teacher network

Basic Yoga Poses for P.E. Teachers

Our founder is really looking forward to working with PE teachers from the Chatham School district in New Jersey tomorrow.  Here are most if not all of the poses we will go over in detail.  We like Yoga Journal’s pose dictionary because it gives contraindications and very clear pictures. Enjoy

If you don’t see a particular pose below, check out the general Yoga Journal dictionary here:


Mountain Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/mountain-pose/

Easy Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/easy-pose/

Boat Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/full-boat-pose/

Cat Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/cat-pose/

Chair Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/chair-pose/

Child’s Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/child-s-pose/

Cobra Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/cobra-pose/

Savasana: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/corpse-pose/

Cow Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/cow-pose/

Downward Dog: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/downward-facing-dog/

Eagle Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/eagle-pose/

Plank Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/plank-pose/

Standing Forward Bend: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/standing-forward-bend/

Tree Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/tree-pose/

Staff Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/staff-pose/

Warrior 1: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/warrior-i-pose/

Warrior 2: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/warrior-ii-pose/

Warrior 3: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/warrior-iii-pose/

Straddle: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/wide-angle-seated-forward-bend/


True Yoga Stories: Success with Middle Schoolers

Report from today, March 11, 2016; All boys yoga class; average age: 11

Teacher: First day of yoga, please come in and lie down on a mat to relax a bit.

Students: Everyone runs to a mat. Three boys make a pile up on one mat and wrestle, the rest of them flop down in various positions.

Teacher: Please keep your voices off so you can hear what to do.

Students: Two boys call out, “I’ve done this before!” ; another, “ssshhh!” and yet another pretends to snore in savasana. A few do listen quietly.

Teacher: OK, time for sun salutations

Students: Everyone participates while yelling out what poses they can’t do (mainly touching their toes).

Teacher: Now for some partner yoga.

Students: Several partners wrestling and play hitting each other, then trying out the partner yoga poses with some success.

Teacher: Let’s learn warrior 1, 2 and 3 poses.

Students: I want to do warrior 7 and 9 instead!

Teacher: Ok, everyone into child’s pose please.

Students: everyone (literally everyone) is quiet

Teacher: Ok, now some challenge poses. Let’s try side arm balances.

Students: All doing their best. Some giving up but finally giving it another shot to find out they can do it.

Teacher: Now let’s lie down in savasana.

Students: Everyone (well, ALMOST everyone except for one trying to pinch his neighbor) is quiet and still.

Teacher: Time to go, please clean up your mats.

Students: “Yoga is over already?! That was too short.”

PDS child's pose.JPG

2015, Asana Alphabet Kids Yoga in Review

So many exciting events happened with Asana Alphabet this year!


First off, we held our first ever trainings in Vitoria and Vila Velha, Brazil. With the help of several amazing translators, our guidebook could be given out and the teachings spread orally. Really, our photos convey best how much fun we had!

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With our continued partnership with the Cornelia Connelly Center, we were able to host three successful teacher trainings in NYC this past year. When we rent from a school like Cornelia, our training participants are directly supporting positive educational programs—in this case, for middle school girls at an all-scholarship school. Second level trainings were then held in Bethlehem, PA at Kula Heart Yoga—one of our favorite spots always full of smart and positive students.

11890943_994288043924799_5037588151039084905_nSilver Kim, director/owner, is always posting photos of her in handstand—we think this would be a fun project for high school students to take on as well!

End of the year celebration!!! We received the tremendous news that the grant funding Asana Alphabet yoga classes at SCO family of services has been extended for 2016! This grant funds 20 KIDS YOGA CLASSES PER WEEK for lower income students. Not only are students served but this gives three of our expert teachers a significant chunk of hours to rely upon so they can do what they love for work.

addie baby yogaOur founder and director gave birth to a baby this year too and she’s already practicing yoga with baby. She especially recommends kundalini sufi grinds (or criss cross legs then rotate them around and in gently towards the stomach) for relieving baby gas, baby massage before bedtime and cobra pose (aka tummy time) to our followers with infants. IT WORKS! Note, you too can become a baby yoga expert by taking our May workshop in NYC.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Stay tuned for our post on what’s in store for 2016.

Summer Solstice in Times Square NYC

The summer solstice is considered one of the most auspicious times of year to practice yoga!  We are happy to help promote the amazing and giant event Mind over Madness yoga where hundreds of yogis get to practice yoga in the heart of Times Square for free on Monday, June 21!  We will also be providing a discount goodie in their giveaway bags, so we hope you come down to celebrate! Though the majority of people who attended last year (2,000 of them) were adults, I think this would be appropriate for mature preteens and teens as well.  Enjoy!!

We love Mott Haven Academy!

Downward DogsWhen Asana Alphabet started several years ago, the original intention was to create an organization that would primarily serve students in the lower income bracket as well as help train those who teach them.  While we have gratefully expanded to serve many other children and teachers, we always keep our eye open to helping those who may not always be able to afford such “extracurricular” activities as yoga and dance.

To this end, I was thrilled to open the New York Times this past Sunday and see Mott Haven Academy on the cover of the Metropolitan section (under education online).  I can honestly say that knowing the directors and teachers at this school (Asana Alphabet brings movement and yoga to the school twice a week), Mott Haven Academy moves fully towards bringing a strong education to their students.  Though their school is full, I always see the school’s teachers taking an extra moment for one-on-one attention to the kids.  Please click on the above link to read more…then perhaps consider donating to the school via the New York Foundling.

Where are Asana Alphabet trainees and teachers now?

The one thing I love most about teaching teachers how to teach children’s yoga is the wide array of interesting and inspiring people who have crossed my path. The vast majority of these trainees are consistently working to better the health of children. I hope to reveal some of them on this blog through out 2010.

Sarah Young taught dance for Asana Alphabet in New York…a most amazing teacher, she is now a PeaceCorps volunteer in Morocco and she has started FlyingArt, a project bringing art exchange to students through out the world! We’ve had one more of our yoga teachers volunteer this past summer in Africa…more to come!