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Hollywood Riviera Resident’s Board Game Introduces Youths to Yoga

Remember the days before computers, tweeting and Instagram? The olden days, when people made eye contact around the kitchen (or restaurant) table instead of staring at their screens? When families communicated face to face instead of text to text?

Hollywood Riviera resident Amy MacConnell is on a mission to help kids get a taste of what life was like before technology took away true interaction with others. Toward that  Nicole Rijelle Thompson, developed Turasa, a board game that uses yoga to encourage cooperation and connectivity.

Nicole Rijelle Thompson, developed Turasa, a board game that uses yoga to encourage cooperation and connectivity.

“Technology is wonderful in many ways, but the downside is it has caused us to lose interaction with others, including within our own families,” she said. “All the fast-paced technology kids are exposed to can cause anxiety because things move so quickly and there’s less human-to-human contact. The Turasa game was designed to help families use yoga to slow down, laugh and communicate with each other.”

In Turasa, the youngest player picks a card displaying a yoga movement and everyone then does the pose together. The poses use a system of stretching that encourages strength and flexibility with an emphasis on balance and breathing. Challenge cards in the game helps kids see that overcoming obstacles is positive. The cards also make kids think about gratitude, friendship and keeping the earth healthy.

“Yoga is so beneficial for young people to practice because it helps them identify positive feelings,” said Amy, who, in addition to a game inventor, is an experienced yoga instructor. “I’m excited about bringing yoga to students in our local school districts and to after school programs at the YMCA. I’m also teaching kids how to incorporate meditation into their lives to help them stay calm and joyful.”

Originally a financial planner, Amy got involved with yoga after suffering a running injury more than a dozen years ago. She moved to the Hollywood Riviera with her 15-year-old daughter last year to be near the Riviera Village and the beach.

In addition to bringing Turasa and the practice of yoga and meditation to local schools, Amy is developing a game that features people with disabilities doing yoga poses.

“Yoga and meditation is great for almost everyone,” she said. “I had one mother tell me her son now gets up early to meditate and uses his breath to calm down. I myself have only been sick twice in the last 12 years.”

You can learn more about Turasa at turasagame.com.