Below a tranquil sky-blue ceiling, children are stretching their muscles – and minds – in a Birmingham space with upbeat guidance from “Miss Ashley.”
Born Yoga, which opened Sept. 12, 2015, is one of very few kids/families-only yoga studios in the area (or country, for that matter). It’s a bright, welcoming environment designed with toddlers to teens in mind.
“The beauty of kids yoga is that it’s a noncompetitive, fun activity that allows children to use their imaginations, learn social skills and be empowered,” says founder Ashley Goldberg, 31, who teaches yoga and preschool. In fact, her “aha” moment for Born Yoga came from the positive response she received from her students and parents at Temple Shir Shalom in West Bloomfield. Goldberg would bring her yoga expertise and enthusiasm to her classroom.
In addition to being certified in adult and children’s yoga, Goldberg went on to receive special certifications in therapeutic yoga and aerial and mindfulness yoga.
What a crescent warrior pose was to an adult, Goldberg modified to a tiger pose for a tyke. And her “silly yet compassionate” personality made her a natural match.
“I knew I always wanted to work with children,” says Goldberg. “Watching them grow and learn has been such a joy for me, partly because I lost out on a lot of my childhood. With the opening of my studio, I get to be a child all the time and experience such a beautiful life through their eyes.”
When Goldberg was 7, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in her left femur. She survived surgeries and chemotherapy, only to have the cancer return at age 12. Today, she is cancer free. A 13-inch scar down the front of her left leg remains.
“I call it my sign of courage,” says Goldberg, also a Make-a-Wish ambassador and Imerman Angels mentor. “I use it as a learning tool with my students to show them that everyone has differences, but we need to love and accept them for who they are.”
Kids entering Born Yoga will find Goldberg’s favorite mantras written on a giant chalkboard wall, such as “Yogis are kind to themselves and others.” She also uses the wall to play creative games with kids, like Yoga Pictionary.
Everything about the whimsical studio is done from the perspective of a child, topped by a playful round chandelier and complete with a soft foam allergen-and-latex-free floor.
Classes vary from prenatal and mommy/baby or toddler to teen yoga. Find options for ages 2-5, 6-9 and 10-12, too, plus family yoga and story time yoga for infants to age 6. Or ask about camps, birthday parties and slumber parties (which happen every other month).
Born Yoga’s aerial classes, which use individual soft-fabric hammocks, are especially beneficial to kids with sensory integration issues like ADD and autism.
“I always used calm breathing to help me deal with my cancer treatments. Breathing is so important to help with anxiety, stress relief and self-regulation. What children learn here in the studio can be applied to everyday life.” All balanced, of course, with plenty of fun.
- Address: 2121 Cole St., Birmingham
- Phone: 248-480-0452
- Costs: $15-$20/one class, $75-$100/six classes, $25-$75/family yoga, $5/story time yoga, $185/eight aerial classes; other rates may vary
Editor’s note: Writer Julie Yolles is second cousin to Ashley Goldberg.
Photo by Brett Mountain