Nurturing the minds and bodies of tomorrow
Finalist of Kent Business Awards ‘Start Up Business’ 2019 and nominee for national WhatsOn4Kids award for ‘Most Loved New Activity’.
Once Upon the Mat launched in 2018 and provides baby massage, baby yoga, multi-sensory baby development and children’s yoga classes in Kent.
The ethos embedded in all of our classes is wellbeing, mental health, nurture, child development and education.
Our ‘Baby Nurture’ classes focus not just on the health and well-being of babies, but also that of parents too!
At ‘Once Upon the Mat’ we first hand understand what it means to be a mother: the ability to nurture, create security, to be responsive, care with loving touch and positive communication, in order to build a strong attachment between parent and child.
The first way parents can communicate with their babies is through positive touch. Baby massage uses Swedish and Indian massage techniques, and provides a gentle and relaxing way to communicate with your baby, which makes our ‘Baby Nurture’ the perfect class to begin your journey as parent and baby together!
Benefits of Baby Massage:
• Aids improved sleep
• Empowers you to soothe baby aliments such as teething, digestion, constipation, sleep problems and colic.
• Encourages deeper bonding
• Improves sensory awareness
• Strengthens the immune system
• Normalizes muscle tone and improves blood circulation
• Relaxes baby
• Stimulates brain development
Parents are natural ‘nurturers’ who love, teach, develop and support their babies to enable them to grow to their full potential.
At ‘Once Upon the Mat’ we are passionate about the nurturing of parents too! Our ethos underpins the philosophy that parents must also be nurtured within a positive and supportive environment in order to maximise their role as nurturers to their babies. That’s why when you experience a ‘Once Upon the Mat’ class you will immediately be welcomed into a non-judgemental, friendly, safe space where you will be remembered by name and indulged with every attention to be made to feel special! This is how we feel we are different to other classes! Not only this but the classes offer huge benefits for parents too!
Benefits for parents:
• Improved positive communication with baby
• Increases self-esteem and alleviates symptoms of post-natal depression
• Builds a relationship of trust & respect
• Builds quality bonding time to improve the level of intimacy and love between parent and child.
• Gain social benefits from meeting other parents
• Provides fathers the opportunity to improve the bond with baby.
• Allows parents to relax in a calm, welcoming and positive environment
Suitable for babies from birth to pre-crawling which runs over a 4 week period. Each week we will focus on a different body part, which will build up to a full body massage.
Class duration is one hour, which also includes time for participants to socialise with each other, discuss parenthood and ask any questions that may arise. You will not even have to leave the comfort of your own mat as you will be served tea, coffee and sweet treats in beautiful vintage crockery, softened with Liberty printed fabrics, located within the beautiful, historic tithe spacious barn at Chilham Castle Estate.
As a Mama myself, I know what a treat it is to be served a hot coffee to enjoy in peace, and each session will truly feel like a mini-retreat!
The ‘Baby Nurture’ 5 week course investment is £55 which incudes:
– ‘Once Upon the Mat’ tote bag
– Personalised baby’s name hooded towel (to bring to class and yours to keep after the course!)
– A bottle of cold pressed sunflower seed oil
– ‘Baby Nurture’ massage handbook
– Invitation to private ‘Baby Nurture’ Whatsapp group
– Join our ‘Mama Tribe’ social and baby events throughout the year
– Priority booking to ‘Baby Discovery’ classes (subject to availability)
A fun, lively multi-sensory baby development class suitable from six weeks to pre-walking! Each class will take you and your baby on a magical adventure through a sensory experience.
Classes include songs, nursery rhymes, sensory play, bubbles, light show, puppets, musical instruments, parachute play, baby yoga & baby massage!
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These energetic pre-school yoga sessions are planned and developed around a short age appropriate themed story.
Our pre-school children’s yoga classes always begin with our welcome “Hello Song”, which provides children with a start and regular structure to our lesson.
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Yoga for Schools & Nurseries
Classes are structured with learning a variety of breathing techniques. Awareness of breath equips children to handle challenges such as anxiety or strong emotions. Children then participate in a yoga warm up, asanas, partner yoga, and yoga games.
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- Teaches respect, builds confidence and promotes self-love
- Encourages children to recognise and respond to emotions
- Reduces stress and anxiety & equips children with the tools to relax
- Improves memory and concentration.
- Explores creativity and imagination
- Develops better body awareness, flexibility and coordination
- Improves the immune system & sleep. Build strength & stamina
- Helps children to feel secure in an uncertain world
Funding for schools & nurseries
Whilst PHSE and Physical Education budgets vary from school to school, the government have introduced The Healthy Pupils Capital Fund which is intended to improve physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and wellbeing.
Children’s yoga for school as a curriculum practice, could also be funded through other available grants and bursaries provided to schools. These include:
- Curriculum enrichment budgets
- PSHE funding
- Sport and PE grants
- Pupil Premium funding
I began practising yoga at the tender age of twelve, and truly understand the holistic benefits the practice brings mentally and physically.
The main style of yoga I practice and teach is Hatha (effort), which is the practice of asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises) to bring peace to the mind and body, and Vinyasa (flow), a combination of flowing sequence of poses synchronised to a breathe.
The birth of my son Rafi, who is now two years old, inspired me to focus on developing an innovative curriculum of yoga for children. Our enjoyment of practising yoga at home together ignited a passion to train as a children’s yoga teacher in order to share the practice with other children, and experience firsthand their personal journey and enjoyment of yoga
Ethos & Philosophy
Each and every time a child partakes in a Once Upon the Mat yoga class, they will experience and delve not just their own personal inquiry, but through the adventures of story and journey, they will travel through a fictional world of possibilities and realm of imagination.
Once Upon the Mat yoga programme understands the importance of building resilient children and young people. Our sessions provide students with an opportunity to experience a personal journey of the self, through an encounter of theme, which allows individuals to contribute as social beings within the community and the wider world.
Our main vision is to embed yoga practice into your school’s existing curriculum. Our innovative sessions provide schools with a new concept to further support the existing holistic curriculum. Classes have been carefully developed to embrace the National Curriculum and incorporates its aims, targets and objectives built around the concept of mindfulness, as well as embed the promotion of British Values throughout lessons. Discussions on Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural are at the forefront of our philosophy, due to the expertise of the educator’s knowledge on Religious Studies, Theology and PSHE. Read more…
After working in a range of schools, I have never experienced a more enriching programme for children. I cannot recommend Once Upon the Mat enough. Adele’s classes are so well crafted to fully benefit children’s holistic development. Educational and truly powerful. I would recommend to all educators and parents!
Adele is an amazing teacher and my baby loved every minute of his baby yoga class! Plus he was so exhausted after all the fun he had had he slept for 2.5hours afterwards!!
Had the most wonderful experience and time with my son doing baby yoga. Adele is innovative, creative and so welcoming. We have done some new things which are different from any other class out there. Highly recommend this class
Adele is a brilliant instructor. The classes are excellent and a perfect opportunity to take time to bond with your baby. If you are going to do at least one baby group/class with your child the this should be it!