Yogatails

• March 25, 2012 • Comments (0)

A new form of kids’ storytelling fosters wellbeing and creativity

An ingenious new fusion of Yoga and imaginative storytelling has launched in Bristol offering kids all the fun and thrills of interacting in a gripping adventure tale while practising simple yoga postures for health and vitality.

Yogatails – the brainchild of children’s Yoga teacher Sophie Bolton and Performing Artist Lucy Moon – held a memorable launch event for 4-7 year olds at All Saints Church, Clifton, Bristol, attended by some 40 children.

“Gather round you crew of sailors and I will tell you a tale from 15 years ago,” began Lucy Moon, adopting the swaggering drawl of a swashbuckling pirate and alluring the kids like bees to honey. “It’s a tale about Captain Hawkins and his daughter Susie who set off on a sea voyage. But they hadn’t gone far before pirates climbed the rigging and burst into the captain’s cabin and stole his treasure…but the most important treasure they stole was his daughter Susie. They swept her away and she was never heard of again.”

And so begins the riproaring adventure, as Captain Lucy and Captain Sophie – dressed in trusty pirate headscarves – galvanise their crew and prepare to set sail to go and rescue the illustrious damsel Susie Hawkins.

“We have two important weapons to aid us on our mission,’declares Captain Sophie – “our imaginations and magic silt. With our imaginations we can control the weather, and the magic silt can protect you by turning you into any sea creature you want to be in the ocean. So who wants a sprinkle of magic silt?”

And so Sophie shows the kids how to control the weather with their breath and how they can turn into different sea creatures, introducing a series of yoga asanas, to get the kids stretching. Meanwhile Captain Lucy sneaks overboard and behind the scenes before returning – now unrecognisable – as the most dreaded of all pirates, Madrilda, with black patch over her eye.

“I’m Madrilda of the murky seas! Arrrggggghhh!” She growls.

Controlling the weather and bringing on powerful waves, the children charge together and sweep Madrilda overboard. “Over she goes!” Cries Captain Sophie, and hands raised high in the air and jumping up and down victorious, the kids beam with elation.

Yogatails is an entertainment outfit for birthday parties and events for young children (aged 4- 7), which blends play, dance, yoga and imaginary adventure storytelling. Like having two Mary Poppins in the room, Sophie Bolton and Lucy Moon sweep their audiences into a magical world where anything is possible.

Meeting on a dancefloor in Bristol, Sophie and Lucy realized they shared the same excitement of wanting to work with children and Yogatails was born. Along with a large collection of funky children’s World music, they joined forces, Lucy bringing her performance expertise and Sophie bringing her children’s yoga skills and natural theatrical flair. Aside from seeing Yogatails as a great excuse to dance around and fun with children, Sophie and Lucy were inspired by the idea of capturing children’s imaginations.

“Kids have such good imaginations,” explains Lucy. “If you tell a small child that there’s a ship in front of them ready to set sail, they’ll tell you what colour it is and how many sailors there are on board. Kids see with their imaginations, they do it effortlessly and with such delight that it’s a joy to encourage. In these times of such easy access to entertainment and technology, we feel it essential to encourage simple, imaginative play so the body can move, dance and be happy.”

And Sophie is eager to infuse her passion for yoga in children’s hearts and minds. “By embodying different forms of nature that we discover within the story and working together as a team, children get to experience the safety and calm of the yoga poses whilst combating the challenges of the imaginary world around them. From this we want children to feel positive and strong and like they’ve had a really good adventure.”

Back on the ship, Madrilda has climbed aboard once more and the excited children stamp their feet to make a wave, serenaded by the high drama of the accompanying Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. “And then forward and back again to blow her overboard!” yells Sophie and Madrilda falls again.

Rescuing Sophie Hawkins, the voyage and mission are complete and to celebrate, Captain Lucy suggests the crew come together for a giant hug. “This is the captain’s huggle!” She cries.

Catching up with a few mums after the Yogatails session, they all seemed enthused with the experience.

“Anyone who can keep 40 children this age engaged for 45 minutes is a saint,” said Bryn, whose two daughters Eloise 4 and Alice 2 took part. I thought it was amazing, they have a wonderfully creative way of making the kids use their imaginations and it was impressive seeing the kids do all those yoga moves that it can take weeks to learn.”

“I have been to a few storytelling events and they don’t normally incorporate the movement so well, the yoga really worked,” said Sophie Humes whose son John, 4, had taken part.

“I thought it was great,” said Indigo, aged 10. “Very relaxing and it really uses your imagination.”


For More Info:

Yogatails can cater for large groups of children so the whole class can be invited Yogatails birthday parties offer an hour of entertainment plus optional catering from Happiness Cooking who offer delicious, nutritious and locally sourced party food

To book Yogatails and for more information, visit: www.yogatails.co.uk.
The website also has information about existing events you can join

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Will Gethin

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Since 2004, Will Gethin has worked as a holistic explorer and travel writer, writing articles for the Independent, the Evening Standard and various lifestyle, wellbeing and environmental magazines, including Tatler, Harpers Bazaar, Resurgence, Kindred Spirit and Yoga Magazine. In February 2012, he set up Conscious Frontiers, a leading edge communications, speakers and events agency giving voice to the growing movement of people working to propel a shift in consciousness. Inspirational speakers represented by Conscious Frontiers include Peter Owen Jones, Graham Hancock, Dr David Hamilton, Tim Freke, Dr Jude Currivan and Sarah Rozenthuler. Prior to founding Conscious Frontiers, Will also worked as a communications consultant, promoting humanitarian and intercultural organisations like The Isbourne Foundation, IT Schools Africa, The Makhad Trust, Tribe of Doris and Afrika Eye Film Festival. And he founded a Guest Speaker programme at the Isbourne Holistic Centre in 2008, bringing leading edge conscious living authors and presenters like Byron Katie, Graham Hancock, Dr Masaru Emoto and Brandon Bays to Cheltenham to present educational talks and workshops. From 1993-2003, Will worked in music, consumer and arts PR for London agencies, ultimately working as Account Director for Virgin Megastore at Borkowski PR. Will is also a Contributing Editor to Life Arts Media.

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