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  • Bubbles Paraiso Teaches Yoga to Kids, and Her Youngest Student Is 2 Years Old!

    Bubbles Paraiso is using her passion for yoga to help her favorite humans: kids.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
Bubbles Paraiso Teaches Yoga to Kids, and Her Youngest Student Is 2 Years Old!
PHOTO BY @bubblesparaiso/Instagram
  • “Babysitter ng bayan” is how Bubbles Paraiso describes herself. She loves children so much that she gladly looks after the little ones of her relatives and friends. She had once told an aunt of hers, who owned a preschool, that she wanted to take over running the learning institution one day. However, she ended up majoring in a business course and taking the route to fashion and eventually to show business.

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    The model/actress/host/entrepreneur is finally fulfilling her dream to educate by teaching yoga for children. She holds regular classes at the Serendra branch in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) of the yoga studio chain Beyond Yoga, as well as the one located at Rockwell Center in Makati City. She co-owns and runs the Serendra branch with a few business partners. She also teaches private and corporate classes for adults.

    “I love kids. I adore kids. And they love me,” Bubbles told SmartParenting.com.ph. “I love their energy, and I feed off it. So when I saw that Yogi Beans was holding kids yoga teacher training, I jumped in and enrolled. It was my chance to sorta be a preschool teacher without really being a preschool teacher.

    Yogi Beans is a yoga studio located in New York City in the U.S. that, according to its website, “enables people ages 18 months to 15 years old to explore and experience the body-mind-heart foundations of yoga through content-rich programs specifically designed for them.”

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    In May 2014, a teacher from Yogi Beans was flown in the country by Beyond Yoga for a teacher training course, and Bubbles enrolled. By then, she had been practicing seriously for two years, and she was enticed to get into teaching. A few months later, she obtained another certification, this time from Rainbow Kids Yoga in Singapore. She’s also been certified to teach yoga to adults after attending the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in Bali island in Indonesia, where she found herself recovering from a bad breakup in 2015.

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    Bubbles differentiates kids yoga from other forms of yoga: “We have to be creative here. It’s less serious and more ‘playtime.’ It’s yoga disguised as playtime, so they don’t get bored. I come up with games and fun activities, all while practicing yoga poses. The poses are named after animals, people, places, things. We don’t really call out the Sanskrit names, like how the grownup yoga session is. Kids’ yoga is fun and educational while they learn how to do breathing and meditation techniques and all the different poses.”

    She pointed out that no special skills are needed before taking up kids’ yoga, adding that “as long as the child is old enough to follow instructions,” he or she can go to class. Her youngest student is 2 years old.

    “Aside from having more mobility, the kids learn breathing techniques, meditation,” she said of the benefits derived from the regular practice of yoga. “It enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, and body awareness. Their concentration and sense of calmness also improve.”

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    Bubbles noted that not all of her students have parents who are into yoga, too. “Usually, the parents want their kids to calm down,” she explained. “Some bring their children because the kids ask for it. Some parents would bring their kids to different activities, but it is the child who would prefer to stick with yoga. Some parents bring their kids because they are already so stiff and inflexible at such a young age.”

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    She also observed that “it’s harder to convince Filipino parents” to enroll their kids to yoga. “Because they don’t really see it be as important as, say, tae kwon do or ballet,” she reasoned. “Most of my students are foreigners. Their parents see the importance of yoga at a young age more.” (In fact, schools abroad, for instance, have added yoga exercises and meditation skills in their programs.)

    Still, Bubbles is happy that kids yoga in the Philippines is growing and she just loves being part of it. “Kids say the darnedest things!” she exclaimed. “Being around kids and their bluntness is something else. I would want to say teaching kids’ yoga has taught me more patience. I’ve always been patient with kids, but being around ones from different cultures and backgrounds is quite a challenge.”

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