Whether used at sitting or meditation cushions, for gentle heart openers, or to drape across while coloring, journaling or lounging, the EnviroKid cushions have absolutely earned a place at ChildLight Yoga Studio.
Once upon a time, our kids' yoga studio had pillows piled up in every corner of the room. This was wonderful for our older kids and they were used appropriately, but for our younger students, they soon became a distraction and even served as items to toss around. Bye bye pillows. Later on, we had some traditional zafu meditation cushions and even some traditional yoga bolsters available for children who were uncomfortable sitting in Easy Pose (criss-cross applesauce). We also used these items for heart-opening poses at times. But the cushions were made for adults and therefore sat up too high for children, and their positions and comfort were sacrificed, sometimes even to the point of being unsafe. Folded yoga blankets are always wonderful as they can be folded to just the right height for everyone. Problem is, you need to them fold them to just the right height for everyone…and then fold them all back up properly to put them away at the end of class. This process in of itself can take up a good portion of your class time.
A couple of months ago, I was introduced to a company called EnviroKid. The owners, who are local and whose children have been long-time students of ChildLight Yoga, contacted me to see if I might be willing to test some of their products in our studio and share a product review. To be honest, I didn't at first see what use we'd have for these products in a yoga studio setting. But, I was absolutely ecstatic to learn that all of their products were PVC and phthalate-free, and so are completely non-toxic. They are made from synthetic leather, are easy to clean and are just plain earth-friendly all around. I wanted to help. "Bring over some of your cushions," I said, "and let's see what happens."
As we were heading into summer, the primary events on the calendar were summer camps and teacher trainings. I left a few of the EnviroKid cushions in the studio space. Here's what the summer camp directors had to say:
"The girls really enjoyed them this week! I had them out for them to use whenever there was some down time. They sat on them while eating snacks, or just lounging around. I think they're great – they are really comfortable and I love anything that is easily washable!"
"We did use them and the girls raved about how comfy they were. I thought the pillows were fun and easy to clean… We set up that little pillow nest in the sunken doorway where the girls could color mandalas or write things for their gratitude jar, and I think the mere presence of the colorful pillows created a draw to that spot which was awesome. So my thoughts on using them for that purpose (creating a colorful resting space that makes kids want to participate in quiet activities) — the pillows seem more durable then any other pillow for the purpose would ever be– they're more hygienic because you can spray and wipe them down easily — they're perfect size for a lounging child — they're light weight and stack really nicely & don't fall all over the place which makes cleanup a breeze."
"My younger kids said they were super soft and comfortable and they laid over them for support when they were coloring and also wanted to lie on them during relaxation. The kids were really floppy and relaxed."
During the summer, we also had a ChildLight Yoga Teacher Training as well as a Yoga 4 Classrooms Instructor Training for adults. Again, I simply left the cushions stacked in the corner of the studio, along with the blankets, mats, bolster and back-jack chairs. I giggled to myself when I heard the adults kiddingly 'fighting over' who got the cushions to sit on for the day. They were a huge hit! Here were their comments:
"Where can I get my hands on these? Do you sell them? I need one for my home, and to take with me to yoga class for meditation."
"They sink in just so under your bottom and then provide support for your back as well. It's like the little beads inside know just where to go to comfortably support you."
"I've never seen anything like these before – what a great invention. These are going to be a huge hit…for kids and also for adults! And I love the colors! And you can clean them – amazing!"
Whether used as sitting or meditation cushions, for gentle heart openers, or to drape across while coloring, journaling or lounging, the EnviroKid cushions have absolutely earned a place at ChildLight Yoga Studio. I plan to have a supply of the cushions for use in our kids classes and teacher trainings and to potentially carry them in our studio and online boutiques as well.
Read the EnviroKid story and check out their environmentally-friendly products, including a cushion, nap mat and bean bag lounger, at their very informative website. You can also find them on Facebook here.