It’s never too early to teach children the basics of a fitness routine, and that’s the philosophy behind the kindergarten yoga sessions at Hylen Souders Elementary School.
Yoga teacher Laura Coulson, who earned her children’s yoga instructor certification through Child Light Yoga, is at Souders every Tuesday. During her visit, she spends 20 minutes doing yoga with Mandy Bailey’s and Maria Tarney’s kindergarten classes.
Bailey said children sit a lot in the classroom, and the yoga sessions provide and opportunity for the children to move around and get their circulation toned up.
“Laura is really cool with children,” Bailey said. “She tells a story or has a theme for each session, and at the end she does a meditation for relaxation before the students return to their classroom.”
Bailey said Hylen Souders’ kindergarten yoga sessions began after the Christmas holidays, but the plan is to do the sessions all of next school year.
While Bailey’s students session was underway, the young yoga students completed a variety of poses specifically adapted for youngsters – a bridge pose, a sun salute, the bow, a tree pose and a hero pose.
Coulson, who earned her adult yoga instructor certification at Yoga on High in Columbus and teaches yoga at Community Library and Kore 7 Fitness, said the sessions at Hylen Souders are also a learning experience for her.
“I’m learning more and more about what works for children, and how to engage their attention,” Coulson said. “I try to teach them about breathing and mindfulness – the importance of proper breathing and bringing mindfulness into the body.”
Coulson said her goal is to start students thinking about yoga at an early age and hopefully to carry the practice on when they get older.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093