middle school

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
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Teacher of the Week combines yoga and pedicures

First off, all of Asana Alphabet‘s teachers are great and creative in their own ways. But here is one approach I hadn’t thought of yet!

Marianne Giosa was reaching the end of a semester with a group of middle school girls from the Cornelia Connelly Center so they decided to show their families some of the yoga skills they had learned; however, Marianne came across a challenge. The girls wanted to have the yoga  showing but were resistant because they did not want to take off their shoes or socks  (they said their feet were not pedicured to performance standards).

What’s the teaching solution? Marianne gave each girl a bottle of fingernail polish as an end of the semester gift. Brilliant!

Learn how to find your own creative teaching solutions at an Asana Alphabet teacher training.  We have one tomorrow, Feb. 5 in NYC followed by a February minicourse at WildChildYoga in Princeton, NJ, and an April weekend intensive at 3rd Street yoga in Edmond, OK.