Grace + Zen
Marbella Plaza, 31105 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite C-8
At the Grace + Zen Children’s School of Yoga and Ballet, owner and teacher Nikki Sulon’s mantra is all about equilibrium—the balance of graceful ballet, mindful yoga and an overall positive, healthy lifestyle.
A trained children’s yoga and dance instructor, 28-year-old Sulon is already teaching South Orange County kids the ways of grace and zen in her very own studio just months after moving to Dana Point from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Located in San Juan Capistrano’s Marbella Plaza, Grace + Zen’s official grand opening and San Juan Chamber ribbon cutting took place Sept. 12. Since then, Sulon has begun offering classes such as infant massage and baby yoga, teen yoga, prenatal yoga and combo classes for toddlers through 10-year-olds consisting of both yoga and ballet. She’s also adding special needs yoga classes for children 5 and up.
Each class runs for roughly an hour and a half and includes a craft or healthy snack at the end.
“It’s a really good opportunity for kids to come and make friends outside of school,” Sulon said. “And parents of the older kids love it because they can drop them off and go run errands for an hour and a half.”
Sulon discovered her love of dance, yoga and teaching at an early age. While in college, she minored in dance and taught on the weekends; during the summers, she worked as a camp counselor at the YMCA. After a knee surgery the summer before her sophomore year, Sulon began doing Bikram yoga, as she heard it was helpful in healing joints. She continued to explore different styles of yoga while keeping her love of dance and teaching in the forefront.
“It was then that I decided I wanted to put all of my effort into creating my own studio,” Sulon said. She specifically wanted to work with young children, not only because she loves their active imaginations, but to see the positive impact she’s having on their coordination, concentration and overall behavior.
“This helps calm them down. So many kids today are overstimulated with technology,” Sulon said. “It’s good to have them step away for a moment to use their imaginations and do a craft.”
“The kids learn a lot more than just first position and how to do a plie,” Sulon continued. “They’re learning to wait their turn, to raise their hand. Some of these kids are in here before they get to preschool, so they’re learning classroom etiquette.”