FROM SOUTH AFRICA TO CANADA- BRINGING CHILD WELLNESS AND MINDFULNESS TO SUDBURY
Starting in Cape Town, South Africa, Tarryn Cothill launched Little Souls in 2015- which offers training for parents on baby massage, as well as yoga for children. Now located in Sudbury, Tarryn wants to care for her new community.
Tell us a little about yourself and Little Souls.
My family and I moved from Cape Town to Sudbury this past January. I have a diploma in kinesiology, am registered Yoga4Kids teacher and registered infant massage trainer.
I was in South Africa when I had a dream with little hands and feet waving in the air. I knew it was my true calling.
Currently I teach classes out of my home studio, as well as in Holy Cross Elementary, and am in the process of talking with other schools to partner with in the future.
I have two children so I remember how difficult the early stages can be. Sometimes you don’t feel like you’re really doing anything. You’re feeding and burping and changing nappys but you don’t feel like you’re doing anything. Infant massage helps with bonding, as well as the baby’s health. With Yoga4Kids the focus is primarily on helping kids aged 3-12 deal with everyday stresses.
From Cape Town to Sudbury in January! That must have been a big change!
My kids are six and nine- I couldn’t keep them indoors! We just adored the snow. The winters here are nicer inside because you have central heating. In South Africa the temperature outside is whatever the temperature is inside.
I was thinking for moms in winter, going outdoors is not really an option, especially with a little one. I was thinking of coming to mom. I know it’s hard sometimes to get going, to get out of bed and put makeup on.
What do you offer?
For the infant massage I offer a course at my home studio with a minimum of 5 babies. I can also do the course on-on-one in someone’s home. One or both parents are welcome, as well as grandparents. The grandparents generally have a little more time, and it’s a wonderful way for them to bond as well. The nice thing about this is that you can start as early as 5 weeks old and go until 9 months or until they start walking. I’ve seem many friendships forged by parents in groups and everyone is so ready and willing to offer tips and tricks to each other! The courses are really lovely, they’re for mom and dad. The infant massage is really bonding.
My massage courses have two main purposes- they promote bonding between mom, dad and baby, as well as offering health benefits. Often our little ones suffer through various health issues as their bodies adapt to life outside the womb such as colic, gas bubbles and constipation. With infant massage sometimes we can help relieve some of their troubles.
With Yoga4Kids I like to ask first what they [the parents and child] want to get out of it. I teach both at schools and at my home studio. In general at schools I can teach a group of up to 20 students, but it’s more beneficial for the groups to be smaller, around 10-15 students. For special needs students I like to keep the groups to a maximum of 5 students so everyone is able to get one-on-one attention.
We focus on three areas- mind, body and breath (breathing)- to help the kids with their everyday stresses. I tell them ‘what happens on the mat stays on the mat.’ Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry, but it’s all about helping the kids.
Many yoga poses we use are based on animals. I love to go out to the garden and find something simple, like a bird. Yoga is very different to children than to adults. We imitate the bird and it becomes a game. Standing on one leg, flapping your arms… it really builds core strength, but the kids are having fun. The kids’ yoga is more about telling them stories, getting them involved and just connecting.
Yoga helps the kids to deal with things on a daily basis. The superhero has lots of strength from within. Do a flying pose like superman. How strong do you feel like this? When someone is nasty to you, you can fly away like superman. So the next time someone is nasty to them, they can picture superman and rather than hitting or being mean, they can remember that they have the power to fly away and leave the situation behind.
Is this something good to do at home with mom and dad or should it be left to the pros?
Childhood yoga is best left to the pros. My hope is to eventually have a space for child and parent yoga together. It is the next phase. You have the parent on the floor with the child, which is where they need to be, and they end up roaring like a lion. In the end they love it. The child really appreciates it. It’s really precious.
Where can people find you?
My home studio is located at 50 Billiards Way, Sudbury. People are welcome to contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (705-822-2170), Facebook or my website. I’m excited to let Sudbury know I’m in town! I’m here for the kids and here for the moms and dads and I’m all about spreading child wellness.
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