Young people in Eckville got a taste of the relaxing, holistic benefits of yoga, at Peace in a Pod Yoga Studio, on April 26. Yoga Instructor and Studio Owner Sandi-Rae Hebb hosted a youth yoga class, that served as crash course for the many movements and postures practiced in yoga. The class was part of a broader Youth Group program in Eckville that provides social activities for young people in the Town.
“They put this on, for 14-18 year-old kids. They can come, hang out each week and do something different,” said Hebb. “Normally they go to the Friendship Centre, but [Wednesday] night was a special thing, where they got to come to the studio for yoga.”
Although the crowd was smaller than expected, and no boys attended (due to the yoga class coinciding with baseball practice) the girls involved were enthusiastic, and eager to learn the various poses and movements they were taught.
“It was pretty good – most of the kids have done yoga with me before. I got them doing a combination of a gentle Hatha, a slow Vinyasa and then quite a long guided meditation at the end,” said Hebb, describing the sequences of movements she taught them. “For that age group, the guided meditation is a big part of it. I think that’s the part they enjoyed the most.”
Hebb said one of the most important things about yoga is that it is non-competitive, and that it being that way is important for people in the 14-18 age group.
“It’s kind of different from other sports, in that aspect, because it’s the kind of thing that anybody can do, at any level,” she said. “I think it’s important in that age range, because it helps kids build that self-esteem. I like to keep it fun for them, too.”
Hebb said that she was impressed by how well the budding yoga practitioners in her class did, quickly catching on to each sequence of movements she guided them through, adding, “they did awesome. During the slow part of it, there were a lot of giggles because there were a few things they hadn’t done before.”
“Towards the end, when we did the guided meditation, the whole class definitely was completely relaxed for over 20 minutes. I even got a big hug at the end, from one of the girls, saying it was the best thing ever.”
All in all, Hebb emphasized that the yoga classes are 75 minutes for people to unwind from the stresses of their day, “disconnect from their phones, and social media and just give them the tools they need to relax and listen to their body.”