A date with Jamie from COSMIC KIDS (yoga and meditation)
Well, we're tickled pink to share this interview with you. We all know yoga is good for us and we all need to do it more (note to self) but is it beneficial for kids?! I wanted to find out. I searched online for kids yoga for months and months but I just couldn't find anything suitable. Then wooollaaaaaa... We stumbled across Cosmic Kids on YouTube and instantly fell in love. Being three my very active little monkey has a short attention span, therefore, I always knew yoga would be challenging.
Cosmic Kids is an online program that makes yoga and mindfulness fun for kids - does it ever!!!! Founder, Jaime, is an amazing story-teller who tells stories using yoga poses. Millions of kids do yoga with Jaime via their YouTube channel. She is just so warm, entertaining and fun. I even find myself engrossed in her excitable adventures. We'll let Jamie tell you more ..... xo
A DATE WITH JAMIE FROM COSMIC KIDS
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey and story?
I first started to practice yoga at drama school. In between acting jobs I paid the bills by entertaining at kids’ parties. Dressing up as a fairy, princess or pirate, telling stories, playing games and generally being a big kid! I learnt a lot about kids during my time as an entertainer. I started adding yoga poses to the fairy stories I was telling. Getting the kids moving while they were engaged in the story really held their attention. I then met Martin, my husband and we decided to move to the countryside. I also decided I wanted a break from being an actor. At this point I had a big rethink about what I was going to do. I decided to dive into yoga more seriously which not only helped me find my ground but also opened up new doors. The most notable being teaching kids yoga!
Can you tell us a little bit about the Cosmic Kids journey? What inspired you?
Having seen the combination of movement and storytelling working at kids’ parties, I went on to train as an adults yoga teacher, getting my RYT200. I started to see yoga poses as a sort of vocabulary for storytelling which I found really exciting. I believed stories could help kids understand themselves better and help them learn how to deal with real-life situations. My parents broke up when I was 8 and I coped by disregarding my own feelings and focusing on keeping everyone else happy. As a result I wasn’t very good at recognising or understanding my feelings - really until my 30’s! This is what I want to help kids with - to honour and understand their emotions in a positive and objective way at an early stage. I believe this is the foundations of mental health.
Why do you think every household should practice mindfulness?
A household where mindfulness is practiced is a more positive and less stressful place. If you can notice what is happening to you emotionally, and forgive yourself for it, maybe even laugh about it, life is easier. And you’re making space in your life to make a difference in the world!
Why do you think mindfulness is so important for our little ones?
As we grow up, it’s easy to get swept up in thoughts, emotions and influence. Becoming aware of our own mind at a young age can prepare us for this. We are more objective about our feelings and less absorbed by them. So when something comes along that really tests us - like family breakdown or grief, or even just something that happens at school, we don’t push those very real and relevant feelings aside, we accept them and we can talk about them. I think if you close down feelings at a young age, they end up poking out later in life and cause problems.
What does yoga offer over more traditional sports or activities?
Yoga is all about the connection between our body, our mind and our spirit. As we move in the flow of poses we are constantly in touch with our mental and physical state, steadying and stabilising ourselves using the breath. Unlike many sports which focus on outward technique, yoga takes us on an inward journey as well. We notice the thoughts and feelings that crop up as we move and practice being strong and calm through it all. There’s a level of consciousness we are able to experience in yoga practice which deepens our self awareness and allows us to know and love ourselves.
I have heard people are obsessed with Cosmic Kids, as my little one is. How do you keep kids, especially toddlers, so engaged? What is it about Cosmic Kids that makes it so special?
I think kids love being able to follow and understand what’s going on. They get a huge sense of achievement. I try to make the narrative and instructions super clear, so kids can get it right away. They are naturally excited to move, to enjoy stories and to feel. Being able to experience all of that in one activity is wonderful.
We adore "going on a bear hunt". What is your favourite episode and why is it so special to you?
It changes frequently! And I love so many of them! Betsy the Banana is a lovely simple tale which is heartwarming, quirky and funny. Moana is super epic and inspiring - what a hero she is and the story is jam packed with awesome yoga. Ruby Broom, our halloween episode has really a struck a chord - I had such a clear vision about creating a character that kids could relate to immediately. To experience that being different and being yourself is something worth celebrating. Michael Rosen who wrote ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ is a genius for writing it - the anticipation, the journey the landscapes - it’s a brilliant piece of poetry! I adored turning it into a yoga adventure.
Now a little bit about you Jaime, do you meditate?
Meditation for me comes in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes it’s a traditional sitting practice with an app like Headspace. Sometimes it’s within my yoga practice, when I find a sense of space in my mind and and connection with my breath. I also find it in gymnastic strength training - I am currently training to handstand. For me this practice is a meditation. It’s the balance of having strong awareness in my body and clearing my mind of doubt and expectation.
Do you practice gratitude?
I do. I celebrate the wins and joys of each day with some reflection before bed. I’m going to take it a step further this year and take the advice of Tim Ferriss (I love his podcasts!) to start a gratitude journal - taking 5 minutes each morning and evening to write down the things I am thankful for.
What are three things you are grateful for?
My health. Our home - which is in such a peaceful beautiful place. And my husband - Martin.
What is one thing you would tell your younger self?
Stop trying so hard to please everyone. I spent a great deal of time trying to second guess what I thought people wanted to hear rather than what I wanted to say! Fear of rejection can mask what you truly think and feel and your truth is where the real value lies.
Can you tell us what is on the horizon next for Jamie?
Lots of new yoga adventures, more mindfulness videos as well as some special ‘in nature’ videos filmed and set at the magnificent Eden project in Cornwall. I also hope to organise a tour soon - to run some live shows for kids and bring the all the cosmic magic in person!