Kids as young as kindergartners are learning about moves such as dragonfly twists and warrior positions as participants in classes for Chelsea Community Education’s Young Yogis. The classes began earlier this year and will resume when school starts in the fall.
The teachers are Niki Le and Sue Whitmarsh, who have been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of the classes.
“Get your spines close up, cross your legs in front of you, and take deep breaths,” Whitmarsh instructed a class after advising the students to close their eyes to avoid being distracted.
Whitmarsh and Le have gotten great responses from students and parents.
“Yoga helps them strengthen their body, mind and spirit, increases their oxygen levels, and encourages motor development on both sides of the body,” said Le.
Both she and Whitmarsh have children who were interested in learning yoga, and after Le heard about a yoga program for kids in the Detroit area, they pitched the idea to Chelsea Community Education and got permission to start the Young Yogis class together.
So far they have taught a class for children in kindergarten through second grade and two classes for third through eighth-graders.
“One of our students was going through a rough day at school and the parent had made a comment to us about her child saying to her that she would feel better if she could take a yoga class,” said Le, who said that the yoga instruction helped alleviate the stress and the student’s mom was very appreciative.
“Our girls love savasana, which is the last pose in class,” said Le. “It means corpse pose and is the resting pose where we lie down and close our eyes and take a rest and start renewed,” she said. “The girls are always excited when they are finally able to relax after all the hard work of doing the sun salutations.”
Whitmarsh and Le say they are pleased at how much their students enjoy yoga and how much they want to learn new moves. They say it is gratifying when they hear students express how good they feel after a class.
There will be six-week Young Yogi sessions throughout the upcoming school year.
For more information, contact Chelsea Community Education at 734-433-2208, ext. 6001.