Most of our students are balls of energy who talk a mile a minute and barely stop to take a breath. But take a breath is exactly what our volunteer yoga instructor, Chloë, asked our students to do.
One of the principal objectives of yoga is to develop a strong mind-body connection. Meditation and focused breathing are used to relax the body, while strategic poses are used to influence your mental state. As a program that uses athletics as a tool to teach life skills and healthy habits, we too believe that the mind and body are deeply intertwined and can be developed in complementary ways.
So for our “Healthy Minds” foundational lesson, Danielle and I decided to bring in the lovely Chloë to teach a yoga class and help our students find their inner strength and peace. She started the class by having the girls close their eyes and concentrate on their breathing. They maintained this concentration as they moved into increasingly complex poses. We were amazed to see our spirited chicas so calm and focused!
Throughout the class, Chloë encouraged the girls to release negative energy and focus on their positive qualities. As they moved from Mountain Pose to Warrior I, she had them repeat certain phrases: “Soy fuerte, soy valiente, soy amable.” I am strong, I am brave, I am kind. When it came time to learn Tree Pose, Chloë had the girls stand in a circle and form a “bosque” or forest. While some students found it difficult to hold the pose on their own, together they were able to support one another and stand tall.
Thank you, Chloë, for your inspiring words and calming class! We hope that our students will use some of the yoga principles and techniques they learned to reduce stress and find peace in their daily lives.