JESSICA ROSENBERG | MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA
kids yoga poses app
Bio: Jessica Rosenberg has been practicing wellbeing disciplines since the mid-eighty’s and teaching yoga for more than 11 years. The result is a wonderfully blended teaching style, unique sequencing and challenging, classes for adults and children that balance body, mind, and heart to help students enlighten up.
Jes merges her passions for yoga, philosophy, learning, storytelling and teaching with her background as an Industrial Designer. She is the Designer and co-founder of GorillaYogis.com – a movement of yoga beyond studio walls, connecting and creating a community raising awareness and money for great causes.
She created the ‘Super Stretch Yoga’ app on iTunes that brings gaming, video of real kids and animated characters to life introducing yoga as Edutainment. The app teaches kids to take a step forward to be the best that they can be through breath and movement.
Jovan Johnson: What was the inspiration to create The Adventures of Super Stretch (AofSS) in 2001. Why create a yoga app for kids?
Jes: The Adventures of Super Stretch Yoga was founded in 2001 when I started teaching yoga classes to children. I began teaching in nursery schools, at high school events, yoga studios and classes for at-risk youth. Kids today have so many challenging issues in their busy, overscheduled, over technological lives… peer pressure, ADHD, weight issues, etc. When I taught I noticed how yoga helped to build self-esteem and teach kids to find balance in their lives.
Teaching yoga to kids is very different then teaching yoga to adults. So, I started creating a bunch of fun props to keep their attention: flashcards with characters on them, storybooks and coloring sheets. NAMASTE became the acronym for Super Stretch’s mission to “Make NAMASTE a part of your day”. And at the end of class every kid gets to become a part of the team.
The tools really help children to empower themselves in a healthy, fun and most importantly engaging way. They learn the immeasurable benefits of yoga and that they are SUPER by taking a step forward to be the best that they can be through breath and movement.
A video project I worked on in 2010 for a MN S.H.I.P. Grant Program teaching kids how to create calm before test taking sparked an idea. Edutainment is the key. The flashcards and books have been great tools to teach yoga to kids, but there is always a facilitator. By making an enticing APP parents, caregivers, grandparents and educators can have a tool to use get kids to do yoga without knowing anything about yoga themselves. And do yoga movements anytime, anywhere. In the car, at home, in the stroller, at school in the classroom…
Kids already watch cartoons on TV, play on the computer and use apps on the iPad/iPhone. So, why not learn yoga and healthy tips for living from a cartoon? After an incredible learning experience and working hard with a development team, the characters came to life! Now, Super Stretch and his 52 animated friends, who are all yoga poses, teach yoga/fitness as they go on exciting adventures.
Jovan: You recently released an app to support AofSS. What are your goals and objectives with regards to your app?
Jes: To create a larger audience for the brand. By building the Super Stretch story in the app store it creates a global presence that I could never create just from Mpls, MN. People in Ireland have bought the app!
Jovan: When do you think businesses should consider releasing an app?
Jes: Once you have the funds in place I suggest that you have a good concept and strong story, exceptional development team for the app, lawyer to help with the trademark and business aspects of the concept, PR team in the wings, strong web presence [YouTube, FaceBook page, twitter]… I can go on and on! Truly, no better time then the present because if you don’t do it, someone else will.
Jovan: How did you select the company / programmer who coded your app?
Jes: Puny Entertainment came highly recommended by a friend who has worked with them before. We basically interviewed each other and it was a good fit. It also helped that I had all the assets and art done from the flashcards/books so they were producing the app from existing collateral and not creating something from scratch.
Jovan: Can you provide tips for developers looking to market themselves to businesses?
Jes: Plant your stake on the moon and then figure out how to get there. Dream big! Trust yourself and your idea.
Jovan: What is your favorite aspect of your app?
Jes: As guide and friend Super Stretch talks to you, the viewer. The interactive fitness app brings gaming, video of real kids and animated characters to life introducing yoga as Edutainment. Super Stretch Yoga characters learn how to overcome challenges through yoga.
Jovan: What’s next for Super Stretch?
Jes: Breathe, stretch, play and make NAMASTE a part of your day! Stay tuned for more apps, DVD, digital download books. Adventures of Super Stretch Teacher Trainings… So, stay tuned to twitter and make sure to be a ‘fan’ on the Facebook page to get daily tips and tools to engage kids in yoga.