Mira Binzen created Global Family Yoga, a series of weekend trainings dedicated to yogis who want to share their love of the practice with a younger generation, in January 2006. "Yoga very naturally wrings out stress in the body," she says. When kids learn the practice, "they get to know their bodies better. It improves their emotional, physical and mental development."
Based on the success of her program, it's clear that others agree. Binzen, who runs the program with her sister and mother, frequently teaches yoga to children herself (most notably troubled teens at Lakeview's Broadway Youth Center). But her brainchild has evolved beyond Chicago, sparking interest from across the nation and around the globe—she happily takes her trainings on the road, and future destinations include Boston, South Africa and Singapore.
Classes: Binzen's 20-hour training sessions, which take place in a space just shy of the Montrose and Ashland intersection, feature a different topic each weekend and can be taken in succession as a nine-part series or just as a single workshop. Such training themes include "taking root" (geared towards teaching 8-10 year-olds) and "walking the path" (specifically for older age groups). A weekend session costs $396, or the whole she-bang can be purchased for $1,295. Day-long workshops and custom training are also available.
Extras: Visit GFY's website to purchase products crafted by women and children with limited resources from other countries.
Centerstage Reviewer: Carly Schwartz