Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday -- Ohm For Kids

Access Hollywood
Susie Lopez -- Access Hollywood
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Susie Lopez -- Access Hollywood

Healthy Hollywood is a huge fan of yoga! The practice has helped me immensely both physically and mentally. Once I hit the mat, it's 60 minutes to chill and totally escape into its meditative movement. Every time I leave the studio, I am always a happier/more energized me!

While yoga just keeps on getting more popular with adults - don't underestimate the power of yoga for kids! Celebrity yogis, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Christy Turlington, have both revealed to Healthy Hollywood that they practice yoga with their kids. It helps children of all ages to calm down in a hurry-up world. "School days can be long and challenging; peer pressure, stresses at home or in a busy social life can build up and debilitate even the most grounded of students," reveals yoga instructor Susie Lopez, who also works with Bent on Learning, a charity that brings yoga into the New York City Public Schools.

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For the past decade, Bent on Learning has been going into schools and teaching yoga to over 3300 kids a week. "Our curriculum teaches yoga asana or poses, mindfulness and skills to boost focus and emotional stability," adds Susie, who also created the "Look Up" series of yoga videos for kids. "Yoga is a guide to life and its lessons can be ascribed to any goal; as I like to remind my kids, 'Focus your mind, count your breath in time, practice every day and all will come your way.'"

Kids are also natural yogis, adds Susie, "their hearts and minds are open; they live completely in the present. Yoga provides a firm yet flexible foundation for developing a healthy body and mind, for life."

An excellent pose parents and kids can practice together at home is a sun salutation. Susie shares with Healthy Hollywood a simple sun salute routine.

Sun Salutation:

1. Stand tall at the top of mat with chest out, chin up and arms straight down.

2. Inhale and lift your arms up over your head, exhale and slowly lower your head and torso down to reach hands on either side of feet.

3. Inhale, peak head up and exhale, walk your feet out into plank position.

4. Lower down to knees, chest and chin on mat, lower down to a low plank position and using belly and legs, push arms down to straighten elbows and stretch back like a snake.

5. Then exhale and reverse back on hands and feet into the classic inverted V-shape - "down dog."

6. Take 5 slow deep breaths.

7. Inhale and walk your feet back to meet your hands, then inhale and slowly lift your upper body and stretch arms overhead.

8. Finish on an exhale and lower arms to your side.

For more information on yoga in schools, head to www.bentonlearning.org or check out Susie's video series at www.lookupyoga.com.

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