03 Feb Yoga at Montclare Children’s School
As winter brings a cold chill and we retreat to warmer thoughts, a new chapter in movement begins: it is the perfect time for imagination yoga mat play.
The children begin our class by sitting on their “magic carpet,” as we fly on our mats to a new part of the world to visit the animals who live there. This isn’t your standard yoga class with a slow-talking instructor who guides you through long breathing, meditation exercises. Sure, in preschool yoga, we take a moment to focus on breathing, but it’s always in tandem with some active movement: we breathe while we’re running from a playful lion, or balancing on one foot like a toucan, while we slide on our bellies like penguins or bounce our feet in downward dog like polar bears.
Their imaginations always fully engaged, the children never forget to remind me that “We have to fly home!” at the end of class. As we finish each session, we hop back on our magic carpets and fly to Savasana pose. This is my favorite part of class because we turn the lights down low and the children are ready to rest. Now, we practice breathing like hibernating bears with big bellies as we breathe in and allow our bellies to be soft as we exhale.
Sometimes, we ring the singing bowl or play the pan drum together. Finally, we bow to one another saying “Namaste” which is often interpreted to mean “I see the light in you, and you see the light in me.” I spend just a moment to remind them that within each of us there is a light. “The light is like a candle we see inside of each other and it is just another way of saying that we see love and goodness in our friends and in ourselves.
With that, I release the children with gentle and quiet goodbyes and the reminder to share their light and happiness with others.
Lindsay Andretta, a certified children’s yoga and movement instructor, is Montclare’s Movement, Yoga and Library Specialist. Lindsay also brings her musical talent and her boundless enthusiasm to each class! With a BFA from NYU and an impressive professional career in the performing arts under her belt, never one to rest on her laurels, Lindsay is currently working towards a Masters in Mental Health Counseling!