EXCLUSIVE: Two London-based Indian mothers have launched the first ever children’s yoga and mindfulness app to encourage regular home practice.
Young mothers Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Jagruti Tank share more details with IndiaGBnews here in conversation with Rahul Laud.
The pair, who have three babies under two-and-a-half years between them have created ‘Cheeky Yogi’ to help children learn to deal with big emotions from an early age.
“Super Yoga Bedtime” is Cheeky Yogi’s debut app, the first in a series of apps and children’s yoga and mindfulness products built around this theme.
Early Years teacher and Co-founder Jagruti Tank said: “Being a teacher I understand how jam-packed the timetable is – there is hardly any down-time for children these days. So we came up with the idea of an app. Something that parents can do at home, a way of reconnecting with their children in the midst of their busy lives, and bedtime seemed perfect.”
Co-founder and former lawyer Rashmi Sirdeshpande added: “We wanted to build something that really makes a difference. We’ve experienced first-hand the impact strong yoga practise can have in an increasingly fast-paced and high-pressure world. Imagine growing up with this. It’s what we want for our kids. It’s what every child deserves.”
This bedtime app is packed with yoga sequences and creative visualisations to help children become strong and relaxed. It tracks the number of minutes practised and rewards good habits with “Superpowers” so it makes yoga and mindfulness fun, getting children excited about their practice and making it a part of their home routine.
What makes “Super Yoga Bedtime” different?
Jagruti: “Everything is under ten minutes so it’s easy to squeeze in and perfect for little attention spans. It’s also the first children’s yoga and mindfulness app to encourage a regular home practice. One-off sessions can be a great pick-me-up but the best results come through regular practice. It’s like the difference between showering now and then and showering every single day.”
What was the biggest challenge when creating it?
Jagruti: “Most importantly, fitting this all new business in and around a baby’s routine. That and being away from our home for the past five months due to the chaos of building works and renovations!”
Rashmi: “The biggest challenge for me was the fact that I had a baby half-way through the app development process and was looking after two babies under two years old in the run up to the launch!”
What difference has yoga and mindfulness made in your lives?
Jagruti: “Whilst doing the yoga practice it was incredible how I discovered different ways of moving my body and observing how this beautiful energy would generate. It also had a direct effect on my mind too – it was calm and clear.”
Rashmi: “Yoga and mindfulness are my life-savers. If they can help someone like me switch off and live in the moment, they can work for anyone. On the emotional side, my practice has really helped me take a look inside when I’m not feeling my best. ”
When asked do your kids practise yoga and mindfulness?
Jagruti: “Absolutely! It has become an integral part of our lives. Yoga has become the norm for my daughter because she is growing up with it every day.”
Rashmi: “Yes! I’ve been doing baby yoga with the little ones since they were newborns. My two-year-old loves our morning sessions on the mat (he knows so many poses by name!) and my six-month-old finds them very entertaining.”
When is the best time to practise yoga and mindfulness with kids?
Rashmi: “Bedtime is a fantastic time for this because it helps children wind down and switch off at the end of a busy day. It’s also such a lovely to time to do something with them. Right after a story is great. With younger children, we have time to do some yoga in the mornings but for many parents, mornings are busy with getting everyone ready for school and work so bedtime is a good starting point.”
How have you considered the increased screen-time for kids?
Jagruti: “Whilst designing the app, we had to really think carefully about how we could overcome this challenge of making it fun, easy to follow and engaging so we came up with the idea of a loveable character that acquires superpowers and rewards. Also, being wary of screen time and little people’s attention spans, we decided to make each sequence in the app between three and nine minutes.”
Rashmi: “In terms of apps, it’s about having an engaging and high quality learning experience rather than sitting like a zombie with your eyes glued to the screen. With this app, we wanted to bring yoga and mindfulness to kids in an environment they’re already familiar with and interested in.”
What are your plans for the future?
Jagruti: “We would like to release something specifically for emotions.”
Rashmi: “We’ll do more of the same – understanding what parents need and how we can help their children then taking all that and wrapping it up in our next offering. Whether that’s an app or something else…let’s see! Watch this space!”
The app is priced at: £2.29 for Age: 4+ and designed for ages 6-8. The Platform: iPad, requires iOS 7.0 or later.