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Down(ward Dogs) for Yoga

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Down(ward Dogs) for Yoga

Anya Raheja, Contributing Writer

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How does a Bolles student relieve stress?  Nachos, Netflix,  Napping?

How about yoga?

The Downward Dogs yoga group, run by History teacher and advisor Mrs. Gomez and Spanish teacher Mrs. Stam, aims to help students de-stress in a new, positive way.

The group meets during activities about once a month, normally in Lynch, with class size ranging anywhere from 4-21 people. Mrs. Gomez says they like to “keep it fresh” by varying the playlist and switching up the flow of the poses. They’ve even had a yoga
session by the river and yoga with live
piano music.

Mrs. Gomez and Mrs. Stam received the Ottenstroer from Bolles, a grant for faculty interested in an activity to enrich school community. They both earned 95 hour certifications from Lifespan Yoga over the course of 25 days during the summer. They participated in more than 10 lectures in addition to hands on activities and preparing future classes.

Mitchell Henshaw (‘20), a member of the crew team, tried yoga for the first time with Downward Dogs and now regularly attends their monthly yoga sessions. He likes how stress free the group is. “I️t is a very relaxing environment that is sometimes very needed in a school day.”

Yoga has many other benefits too. “I️ have noticed that I️ have improved my balance from session to session”, said Henshaw. He also said it helps with flexibility and even strength. Mrs. Gomez has noticed a difference in her life from practicing yoga and wants to share that gift with others. Just like anything else, she said, “consistency is the key” to all the benefits yoga has to offer.

Even the lower school has joined in on the yoga party! Mrs. Gomez and Mrs. Stam went to lower school PE classes last semester to introduce the children to this 5,000 year-old practice. First graders Sona, Taylor, Matilda, Payne, Dev, and Mrs. Stam’s daughter Sofie all loved doing yoga. Downward dog, lion, the singing bowl, and relaxation were their highlights. Some of them even invented their own yoga poses, which Mrs. Gomez found inspiring.

For some kids, this was not their first time doing yoga. Taylor does hot yoga with her family, where “it gets really hot and it’s really hardcore”. Sophie says she does yoga at home to relax before bed with her mom.

Mrs. Gomez’s second-grade daughter Vivianna started doing kids’ yoga two years ago at the studio where her mom teaches. “I like downward dog because I like dogs, and also I like doing it because sometimes I sit too much”. Another one of her favorite poses is warrior one.

In the future the teachers hope to start a faculty program and have a yoga elective that would count as a PE credit to give the students more experience. Just like anything else, Mrs. Gomez says, “consistency is the key” to all the benefits yoga has to offer.

Most importantly they want students to know that yoga is truly for everyone, and you will leave feeling better than when you came in. Newcomers are encouraged to join at every session.


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Down(ward Dogs) for Yoga