High School Yoga: Curriculum in Action

Written by Cheryl Crawford on . Posted in Community Supporters, Curriculum, High School Yoga, Student Feedback

I’m so grateful for the support of the Southeast Yoga Conference. This year Co-Founding Goddesses Melissa Katz and Nicole Jurovics asked me to present an excerpt from our yoga elective class.  The write up went like this:

Cheryl along with some of her high school students who participated in the first ever semester-long yoga elective entitled the “United States of You” as they guide you on a journey deep into your core of an inner most state…Doubt. It’s so easy to get to these days! You’ll move from this state of Doubt towards the State of Trust, creating a sense of awareness through Grounded Poses and an openness to shed what is no longer useful, keeping what is of value, and shaking the rest away with grit and giggles.

Come connect, breathe, move and receive the powerful wisdom of yoga and hear first-hand how yoga has benefited the students of Atlanta.

 

So, I asked four of our students to teach with me down at the W Midtown on a Friday Afternoon in October, and they all said, “YES”!

greetingsWe all arrived early enough for hugs and giggles before we began. We hadn’t seen each other since last May.

 

alex nia cody me smilesThe participants were quite touched by these beautiful kids. Their rich views on yoga are awe inspiring. Two of them shared that yoga saved their lives. One said he has a love/hate relationship with yoga and he now owns a yoga mat and is taking yoga again this semester. The other said it really helped him through the stress of senior year.

all of usA few of them were quite nervous about teaching a sequence to adults they had never met. Nervous means caring.Birds always tremble before flight.

Josh CodyJosh began with a comedy routine that was hilarious.

JoshWe were touched that he wore a shirt that a fellow yoga student from Burma had given him. It brought back the knowledge that yoga really does connect children from different cultures and backgrounds. Moving and breathing and laughing together has a way of doing that.

 

Josh teachingJosh taught the first set of poses which includes CALM DOWN. We began to notice where our Doubts liked to dwell inside.

rock n rollHis sprinklings of sillies kept us laughing the whole time.

 

plankCody guided us through the Solid Ground Flow with breath cues and alignment.

shakinJosh helped us shake out our Doubts.

 

got your back alexis smileI’ve Got Your Back Pose helped us laugh at our Doubts.

 

ive got your backAnd brought us closer to the state of Trust.

 

bowAlexis taught heart opening back bends.

 

playing with fireWe Played with Fire to transform Doubts Dust into Trusting Stars.

elective b and wNia led us into Energy Circuit for more connection and power.

 

electric circleEnergy is her favorite topic and she’s quite content holding the space here.

cardsThe sequence was well received.

 

cards 2and a Joy to teach together.

me lotusAfter meditation and final savasana we stayed to answer questions. Every One was open and trusting and sweet. It was a very meaningful experience for us and I am so, so grateful to our students, to our participants, to our fabulous photographer, Jolie Loren Photography (http://www.jolieloren.com/), who captured these sweet moments of emotion, and of course to Nicole and Melissa for inviting us to share our method.

Truth is the Word. Love is the Action. Sat Nam.

Sanctuary for Relaxation

Written by admin on . Posted in Community Supporters, Elementary School Yoga, Student Feedback

Take a breath.

Close your eyes.

 

Is this difficult? Is life or the environment around you too distracting for you to simply take a moment and relax?

 

This is a major problem many teachers and students have during the day- relaxing. But schools, like Fernbank and Oak Grove Elementary are taking steps to improve this.

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The past week, I have been setting up the yoga room at Fernbank. From the moment anyone walks into the room you can feel a sense of relief. This space is a calm and collective sanctuary for learning. Reserved solely for yoga, it is a place where teachers and students can come to find relaxation during the long and rigorous school day. More schools should learn from these and move towards having their own space for a relaxation sanctuary.  Not only is the room used for yoga club, which at both these schools is a highly attended and loved club, but also teachers and their classes can use it during the days.

 

IMG_7888Take a breath.

Close your eyes.

Envision a room all to yourself, lined with candles, and a soft carpet beneath your feet.

Isn’t too hard to relax now is it? 

