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Monday, June 29, 2015

Vacation planning? Marriott adds kids yoga to programming lineup

Courtesy JW Marriott San Antonio 
R&R and yoga go together like PB&J. So why should adults have all the fun?

Two years ago, Marriott introduced “Yogi Bugs” at a Texas-based property and the pilot kids yoga class has been so well-received, the program’s creator has hopes of expanding it corporation-wide.
“The resort is where people go on vacation. Our hope is that kids can walk away with...
an expanded mind and a chance to explore their uncovered talents,” says Mary Jo Ferrazza, director of resort experience for JW Marriott San AntonioCountry Resort & Spa. The resort administrator took a personal interest in the ancient practice and collaborated with her twin sister, an expert in childhood development on the Yogi Bugs curriculum.
Courtesy JW Marriot San Antonio
“I reached out to her for her expertise. We didn’t want it to be a typical yoga class. We wanted to engage our young guests through imagination and the art of storytelling,” says Ferrazza.
During the year-round, forty-five minute Yogi Bugs sessions, which are held outside on the lawn, children follow the story of a bug’s life. Led by a certified yoga instructor, yoga poses are introduced delicately to the story as characters.
“We choose critters that are indigenous to our area like Cicadas, so they learn about San Antonio and its terrain,” says Ferraza. “Parents are invited to participate with their kids – grandparents often join, too.”
The captivating storylines energize little hotel guests.
“It’s more stimulating than calming, intentionally. They are on an adventure and the finish is always happy. Kids leave ready to skip over to the water park with their guardian. Yoga helps to create peaceful family moments and time for connection,” says Ferrazza.
With hopes to expand Yogi Bugs within Marriott, Ferrazza says she’d like to address the yoga needs of tweens and teens one day, too.
“Tweens are really in to hammock yoga. We have a lot of live oaks here to nestle in to. Perhaps we could create an area where they can experience that kind of yoga,” says Ferrazza.

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