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DVD for young yogis wins national award

Children can learn techniques to become centered, relaxed, environmentalists



Storyland Yoga is an interactive yoga DVD for children. The production features nine local children being led through yoga exercises keyed to lessons for helping the planet, as illustrated by two stories: Condor Trek and Save the Whale.

Ahmed Fahmy, an instructor at Smiling Dog Yoga in San Luis Obispo, guides the children in movement and narrates the stories, whose scenes are set in several spectacular locations along the Central Coast. Computer-generated animated figures augment the instruction.“Yoga and storytelling give kids a much needed break that sparks their imaginations and benefits their bodies,” Fahmy said.

Storyland Yoga gained national recognition by winning a Parents’ Choice Award on April 10. The DVD was released from Playful Planet, a business created by Bryan and Karen Duggan who launched their website and the Storyland Yoga DVD on February 28 at Smiling Dog Yoga in SLO.

Playful Planet donates one percent of all product sales to children’s environmental causes. “For specially earmarked causes and events, we donate up to 15 percent of gross sales.  We project these numbers will grow as our business grows,” Karen Duggan said.

The Parents’ Choice Awards is a nationwide competition conducted since 1978. In the DVD category, 14 awards were granted this year. The judging process took about three months; educators, librarians, parents, and children reviewed the submissions and collectively selected the winners. Walt Disney Studio received four of the awards.

Storyland Yoga will have the right to use the Parents’ Choice Seal for the life of the product. The Parents’ Choice Foundation highlights the winners on its website for a year. Many independent toy stores and bookstores base their buying decisions on Parents’ Choice recommendations. Online retailers, catalogs, and several museum shops carry Parents’ Choice Award products.

“We were compelled by the beauty of our local area, and scouted locations that we knew had powerful energy and beautiful backdrops,” Karen Duggan recalled. “Since the idea for Storyland Yoga had been born at Spooner’s Cove, where I first discussed this with Ahmed, we felt that this would be the perfect location for the Save The Whale story. The Condor Trek story involved a river and trees, and Laguna Lake Park had both water and trees. It seemed to be a great choice for us; it was local and convenient for the cast and crew. While developing the DVD with Ahmed, Bryan and I realized that yoga not only increases a child’s personal health, but had the side benefit of raising the child’s awareness of his or her connectedness to nature and all living things.

 We have six other titles in development, including Creative Play, Recycled Music, Totally Fun Fitness, as well as several sequels to Storyland Yoga. The next scheduled production is Farm-to-Plate Cooking,” Duggan said.

Storyland Yoga is available for $14.99 at,, Smiling Dog Yoga, and New Frontiers Natural Foods market in San Luis Obispo. It will soon be on sale at EcoBambino, an eco-toy store at the downtown SLO Farmers Market.


Fast facts

More than 30 bunny rabbits at the San Luis Obispo County Animal Shelter urgently need homes. The ExtravaBUNza Adopt-a-Pet, will take place on Saturday, June 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring a wide variety of rabbits for adoption, with breeds ranging from Angoras to Silver Martins. The adoption fee is only $5. and cardboard carriers will be available for an additional $3. Printed care and feeding instructions will be included with each adoption. The shelter is located at 885 Oklahoma Avenue in San Luis Obispo 

Teens in Atascadero will be operate a city-wide recycling program on Saturday, June 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help fund the Teens at Work program, which is dedicated to building confidence and self-esteem. The recycling will take place on Palma Street by the Sunken Gardens in Atascadero. Everyone who brings aluminum cans and plastic bottles will receive a coupon for a free order of fries from Sylvester’s Burgers in Atascadero. For more information contact Betian Webb at 674-4413 .


 Intern Dylan Baumann compiled Strokes & Plugs this week. Send your business and nonprofit news to

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