Yoga for the Young Athlete...and All Ambitious Kids!
This is a new yoga class that I am running for grades 5-12. It is held at Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA from 4:30-5:30PM Mondays (except on school holidays). is a new multi-faith center for the wider community, a place to celebrate and strengthen our connectedness, to promote healing and wholeness, and to experience spiritual nourishment.
I have been teaching my veterans yoga class at this same location for about a year now and the center has expanded its focus to include more community based classes in yoga, Tai Chi, spirituality and flamenco! I am offering a Family Yoga class (Monday 3:30-4:30), Yoga for the Young Athlete...and All Ambitious Kids (grades 5-12; Monday 4:30-5:30); I teach in rotation a free Veteran's Yoga class (along with Lynn Stoller and Michael Thomas; Monday 6:00-7:30PM); Family Flamenco (Thursday 4:30-5:30) and Adult/Teen Flamenco (Friday 10:00-11:15AM).
The first meeting of Athlete Yoga we spent our time exploring how yoga can be a great companion for all the other things we do in our life: sports, schoolwork, musical instruments/singing, busy time, free time, happy time, sad time, angry time....We gathered a list of activities we like to do: Basketball, Bicycling, Hiking, Piano, Saxophone, Sing, Ski/Snowboard, Surf, Swim and Tennis. Over the weeks, we will explore each session focusing on one of the activities Classes will include breath-work (Pranyama), poses (Asana) and Meditation. We will also listen to stories and music, color, talk about healthy living choices and how to bring our yoga off the mat and into the world.
Swimming was chosen as our first "activity", as it is something that all the students enjoy. None of these kids are on a swim team but they all enjoy swimming just the same (minus the competitive edge). A yoga practice can complement even an amateur's swim routine by introducing strength building and flexibility. Asanas (postures) utilize body weight as a powerful source of resistance: Outside of the water, gravity helps to build strength and muscle. In addition, postures take the body through a full range of motion, encouraging flexible, supple muscles that are less prone to injury.
We started today's class outside at the church's labyrinth. The kids naturally took to completing the spiral in and then out, sensing the need to follow the path in and out, noticing that somehow it seemed necessary to do this. Feeling the evenness in their bodies and their minds upon completion. The entered and exited repeatedly, sometimes walking slowly, sometimes following each other and at other times running around each curve. In the end, they ended up in the center, smiling and sitting with each other.
* Bean bag on belly breath
* Explaining how to and the use of Ujjayi breath (taught as Ocean breath for kids).
*Gomulkasana Arms in Easy Pose-relieves tightness in shoulders and upper back
*A series (for Utkatasana and Low Utkatasana: diving, even bent knee table top-diving prep; Uttnasana-fall forward into water)
*Dog in Prayer 2
*Dog in Prayer 2
*Forearm Plank-helps build and maintain core strength
*Pointer Dog-increases core strength and balances asymmetries
*Locust-also with arms stretched out front
*½ Bow-stretches upper back
*Trikonasana- maintains good range of motion in shoulder and hip joints
*½ Eagle-arms first then add legs for balance
*Supported Bridge-helps release tension in neck and upper back-
* Supine Twist-stretches both hips and spine
We ended class in the playground.