For Mind & Body
KidPowerYoga proved to be such a hit that the classes expanded to include all grades and were also adopted by a number of suburban schools. Educators are thrilled with the results. Darcelle Lowe, a teacher in Dorchester, says the difference yoga makes in her students is striking. "The classes are so calming. If my kids spend a morning doing yoga with Mariam, they're more relaxed and better able to focus for the rest of the day." And Baptiste is very proud of the everyone's-a-winner attitude yoga instills in kids. "When they're doing yoga, children can work at their own level -- there's no pressure to perform here," he explains.
As peaceful and centering as yoga is, students also benefit from its physical strengthening, since maintaining the poses requires plenty of effort from young muscles. What's less obvious to little ones is that they're also learning skills that will help them deal with everyday life, says Baptiste. Achieving that mind-body connection allows children to stay cool while coping with anything from tests to peer pressure. "Yoga teaches kids 'alert tranquility.' The children are relaxed, but not dull, because they're concentrating," he explains. Or, as 6-year-old Caroline Lucchina puts it, "I love yoga because it warms up my body -- and then I can do anything!"
Copyright © 2003. Reprinted with permission from the September 2003 issue of Child Magazine.