Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - Feb. 2014

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(breathwork) is known as Hatha Yoga. Children are like rubber bands when it comes to flexibility. I often have to admonish them from venturing too far, doing shoulder stands when I've just asked them to lie down, but they also enjoy challenges and partner work. A favorite is sitting back to back, linking arms, then figuring out how to stand without disconnecting, using only each other for support. This kind of partnership is a learning experience for them, but the learning goes both ways. "One of the finest aspects of our summer yoga camp is learning from the children," says Jahnvi Formisano, founder and director of Yoga Way, a yoga studio in Wappingers Falls that offers a day camp for kids ages 5-11 for three consecutive days in August as well as children's yoga classes throughout the year. "It's their creative ideas, actions and curiosity that remind us adults how to recalibrate. They live close to their hearts. It is a privilege to watch them meet their fullest capability and individual Campers learn the archer pose at Yoga Way yoga studio in Wappingers Falls. "One of the finest aspects of our summer yoga camp is learning from the children," says studio founder and director Jahnvi Formisano. To find a yoga camp in your area, visit Hudson Valley Parent's online Camp Guide at expression in a safe structure." It is the safe space that a yoga class provides that gives the chil- dren permission to simply be inside themselves and release the exterior world, to focus and breathe. So many of the kids would rush into my class, lay out their towels, sit with their eyes closed and pretend to meditate. And in that pretense was a semblance of the real thing. Happy babies During my last class last summer, I had them do the "happy baby" pose. In this pose, they lie on their backs, bend their knees, hold onto their toes and roll side to side, just like a happy baby. For these 5-yearolds, it was a chance to do something they are constantly being told not to do: to act like a baby. Almost in unison they started chanting, "Whaa, whaaa" as they gleefully rolled around. They had permission, finally, to let out their inner baby just as we adults are advised to let out our inner child. Violet Favell, 5, counts beads on her "happy thoughts" bracelet. The children choose thoughts such as "I am brave," "I like myself" or "I am peaceful," and the beads serve as a tactile tool to repeat their happy thought whenever they would like to. Linda Freeman is a freelance writer, yoga instructor and swing dance teacher who lives in Marlboro. n Hudson Valley Parent 21

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