On Wednesday, we had a relaxing yoga session at the park!
For the activity on Wednesday, Kira, our Student Services Coordinator instructed our students through a relaxing yoga session. The yoga session was held at the park as it was a perfect day and a great opportunity to enjoy the peace of nature at the same time. To set the relaxation mood even more, there were some chilled yoga beats playing through the speaker.
A bit about Yoga:
Derived from the Sanskrit word “yuji,” meaning yoke or union, yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind and body. It incorporates breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress.
Some benefits of Yoga:
- Improves strength and flexibility – Frequently practiced, yoga can improve muscle strength and flexibility over a period of time.
- Improves muscular endurance – Holding the poses for extended times will increase muscular endurance over time.
- Helps relieve back pain and arthritis – Yoga decreases inflammation and ease discomfort of aches and pains through gentle movements.
- Decreases stress levels – Deep breathing is practiced in yoga and studies have shown that this can dramatically decrease stress levels.
- Improves mood and energy levels – Studies have shown that Yoga can boost mental alertness, therefore improving your mood and energy levels.
History of Yoga:
Yoga was first discovered in Northern India over 5000 years ago so It has been around for many years! The original context of yoga was spiritual development practices to train the body and mind to self-observe and become aware of their own nature. The purposes of yoga were to cultivate discernment, awareness, self-regulation and higher consciousness in the individual.
Yoga has been proven to be great for your physical and mental health which is why it can be used as a form of therapy and why it has grown so popular over the years. Yoga Therapy is the use of yoga postures, meditation and pranayama to help the body naturally heal and balance itself. Certain yogic practices have been shown to have specific healing qualities in addition to yoga’s inherent ability to create wellness and good health.
Some of our students proved to be advanced Yogi’s (which is a term used for people participating in Yoga), and others were trying Yoga for the first time. One of the students in particular impressed everyone with her flexibility and strength performing the yoga poses. She was very experienced as Yoga is very popular in Taiwan, where she is from. At the end of the guided portion of the session, she took our students through some more challenging poses to try.
The students took to the challenge really well and performed all sorts of cool poses! For other students, it was a bit of fun trying the more difficult poses and were having a great laugh.
For the majority of the session, Kira guided the students through a gentle Yoga flow that Yogi’s of all experience levels could do! There was a strong focus on gentle stretching and slow movements while practicing deep breathing which is a fundamental part of any Yoga practice.
Some of the Yoga poses that we practiced were:
- Child’s Pose
- Downward Facing Dog
- Cat Cow
- Tree Pose
- Rag Doll
- Warrior Pose
Everyone loved the Yoga session and had so much fun! It was a perfect way to wind down after school and relax. The students also loved just being able to move their bodies and get their exercise done for the day. Yoga is not always as easy as it looks!
The students had so much fun that they have requested that we do Yoga again soon!