the support available for children who struggle in maths or English with the approach taken to physical development, cardiovascular fitness and co-ordination, Dr Franklyn-Miller argues that there should be compulsory tests for key physical skills at each of the key stages as children progress through school.

With one in three 10 and 11-year-olds in England overweight or obese, childhood obesity is a serious problem. However the problem goes far beyond childhood obesity and the associated poor health outcomes. Recently Sally Goddard Blythe, Director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester, concluded that up to half of children were not ready for school at the age of five because of their “sedentary lifestyles”. This was because pre-school children found it difficult to grip pencils properly, sit still, stand up straight and even catch a ball after failing to develop key physical and communication skills at a young age.

We’ve written previously about the critical links between the development of motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination and the development of literacy and numeracy skills. The development of fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination is similarly essential to sporting success. To reach age appropriate targets in the development of left and right brain activity, children need to practice mid-line activities such as crawling, marching and balancing. For some children, developing these skills is particularly challenging so making this fun is key.

That’s why YogaBugs developed its 10 week Impact & Change course for primary schools. This course has been devised to improve children’s physical, emotional and social development whilst giving schools real results. At the beginning and end of the programme, we evaluate the children on skills such as flexibility, balance, co-ordination and concentration. At the end of the course, the results are sent to the school with a full report showing their improvement. The course combines story-telling and magical adventures with yoga inspired moves so that children are encouraged to develop essential developmental motor skills.

We’re concerned about the physical competence and health outcomes of this and future generations and that’s why we’re absolutely committed and passionate about changing children’s lives. Our number one priority is nurturing a love and appreciation for physical exercise and healthy living in our young children. Competition can come later!

The Lady Who Turned Down The Dragons!

Anyone who watches Dragons’ Den will know it’s hard enough to secure investment offers from the Dragons. So it was all the more surprising that YogaBugs founder, Nell Lindsell, turned three offers down! You can catch up with the latest chapter in the YogaBugs adventure on Wednesday evening’s BBC2 programme, ‘Dragons’ Den: How To Win In The Den.’ 

You only have to look at Nell’s background to understand how her determination and energy, coupled with her great love of yoga, drives her forward. She does all this, in common with many women, by juggling her busy working life with being a mother – to a family of four children. Nell first discovered yoga when she went to India on what she describes as ’walkabout.’ As a child Nell spent countless hours doing gymnastics. She found that yoga embodied the flexibility and creativity of gymnastics, but with a great deal more safety and creativity.

Originally Nell studied Sivananda Yoga and deepened her practice by studying with Iyengar, Ashtanga and Jivamukti teachers both in the UK as well as the States. Her teachers have included Shiva Rea, David Swenson, David Life and Baron Baptiste. Nell went on to train as a yoga teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga and to run a large complementary health and yoga centre in South West London. It was there that she developed and refined her concept of yoga for children – YogaBugs and Yoga’d Up – having realised that children today have far fewer opportunities to stretch their imagination as well as their bodies compared to previous generations.

If Nell was to achieve her dream of bringing yoga to children in nurseries and schools across the UK, she realised that YogaBugs would require significant further investment. That’s when she first entered the Den, and as a result YogaBugs started to become a recognised  name. Nell and her business partner, Lara Goodbody, asked for a £200,000 investment in exchange for a 15% equity stake of their business. They secured – and to the Dragons’ amazement – turned down two offers of investment from Richard Farleigh and Theo Paphitis! After the programme, Peter Jones offered to buy the business for £1.5milion. Nell and Lara turned Peter down too.

This led to Nell producing a series of yoga adventures for GMTV and a DVD called Yoga Bugs Vol.1 – Ocean And Jungle Yoga Stories. She then wrote The One Bug Your Kids Should Catch and contributed to ‘The Exercise Bible’ by Joanna Hall as well as ’Your Body, Your Baby, Your Birth’ by Jenny Smith. Nell is currently the Yoga Consultant to RDF Media on their new and successful CBeebies’ programme Waybuloo which is transmitted worldwide to Australia, Poland, South Africa and Canada and around 75 other countries now.

As founder of YogaBugs, Nell’s role has involved setting up and implementing our franchise programme and international trademarking. As a result, there are currently around 40,000 children attending classes each week in nurseries and schools across the UK.  The company recently sold its first Master Franchise for YogaBugs Australia and Nell flew down under to deliver training there in 2010.

