It never occurred to me that Sam would appreciate yoga. We once did a trial mom and me class at one of the local yoga centers and I sensed that it was a little too …. “still” for my busy active 4-yr old. I felt she didn’t connect with the class and she got a tad bit antsy with the activities. While the intent of yoga is good because it makes kids relax, breathe and focus and it’s supposed to calm them, I felt that this class just made Sam all the more hyper. It’s as if she was just looking for what was next to do and she wasn’t focusing on the activities at hand.
In any case, I was pleasantly surprised that even after that first yoga experience, she wanted to participate in My Masterpiece’s demonstration on stage at the Mommy Mundo #Momtuition ExpoMom. She eagerly joined teachers Anna, Kara and Cocoy on stage and was one of the first children to raise her hand and volunteer. She had a lot of fun too. In fact, all I could get out of her for several days was when she could do yoga with Teacher Anna again. “I love Teacher Anna Mom! She’s so great!”
Anna, Cocoy and Kara are the trio that make up the school we know as My Masterpiece. What all started out as playgroups at Anna’s house when her kids were younger eventually turned into creative and transformative movement open to kids 1 – 13. They are truly a team of teachers, artists and parents. Anna is a writer, a storyteller and most recently, a certified kids & family yoga teacher and facilitator. Her husband Cocoy (also known as Rayyn by the way) is a musician and song writer by profession. Anna’s sister Kara is a visual artist and art therapist. So in every session, you can expect that they bring all these talents into the class.
We got a taste of My Masterpiece one time when Breeze with Activ-Bleach sponsored the SoMoms and our families to a morning of bonding and fun at Nuvali (and can I just say, from a marketing perspective – what a great fit it was for Breeze to sponsor this activity!). Anna led the parents and the kids in some yoga activities, which were far from the usual boring stands and stretches. Cocoy provided music that he wrote and the kids had to move to the beat. The kids were asked to use their imagination when doing the different yoga poses, so it felt very interactive and exciting.
During the storytelling portion, Anna asked the kids to participate and gave them hats (that they created) for the kids to wear during the role-playing.
And the for the later part of the hour, Kara took over and led the art portion. While the kids were having fun, getting messy and just creating their own works with the paint, Kara was still consciously giving them motions to make with their hands and fingers. Talk about creative fine-motor skill development! It felt like a very free-spirited “lose-yourself-in-your-craft” moment but from a parents’ perspective, it was still a good structured activity. Win-win!
The end result, if I may say so myself — was quite pretty! And it didn’t look like a mess at all, when in fact the kids (and their clothes) were all getting into it full force. Anna put it so aptly (and I will quote her again and again!): What is a mess anyway, if it will bring out the masterpiece in your child? I couldn’t agree more.
We got to chat a little bit more with Anna about My Masterpiece. It was nice to learn that her vision and purpose for the school came from her Grandfather, Jose “Pepe” Diokno.
Which is why, each class is also truly a multi-sensory experience every time. There is a purpose for each part too: from relaxing, breathing and moving to sharing oneself from the heart and bringing out the creative spark in each child and it is very thought-through by the teachers. The biggest part of the outcome is still highly dependent on the make-up of the children in the class. I don’t know about many other yoga or art or music classes that is as original and unique as this. In fact, Sam is still singing praises about her experience that I need to make sure I get in touch with Anna ASAP to find a schedule where Sam can participate in some of their classes (a public note for the mom mush-brain!).
What I personally love is that from the get-go, they say that each child is already a masterpiece, and it’s really just a matter of bringing it out onto the surface. And then they celebrate it too! It’s true. All our kids have their own unique talents and abilities, and they need parents and teachers (like Anna, Cocoy and Kara) to be able to recognize them and make them shine.