Amaya Papaya offering special family yoga classes for Black History Month

Next class is on Feb. 19 at the Soko Marketplace in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square

News 6 introduced you “playlogist” Yolonda Tyler as she took her business Amaya Papaya from a brick-and-mortar indoor playground to a mobile business focused on play and mindfulness enrichment programs for children 0 to 5 years old.

Part of the curriculum is yoga, and during February, Tyler is offering Black History Month-themed family yoga. The next class is on Feb. 19 at the Soko Marketplace in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square at 9 a.m.

“It’s more or less to be able to educate the parents about some Black history and just being able to use things that feature Black people, Black children and Black joy in general. Parents can expect to have their kids read a book that features prominent African Americans in history. Parents can expect to see yoga postures featuring Black children on a yoga deck that I found created by an African American therapist,” Tyler said.

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Tyler said the class is created for parents to be able to participate with their children.

“For me, it’s just about showing people I belong here, you belong here, this is for me, this is for all of us,” she said. “It’s a style of yoga I call yoga play. We all know how to play. We all know how to move our bodies. Some of those postures you might kind of know about because you’ve seen it on tv or you’ve seen it in a yoga class or you’ve seen it online or in a book. I’m going to have you do some of those things probably not as complicated and probably not as hard, but definitely fun and definitely more playful.”

Tyler said representation within the yoga community is important, and she loves teaching in Winter Park’s historic Hannibal Square.

“I think that my ancestors are very proud and the extended ancestors are proud and they are there in spirit doing yoga with us. And just being happy that we are spreading the exposure of positivity of Black, African American, people of color. I just think that it is so special and I can just feel my ancestors being proud when we’re there.”

Tyler also teaches chair yoga for seniors and teen yoga and mindfulness, calling yoga another skill set we can give our kids.

“It calms the mind and settles the body. To me yoga says, give the kids the skill and help them kind of learn their own path or decide their own path,” she said.

To learn more about Tyler’s services and classes, visit her website.

About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.