Happy as clams: Kids’ yoga class starts in Hillsboro

Lesli Beery (right) leads her first kids’ yoga class in Hillsboro Monday at City Hall, guiding participants Harrison Beery (left) and Ansley Wichert (middle) into a warrior pose. <p>The half-hour classes, for children ages 3 and older, will be held at 10 a.m. every Monday through July 31. Classes cost $2 per session. Beery also offers kids’ yoga classes in Marion Wednesdays at 10 a.m., as well as yoga classes for adults in both communities.
Lesli Beery (right) leads her first kids’ yoga class in Hillsboro Monday at City Hall, guiding participants Harrison Beery (left) and Ansley Wichert (middle) into a warrior pose. <p>The half-hour classes, for children ages 3 and older, will be held at 10 a.m. every Monday through July 31. Classes cost $2 per session. Beery also offers kids’ yoga classes in Marion Wednesdays at 10 a.m., as well as yoga classes for adults in both communities.
Attend one of Lesli Beery’s yoga classes for kids and you’re likely to hear a chorus of “moos,” “meows,” and “hisses.”

Beery, who is now offering weekly kids’ classes in Hillsboro and Marion, has found a way to make yoga accessible to even the youngest of participants.

“A lot of yoga poses are named after animals, so we make the animal sounds,” Beery said. “The kids really like that. For cow and cat, we ‘moo’ and ‘meow,’ and for snake, we ‘hiss.’ It’s been really fun for the kids.”

Beery began offering kids’ yoga classes in Marion last summer and has now partnered with the Hills­boro Rec Commission.

The half-hour classes, for children ages 3 and older, will be at 10 a.m. every Monday through July 31 at Hillsboro City Hall. Classes cost $2 per session, with group rates available.

Children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Parents and caregivers can participate at no extra cost. Participants are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat.

Beery’s classes are designed to introduce kids to yoga.

“It’s just to (show) them how to move their bodies, how to breathe, how they can stretch, how they can be more flexible,” she said. “It’s great exercise, and it’s a way to keep them active, even when there’s not school going on.”

Even for children, Beery said it is important to focus on flexibility.

“It’s really good to go ahead and start training that body to stay flexible because our bodies get a lot less flexible as we get older,” she said. “I just really encourage people to just try it and get started.”

In addition to her Hills­boro kids’ class, Beery facilitates a 10 a.m. Wednesday kids’ class in Marion at the city building. Beery began learning yoga four years ago and is certified through The American Sports and Fitness Association to teach yoga. She also offers hour-long adult yoga classes.

Beery leads adult classes in Marion Sundays at 5 p.m. and, in the summer only, Tuesdays at 6:30 a.m.

“It feels so good for your muscles,” Beery said of the benefits of yoga, adding that classes can be modified for beginners or more advanced participants.

“I’m always giving modifications, either up or down, from a movement,” she said. “‘If your body doesn’t move this way, try this. If you’re more advanced, try this.’ So I feel like we can hit all different levels in every class we do.”