Grounded, Age Nine

Written by admin on . Posted in Community Supporters, Elementary School Yoga, High School Yoga, Middle School Yoga, Student Feedback

Flash back almost seven years ago…

I was in fourth grade and I went to school at Fernbank Elementary. A few times a week we would have these great pauses from academic work, in which we would do yoga. Whether it was making dog noises in down dog or meowing and mooing in cat cow, it was one of the best times of the day. For those of you who do yoga you know after an exhilarating class the much earned savasana is what you have to look forward to. But for those of you who have not worked with a group of 4th graders, laying still and being quiet is not their strong suit. Nevertheless yoga would grow to be one of my favorite things, and savasana became a much earned treat after a hard flow.

One day, Cheryl Crawford was telling my friends and I all about how this weekend she was training a group of adults to become yoga teachers. “Why can’t we be yoga teachers?” I asked truly wondering because if adults can do it so can we.  That night one of the other girls there called up Cheryl and suggested the name “Grounded Kids Peace Patrol”.

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It was the funniest thing to see a group of fourth graders laughing about how they were going to become “grounded”. That was how the Grounded Kids Methodology was started.

Flash forward  six years…

I am now a student a Druid Hills High School and it is the summer before my Sophomore year. I am at cheerleading practice over the summer which we hold at school. To get in shape we would do a number of various fun activities. One day it my be Zumba but on this day an art teacher offered to do yoga with all of this. After the great hour of yoga, I stayed to talk to the teacher about yoga and how I wish we could have it as a P.E.class, like I did in both Elementary School and Middle School. She thought this was an amazing idea and contacted Cheryl Crawford. Only a few days later I introduced Cheryl to  our principal, Brittany Cunningham. Shortly after, we had yoga as a PE class, open to everyone.

Flash forward to this year,

Only a year after the class started at Druid Hills, a full fledged movement was well in swing, getting schools all around Atlanta yoga. It only seemed right that I was part of this too. I am now an intern at the Atlanta Yoga Movement, only seven short years after I helped start Grounded Kids.

Student Feedback {JOY}

Written by Queen 1 & Queen 2 on . Posted in Curriculum, High School Yoga, Student Feedback

IMG_7005“My Experience with yoga has been great. I’d never think that I’d get to like it so much. Before I started I was super tight and couldn’t touch my toes. Now when I do a forward fold I can reach all the way to my feet and maybe even a little further if I stretch. I didn’t even know that I could do a headstand. I’m really trying to get down to my splits and I’m making lots of progress with that. But the only thing I don’t like is the meditation because

Student Feedback {We listen}

Written by Queen 1 & Queen 2 on . Posted in High School Yoga, Student Feedback

IMG_6794We began our United States Curriculum at the beginning of the semester with a set plan, we had our curriculum, we had our assessment tests, and we planned on moving through in a very linear fashion.  This being our pilot high school class, we knew there would be bumps along the way, so we set ourselves to keep an open mind…to listen and learn.  Little did we know that planning a road trip across the United States of You could lead to so much variation, largely in part to the genuine feedback we received from the participants.  Just like a random road trip, you set the destination, but you treasure the journey.  Here’s what we have learned.

True, On Vulnerability

Written by Queen 1 & Queen 2 on . Posted in High School Yoga, Inspiration, Student Feedback

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Text exchange between a student (True)  and two teachers (Queen 1 and Queen 2):

True :   ” I’m trying to conjure up a topic to write about for the entry, but am not sure what would fit.”

Queen 1:   “Queen 2 suggested “Being vulnerable, what’s behind your mask…”

True:   “Mine!? I suppose I can think up an entry regarding that. What do you mean by that?”

Yoga by Anuja

Written by Queen 1 & Queen 2 on . Posted in High School Yoga, Student Feedback

IMG_6995Yoga by Anuja, age 17 Freshman

Yoga is beneficial to me because Queen 1 and Queen 2 are teaching me. They teach how to relax. I am comfortable doing yoga by listening to songs to make me relax. I feel more energetic when Queen 1 and Queen 2 invite other people to join yoga. it helped me get more strong and relaxed. It helps me how to sit cross legged and balance. It helps me to move from dark state to light state, like arrogant to humble. It helped me emotionally, mentally, socially, and physically.

 

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