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The Adventures of Wasabi Sunshine
Page 2: Bringing Yoga to Kids

Animal Yoga Video Box Eventually Hamilton went on to become a registered Yoga teacher. Her Yoga credentials and knowledge as a breast cancer researcher gave her the ability to deeply understand the health benefits of Yoga, but it was her love of kids that gave her knowledge direction.

(Article continued below.)

Teaching Yoga to children was an inspired decision for Hamilton. She had been teaching Yoga to adults, but one day she was goofing around with a friend. As she tried to make her friend laugh by striking funny Yoga poses, Hamilton realized that kids would love playing around like that. She designed her Animal Yoga program with this kind of lighthearted energy in mind. It was such a hit that it wasn't long before she decided to create a video.

Making the video was another adventure altogether. Film production was an area she had never explored before. "I've had to learn a lot in terms of producing, directing, development, raising money and capital!" she says.

Luckily, she had found a partner in Renee Humphrey, an actress who was familiar with the world of production. During her acting career (she has appeared in many feature films, including Mallrats and Cadillac Ranch), Humphrey became interested in the production side of the film industry. She wound up co-producing and co-directing the video with Hamilton. Neither of them, however, imagined that their project would take three years to complete. "The quote 'Necessity is the mother of invention' is really true," Hamilton reflects.

Nothing, however, could deter Hamilton from her vision. "I believe Yoga stimulates creativity. It fosters children's exploratory natures," she says. And she knew from her own classes how hard it is for parents to get their kids to a Yoga studio. "It's kind of difficult to organize kids' Yoga classes because kids are involved in so many after school sports that are free. And all the driving - it's kind of difficult for parents." Hamilton sees a real need for quality kids' Yoga videos - "They'll always have it. They can do it as many times as they want."

And kids want to do Animal Yoga over and over - a sure sign of success. Hamilton sees African Adventure as part of a series - a box set, a television show, or both. "It would be really good to get it on TV," Hamilton says, "because I would really like to reach massive populations of kids who 1) are low income and can't afford the video and 2) the kids who rely on the television as a baby sitter at night. Those are the kids I really want to reach because those are the kids suffering from a lack of attention, possibly a lack of nutrition or awareness in certain areas - things that they need, they're not getting." For Hamilton, one of the most important parts of the routine is the relaxation segment at the end, where she inserts a special message for the kids. In African Adventure, the theme for the relaxation segment is cleanliness, but she says that each subsequent video will be different - "health-related things that a lot of kids just aren't taught," she says.

Now that the first video is done, Hamilton will be able to put together others at a timelier pace. At the moment, she and Humphrey are pitching Animal Yoga as a series for television. But whether it winds up as a show or as a box set, there are more episodes in the works. "We already have a bunch of them mapped out," says Hamilton. "The next one, we're sailing off into the ocean."

Wasabi Sunshine is ready for her next adventure.

Animal Yoga Snake

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