Nirodhaḥ Yoga Blog
"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us."
- Wilma Rudolph
5KY’s cornerstone is and always will be the Yoga for the Special Child method. Although this method is specifically designed for kids with disabilities, it is entirely adaptable to any population. Who among us doesn’t have special needs? And aren’t we all just big kids?
I’d say, only if we work at it do we retain that childlike sense of wonder that is our theme this month. We speak a lot about practicing as if it’s the first time on our mat. This helps develop that wonder and curiosity about our body and mind, which helps us transcend them.
I think this life lesson - like so many we learn on our mat - is incredibly important off our mat as well. As boring adults, I envision us like commuters on the El at rush hour: pushing forward, heads down, earbuds in, totally disconnected from the life around us, just so we can move toward our goal.
But kids are distinctly different. Haven’t you ever walked by a baby who stares at you as you go by? Or passed a little kid who offers an unabashed “hello!”?
Kids are engaged by the world around them. We should learn from them, rather than only endeavoring to teach them.
Our team members teaching in schools and after-school programs have seen firsthand the effect being online so much of the day has had on our kids and teachers. Though many things may be hybrid or online for some kids for the foreseeable future, there is no reason why kids can’t also learn how to tune into themselves in the midst of all the challenges we’ve been facing. Is there any better training for life than that?
That is why we teach yoga to kids (and frankly, why we teach adults too). So that they don’t lose their sense of wonder. So they can get in touch with themselves and learn to treat their bodies and minds well. So they feel peaceful and happy. So they can share that peace and joy with one and all.
In service of that, I offer two downloadable yoga practices for the classroom. They are each around 10 minutes long and require no special equipment. The first video is for younger kids and is practiced sitting on the floor. The second is for older kids and teens and is practiced in their chairs.
I hope that these videos can be helpful to our dear colleagues working tirelessly at our schools every day. And that they can give our students a moment to close their eyes and connect with themselves.
We’re always here to answer questions about bringing yoga into schools. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Yoga for Schools: Younger Kids
Grab a spot on the floor for a 10-minute yoga practice for younger kids (roughly, up to age 7), which includes exercises to center ourselves, move our bodies, and breathe calmly.
Yoga for Schools: Older Kids and Teens
A yoga practice for older kids and teens (roughly, ages 8 and up), that can be practiced in a chair. Includes centering exercises, gentle movement, and relaxing breathing practices.
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Just some thoughts about yoga as I go...
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