Those of you who know us or have read our initial blog post, know that we believe there is no such thing as coincidence. Our Buddha Belly Kids Yoga (BBKY) journey commenced and continues because our minds and hearts are open to what the universe has in store. Amanda McFayden, senior trainer at Rainbow Kids Yoga and founder of BlissKids used the most perfect visual of her hands stacking stones; with each small movement, everything began to build up and fall into place. We truly believe that is what is happening here at Buddha Belly. Jamie Gepner of little om BIG OM, the pioneer of movement and mindfulness in Madison, WI, planted the seed that we had a gift that needed to be shared with Chicago. Soon after, Meg woke up one morning knowing that our name was Buddha Belly Kids Yoga. We are women who don’t mess around with our guts, so it was an easy decision to trust our intuition. Our dear friends jumped on our yoga team to tackle the advertising world. Kristen Paige Gathanydesigned our adorable logo and Joe Calderone of Calderone Marketing gave breath into the life of this website. We knew that in order to grow, we would need to partner with an elite, established fitness organization. Dan Kane of Legacy Sports Camp was absolutely the right route to take in order to launch our inaugural summer camp. Ready for this connection?! Meg and Erin are close friends, co-workers, and business partners. Dan and Erin are childhood friends and fellow Chargers. Turns out that Meg and Dan’s grandmothers grew up as best friends in Oak Park. If that’s not the universe at work, we don’t know what is!
Legacy Sports Camp in Oak Park allows elementary school children to learn proper technique in individual and team settings while instilling positive character traits in these young athletes. However, one could say that Legacy’s myriad of opportunities was missing one thing. Although Dan wasn’t familiar with yoga for kids, he trusted that Buddha Belly meant business and that we would not disappoint. Yoga for kids is the perfect balance to a high energy sports camp. The juxtaposition of these two companies could not have aligned more perfectly. Just like that, Buddha Belly’s Legacy began!
We started the conversation in late winter, began to advertise, hold demo classes, and by the time Chicago looked a bit more like spring, we had our first participant! Thanks to Legacy Sports Camp, Ascension School, South Berwyn District 100, and Oak Park District 97 enrollment for our four week summer camp included the most amazing three through thirteen year olds. Some joined us for a week at a time, while others shared in the entire journey. Themes included: On the Farm, At the Beach, African Safari, Going to the Zoo, Camping, Fourth of July Picnic, At the Circus, Life Cycle of a Butterfly, Story Yoga, Rainbow Colors Yoga, Our Feelings, Gratitude Yoga, Building Balance, Partner Acrobatics, and Yoga Obstacle Course. Feedback from parents and children was nothing but positive and they cannot wait for weekly classes during the school year. Frankly, neither can we! One little yogi received a new yoga mat for her birthday and woke up extra early to start her practice. “She really does love it! What a powerful tool for a six year old to have. Confidence in her body and self.”
Meg and Erin
**Stay tuned for some amazing photos!