We have interviewed founder of Enchanted Wonders, Ayala Homossany to find out what inspired her to create a buisness based around the practice of yoga with children. With 3 children herself and a career in yoga, we think its a great idea!
Why do you think it is so important for children to learn to practice yoga from a young age?
I believe we are all born yogis and yoginis. The challenge is to maintain it, or rediscover yoga, as we grow up. When children are exposed to the magic of yoga from young age they get to maintain and nourish their inherent abilities (such as curiosity and creativity). Beside the fact that yoga enhances physical strength and flexibility, yoga allows children to nourish and boost their confidence and self esteem. The practice of yoga also allows children to stay connected with their breath and know its benefit and how it can help them manage their daily difficulties. Yoga also helps develop body awareness and understand how to use the body in a healthy way. One aspect that I found incredibly valuable when children practice yoga from a young age, is that we offer children an opportunity to do an enjoyable activity in an uncompetitive environment. When we do that, we legitimate a space for children to fully express themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin. How incredibly empowering is that?
What are the benefits of children and parents attending sessions together?
The biggest benefit of family yoga is connection. For a parent and a child (or even siblings), to be able to connect and communicate in an uncompetitive and relaxed environment is the biggest gift family yoga can offer. To be able to share a space where there is no right or wrong, where the children can see their parents doing an activity and where we create an opportunity for a parent and child to rest side by side and just be aware of their breath, is a magical memory for both parents and children. Especially in our fast pace life family, yoga offer families the opportunity to slow down and be more observant and present. There are so many in-between magical moments in Family yoga that I could write a whole book only about that.
Why did you create the Enchanted Wonders A-Z cards?
During my kids yoga classes, I have noticed that if I manage to create a safe and happy space that includes trust, acceptance and respect towards the kids, their creativity and self expression available to flourish. I believe we are all born creative and all we need to do is find ways to maintain this incredible asset and turn it into a strength. That will allow children, and later on as they grow up into young adults, to be able to fully express themselves and be able to be happy in their own skin and manifest their best version. I was looking for ways to share that magic with children and families, to be able to offer a shared activity, where there is no right or wrong. An activity that can draw out the children’s magnificent creativity and imagination and combines the invaluable benefits that yoga and mindfulness holds in it. This is how Enchanted Wonders was born.
How can the practice of yoga help children develop socially and building confidence?
As part of the yoga practice we incorporate the practice of compassion, empathy and gratitude. Compassion can wear many shapes and forms. Compassion towards ourselves, is where we are invited to practice with gentle and ease while respecting, rather than hurting our body. Compassion also means to be able to recognise feelings and emotions from a position of self awareness and self acceptance where we can then learn what it means to be compassionate and empathic towards others. As I have mentioned before, yoga being practiced in an uncompetitive environment helps to elevate the children’s self confidence.
In yoga classes we explore the fact that we are all built differently, and have different abilities, ideas, and thoughts which all should be respected and acknowledged. When children are happy and being respected for what they are, they are more receptive to their friends and to their environment and have more confidence.
A little more about you
If you could be a colour which colour would you be and why?
I would probably choose to be a turquoise. Turquoise represent the colour of communication, the ability to connect between my thoughts and my heart. To be able to fully express, if it is with the spoken word or in any other way, what sits in my heart. I find this ability very important.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A professional ballet dancer and later on a dentist.
If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?