I realized I skipped last week’s blog update…but then I realized that I had a great excuse! Our class spent last Friday morning fine tuning some of our favorite yoga poses, and putting them together in a flow in anticipation of the first annual Kids Yoga Day on April 8th. Kids Yoga Day is an initiative created by Teresa Ann Power, author of ABC Yoga for Kids, where the mission is to show the world how just 5 minutes of yoga a day can go a long way to boost the mental and physical health and wellness of our kids. With over 19 countries, 45 states, and over 23,000 kids committed to participating a week prior to the event, I think it’s safe to say she got her point across! Jedd was kind enough to offer to film a video of the flow so all of Trinity would have access to it throughout the day, and be able to do their part in participating in this event on their own time.
Let’s face it, the kids love to be on film. As soon as I said the magic word- Trinity TV- they switched it into high gear. They worked hard to learn the various poses, proper alignment, how to transition between poses, and the benefits of each pose. I chose eight super star student (although they are all stars!) who would help me lead the poses while the others practiced in the background. Let me tell you, it was a hard decision! As always, I strategically chose students. My tall mountain wasn’t necessarily my tallest student, but my student who could use a little reinforcement that you don’t have to be the tallest to soar the highest. And my downward…she may not have had her feet flat on the ground or her elbows rotated in, but she has worked harder on this pose, using it as foundation and also as a re-set button when neccesary. Her dedication is remarkable.
Now that the prep work had been down, it was really time to have some fun! Jedd worked his magic as we taught poses to the camera, demonstrated the flow, and lastly shared with the community (and what would soon be the world!) the benefits of each pose.
On to the main event…on April 8th we got to celebrate Kids Yoga Day! We started out by talking about how kids from all over the world were doing yoga on this same day, and what this might look like in different schools and different countries. From here we read Good Morning Yoga (not to be confused with another favorite, Good Night Yoga, both by Marian Gates) and warmed up with this flow. The kids have taken their own yoga practice to a whole new level- what used to be floppy and giggly is now focused attention on their own bodies and movements- so beautiful!
But the fun didn’t stop here. At 11 am we met the rest of the First Grade (thank you awesome co-workers for being so supportive of my passion!) and some of Kindergarten (and almost 20 teachers and even some parents!) in the amphitheatre for some live Yoga! I have taught plenty of classes but teaching outside… on an amazing, Atlanta, spring day… to a crowd like this…really got my blood flowing! Before I knew it the kids were chanting “Yoga! Yoga!” We had a ball- I taught some new poses such as airplane and eagle, we had some fun with some old favorites, and ended with holding some poses while the crowd the wave moved up and down the rows of kids. The whole 15 minutes was so overwhelming it almost brought me to tears. We ended with a twist on an old favorite, tree friends, driving home the idea that we all need support from time to time, and that our friends play an important role in our lives.
Tweets were shared all day from co-workers who did yoga with their classes, not just at Trinity school but among my teacher friends nationwide, emails poured in from parents who commented on how much they (and their kids!) loved it, and I left school exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time, grinning ear to ear and on that special kind of “high” that we all know and love.