San Francisco

New Mission yoga studio targets families with childcare, kids' classes

After training at Yoga Tree and Love Story Yoga, instructor Ngan Pham has opened her first yoga studio, Yoga Phamily, in the Mission. 

Located at 3134 24th St. (at Shotwell), the new studio is housed in a space that was previously used as a garage.

"The space is owned by a family, and they helped me build it out," said Pham, who's been teaching yoga for about four years, and previously worked in a childcare facility in Noe Valley. After spending months seeking seeking a space there, "I was about to give up," she said.

But then the opportunity in the Mission opened up. "I looked at the demographics, and there are so many families here," Pham said.

As its name implies, Yoga Phamily is targeted at parents and their children, offering vinyasa and restorative yoga classes for all ages, as well as prenatal yoga and "mindful mama" classes.

Parents can even bring babies old enough to crawl to some of the studio's postpartum yoga classes — a rarity in San Francisco, Pham said. 

The childcare room in the back of the studio.

Pham decided to target families because "it's very hard to find child-friendly things in this city," she explained. "Most moms end up hanging out at the playground."

To help parents focus on yoga class, Yoga Phamily will offer childcare in a separate room in the back of the studio, with a trained caregiver teaching a planned curriculum of art for younger kids and homework help for older ones.

It'll also offer a "parent circle" with no set agenda, where parents can chat, use the space's WiFi or just have someone watch their child while they use the restroom. Families can enjoy snacks, like protein bars, that are provided by the studio.

"It is hard for moms, in general, to do something for themselves," Pham explained.

Props like blankets, bolsters or blocks are provided by the studio. Mats can be rented.

Yoga Phamily will offer classes seven days a week, with 13 yoga teachers personally chosen by Pham for their diversity. Some instructors will offer classes that build heat and endurance, while others will invite practitioners to slow down and bring more balance into their lives.

Children of all ages also get their own yoga sessions, with animated breathing exercises and imaginative relaxation techniques. Instructors will add music, picture books and age-appropriate props to support language development, motor coordination, and play skills.

Even toddlers can be taught mindfulness techniques, encouraging them to sit still for as long as a minute.

"Kids can decompress and be themselves," Pham said.

Post-its on Yoga Phamily's windows invite passersby to take encouraging messages.

In the future, Pham hopes to add birth prep classes to the schedule. She's also in the process of making the studio's backyard welcoming for children.

Yoga Phamily is currently offering a grand opening special with unlimited monthly memberships for $125, including all classes and services. Yoga drop-ins start at $20, while a drop-in for childcare costs $13. 

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