Family Yoga Project
Family Paths offers both Parent Yoga and Family Yoga. The parent yoga classes help parents by offering personal time to do gentle stretches and breathing exercises which help the body and mind – giving you space for calm, deep relaxation and reducing stress.
Family Yoga is meant to be a fun and playful way for you and your young child to connect and learn important calming skills. It combines simple movements and “poses” from yoga traditions with songs, games and story-telling. The classes are offered to parents/caregivers and their children 2-5 years old in a variety of community settings. Through story and movement, your child will explore the world of nature, the seasons, the animal kingdom and their connection to you. You will be encouraged to support your child in guided song and movement. You will also learn ways to be more attuned, nurturing and responsive to your young child, and reduce your parenting stress
Classes have been offered at Oakland Public Library branches (César E. Chávez, Eastmont, Elmhurst and Melrose), Hayward Public Library branches (Central and Weekes), San Leandro Main Library, Center for the Vulnerable Child, Emerson Child Development Center, Oakland WIC, Bananas, and Healthy Hearts Clinic at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.
If you are interested in providing a Family Paths yoga class in your community, please contact Julianne Rositas, Family Support Manager, at email@example.com.
Classes are currently offered free of charge.
Click HERE for current schedule of classes
Meet the Instructors
Alexis Azzam, M.A., LMFT, CYT 500 hours
Alexis discovered yoga as a respite for her work as a psychotherapist with underserved children and families. Yoga became a practice of play and interconnection that Alexis used with her clients and as a tool for her own relaxation. As a practitioner of Adult Yoga for over 11 years and a teacher of Child and Family Yoga for 8 years, Alexis has over 500 hours of training in teaching yoga to infants, toddlers, children, adults and families. Through yoga, Alexis gives opportunities to create nonverbal communication and connection between family members assisting them in self-regulation and with increased relational bonding. Alexis co-founded the Family Yoga Project at Family Paths and teaches classes through the Project and in her own private practice. Alexis is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist with a Master’s Degree in Somatic Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She maintains a private practice providing psychotherapy, yoga therapy and yoga classes.
Misty Finney, M.A., CYT 200 hours
Misty began practicing yoga at the young age of 12 learning from her mother who took classes at a community college. During Misty’s undergraduate studies at the California State University of San Bernardino, she took her first yoga class as she began her studies in psychology. Misty’s love for yoga drew her to develop a yoga club and to complete a yoga teacher’s training course at the University. Misty was introduced to TKV Desikachar and his son Kausthub and travelled throughout India receiving formal training at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandirum. She also received a yoga teacher certificate in Integral Yoga from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and practices Vipassana sitting meditation in the style of S.N. Goenka. Through the Family Yoga Project Misty teaches the Family Yoga classes in both English and Spanish. Misty has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. As a Parent Support Counselor in the Family Support Program at Family Paths, Misty supervises interns/volunteers and provides bilingual counseling and support services to parents calling the Parent Support Hotline, and the Foster Parent Advice Line.
Claudia Hein, LCSW , RYT -200
After twenty of years of serving youth, parents, and families in her adopted Oakland community as a teacher, swim coach, therapist, and social worker, Claudia is committed to bringing to others the benefits and peace she has experienced through yoga. Claudia ventured into her first yoga class five years ago with a free gift pass and looking for support with stress and body pain. With that first class, Claudia started learning methods to be both present and at peace with the strengths and struggles in her mind, body, and life. Grateful for the unique stress coping skills yoga has taught her, Claudia longed to share these tools with parents she has worked with. Claudia’s training includes a 200-hour teacher training in Vinyasa Yoga that she completed in August 2015. Claudia has taught yoga to youth and parents of all ages, cultures, economic backgrounds, and levels of physical strength and ability. For more than nineteen years, Claudia has worked with parents in the practice of balancing self-care and parenting responsibilities. Claudia believes that parenting is the most valuable and difficult job to do. Though not a parent herself, she appreciates each parent’s unique story and their daily efforts to provide love and care for themselves and those they care for. She believes that yoga can offer parents a unique way to increase awareness of their present strengths and learn new methods to increase strength and flexibility in mind, body, and spirit that will serve them in all they do. Claudia welcomes you to contact her for more information on her classes.