By Malia Frey
It might seem counter intuitive to teach the calming practice of yoga on a device designed for multitasking, but The Adventures of Super Stretch does just that.
This new app for iPhone and iPad engages children with colorful animated characters and guided video instruction to “inspire mindful movement,” says creator and yoga instructor Jessica Rosenberg.
And parents seem inspired to buy it. According to Rosenberg, sales of the product increased over 2000% after it was recently featured as a “New and Noteworthy” app in the iTunes Store.
Rosenberg initially conceived the Adventures of Super Stretch in 2001 while on a sabbatical from her industrial design job and saw a need for yoga instruction geared specifically to younger children. “Teaching yoga to adults is fairly straightforward,” she explains, “but kids are more spontaneous. They need interactive visual cues to keep them engaged.”
Building on here design background, interest in anime, and love of storytelling, Rosenberg started flash card game and book series that she used in her classes. As part of the program, kids meet a caped cartoon character, Super Stretch, who guides them through a short series yoga poses each represented by a colorful character or animal.
The decision to bring Adventures of Super Stretch to mobile devices seemed natural for Rosenberg, given the growth. “Everywhere I went, I’d see all of these moms with strollers and mobile devices. I wanted to create an app so that anyone could do this program no matter where they were or who they were with. It’s really great,” she says, “for $1.99 you can download this program that teaches mindfulness and creates calm in a playful way.”
Even though Rosenberg’s vision was big, “the collaborative process of creating the app was seamless,” to which she credits PUNY Entertainment with illustrations by Teri Harriet and music by The Elektrik Eye.
“At the time, there was nothing like this on the market. Fitness apps for kids were primarily still pictures or text. We created animated characters alongside real kids in instructional videos. The process was flawless.” The app was designed and developed by The Adventures of Super Stretch for iPad and iPhone launched September 21, 2011 and became a featured app in the iTunes store by October 8th.
Rosenberg is now looking to create brand awareness by taking The Adventures of Super Stretch to a national audience through social media and blog networks. She’s also thinking about potential collaborations with a medical organization such as Children’s Hospital or HealthPartners to help finance her goal of bringing the program to a wider audience.
When asked if she has plans for future app, she answers without hesitation: “There are 52 characters in the Super Stretch flash card deck. I’d love to create new apps to feature each of those poses or make The Adventures of Super Stretch a downloadable book.”