Nell has now taught yoga for 20 years. Her extraordinary achievements in yoga result from that first walkabout in India!

Support Nell’s Nomination To Carry The Olympic Flame!


 In recognition of her services to sport and the community, YogaBugs Founder Nell (Fenella) Lindsell has been nominated to carry the Olympic Flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay! We’re delighted because Nell has worked tirelessly to introduce yoga to over 100,000 children across the UK as well as to influence the lives of many seniors (over 60s) by getting them active and changing their attitude to exercise.

Nell has lobbied government at a local and national level to make yoga available for children who most need it, embracing government initiatives to encourage schools to adopt a more holistic and inclusive attitude to physical activity and offer a more rounded approach to learning. She has helped to introduce a new generation to yoga through her work for the popular CBeebies Waybaloo programme.

Nell’s father, Richard Zimmern, took part in the opening ceremony of the 1948 Olympic Games held in London. These were the first Summer Olympics after the 1936 Berlin Games and became known as the Austerity Games due to the economic climate and post-war rationing. A record 59 nations were represented by 4,104 athletes, 3,714 men and 390 women, in 19 sports disciplines.

In his opening address, Lord Burghley said, “Your Majesty, The hour has struck. A visionary dream has today become a glorious reality. At the end of the worldwide struggle in 1945, many institutions and associations were found to have withered and only the strongest had survived. How, many wondered, had the great Olympic Movement prospered?”  After welcoming the athletes to two weeks of “keen but friendly rivalry”, he said London represented a “warm flame of hope for a better understanding in the world which has burned so low.”

We asked Nell what this nomination means to her. “For me, this nomination is a huge link to my father who has been such an inspiration in my life. It gives me a real sense of pride to be connected to him in this way. I’m absolutely committed and passionate about changing children’s lives so that they have a strong sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Children’s lives are now so competitive and challenging. I want them to have time to indulge in their imaginations and explore their creativity. Yoga helps children to feel grounded and secure. Our fun, story-style, themed YogaBugs and Yoga’d Up classes give children the space to be creative and that’s so important in this modern world where children have so little time to play.”

You can support Nell’s nomination and inspire others by clicking on the “share” button at: www.lloydstsblondon2012.co.uk/en/carrytheflame/Nomination/?nid=e2e1cd3d-f316-4064-97d5-3f30757e1962.

Yoga Postures To Aid Your Child’s Bedtime Routine

Using yoga with children at bedtime can be a very relaxing, unique way to make your bedtime routine a calming experience. This will help to calm your child before they climb into bed for the evening. So let’s look at how you could go about this.

Start off by sitting on the floor with your child. The child can be seated on your lap, sitting beside you or face to face. Inhale some deep breaths, filling your belly with lots of air. Then place your hand on your belly and feel the air as it moves in and out of your body. Count to four as you bring the air in, hold for one count and then allow the air to release as you count to four again. Repeat this two to three times. It’s important to let the air fill your belly, not just your upper chest. Sometimes it is fun to lay on your back, put a small stuffed animal on your belly and watch it move up and down as you breathe in and out. We often use a rubber duck in our classes!

Now you can introduce some yoga poses, using ones that represent animals or living things, such as a cow, dog, cat or cobra. Always start in a quiet pose, such as child’s pose or rock pose. Then move into a more active pose, such as cobra pose, cow pose, cat pose or dog pose. Then go back in a child’s pose to quiet the body and the mind. You could even create your own story! Finish the routine with a relaxation pose; you can always use a lavender eye bag for an extra calming experience.

Child’s pose: Sit on your heels, with your arms at your side. Lean forward, head to floor.

Cow pose: Kneel on the floor on all fours. Raise your head up and sink your back down into a deep curve.

Cobra pose: Lie on your stomach, feet together, palms on the floor. Raise your head and shoulders and look up. We like to hiss!

Cat pose: Kneel on the floor on all fours. Arch your back like an angry cat!

Dog pose: Hands and feet on the floor with buttocks in the air (an upside-down triangle).

Relaxation pose: Lie flat on your back, arms at sides, feet slightly apart. Close your eyes and rest.

Finally, you can end bedtime yoga in one of two ways. Either use a simple body scan to relax each body part as it rests and melts into the bed or end with a story. As the child lies on his or her back in a quiet relaxation pose with eyes closed, guide the child to imagine a story in his or her mind’s eye.

For stories you can do with your child, you could read Fenella Lindsell’s book, YogaBugs: The One Bug Your Child Should Catch.