Overcast   69.0F  |  Forecast »

Danialle Karmanos' Work It Out Yoga for Detroit Kids

These school programs immerse elementary children in 10 weeks of fitness and nutrition training and a special practice to keep them mentally centered

School is tough business. There's a lot kid are juggling, and it's important to counter the stress of studies, classes and homework with a bit of release, focus and physical activity.

That's the very premise of Danialle Karmanos Work It Out – known as DKWIO for short. Getting its start as a general fitness program, this nonprofit group, created by Oakland County mom of three Danialle Karmanos, now aims to bring nutrition education and yoga training to local schools. It works with third- through fifth-graders during 10-week sessions in fall and winter and a six-week session in summer. Its goals are to curb stress, prevent childhood obesity and amp up self-esteem.

DKWIO

Its formula includes four elements. DKWIO's lessons are structured on a one-hour model that organizers say increases impact: A 10-minute intro, five minutes for nutrition education, 30 minutes yoga activity, 10 minutes to relax and a five-minute recap.

Breathing techniques learned in yoga are an important piece of the puzzle. It helps kids improve their focus and concentration – both in yoga practice and beyond.

"We have found that they are using these skills and techniques outside of the classroom to manage their emotions" like anger or anxiety, says executive director Laura Mackiewicz.

Another great perk of yoga? It doesn't require fancy equipment. Even a towel works as a mat. So kids can easily replicate their practice at home.

DKWIO's lessons focus on weekly themes. During "strength" week, for example, kids learn what foods help build healthy teeth and bones, then learn yoga poses to develop muscle strength. A take-home workbook includes recipes and games to share with their families – again, to take the lessons home in a realistic way.

Whether learned through DKWIO or not, kids need time to be quiet and away from stimulation, says Mackiewicz. "It doesn't have to be a 30-minute meditation; it can be just taking a few moments in the car, three deep breaths in the car before you get out, or in the morning when you wake up. It can be that simple." Shavasana, a resting pose, is one of the kids' favorites during yoga practice, she says.

Interested in getting DKWIO at your kid's school? Contact, or encourage the school to contact, Mackiewicz. She'll work to coordinate times and a volunteer yoga teacher. Mackiewicz says she hasn't yet had to turn down a school's request due to lack of instructors.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Recent findings published in Pediatrics show that nearly 40 percent of parents make measuring errors for their kid's medicine. Why is this happening and what can you do to prevent it?

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Beat vacation boredom with these four cool ideas from blogs, including Popsicle holders, printable sewing cards, jellyfish handprint bookmarks and more.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

From picking out ingredients to concocting their own culinary creations, here are a few ways to encourage your children to help out in the kitchen.

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Head to the park or on a hike and make the great outdoors your dinner spot. Here are six ideas to help you plan your meal – from drink to dessert.

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Want a few simple, fun sewing ideas for the kids, projects to brighten up their rooms or maybe just tips for DIY tinkering? These authors have you covered.

Dad Claims African Land, Declares Daughter is a Princess

Dad Claims African Land, Declares Daughter is a Princess

A father from Virginia claims a patch of desert in Egypt, calls it the Kingdom of North Sudan – just so his daughter can be the princess of this region.

Spray-on Sunscreen Warnings for Kids: FDA Investigates Safety

Spray-on Sunscreen Warnings for Kids: FDA Investigates Safety

Parents might want to think twice before using this alternative to lotion sunscreen as the Food and Drug Administration investigates its potential risks.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement