September is YOGA month!

This is my 100th post (took me awhile to get there!).

September is Yoga Month, so this first post of September, naturally, is going to be all about yoga. I love yoga. You should love it too. There are SO MANY benefits that your body and mind get from practicing yoga. You feel relaxed afterwards. You get a little bit of a workout (or a lot of a workout, depending on the class you’ve attended). You become friends with good people (yoga people = good people). You feel more focused in everyday life. You learn to breath. You learn to let go. You learn to live in the moment. Those are MY benefits. You will have different ones. There are lots of yoga studios popping up in my area too. I’ve tried and will go back to Pink Lotus Yoga in Lexington and Full Moon Yoga in Irmo. My favorite is City Yoga in Columbia. Those are places I like to practice. You’ll find other places that work for you. You may want to go to the YMCA or Gold’s for yoga. Whatever works (a DVD from WalMart or the library, even), just try it!

Some of you know that I am a certified yoga instructor (YogaFit Level 1 and YogaFit Kids – thinking about doing the Teacher Training at City Yoga, but I’m nervous about getting in that deep right now…). I like to incorporate yoga into my stories at school and I teach yoga at our afterschool program once a week (I think I’ve mentioned this before). Easy ways I incorporate yoga into my stories at school are to show students a pose or two that goes along with an animal in a book we’ve read. For example, I’ve been reading I Took My Frog to the Library by Kimmel to my kindergarten classes. After reading, we have been doing some elephant breathing where we stand up, clasp our hands together like a trunk and then swing our trunks up and down while breathing. When I was reading Wild About Books by Sierra, I would have kids stand up and waddle around like a penguin. In the next couple of weeks, one of our guidance counselors and I hope to plan a yoga lesson together to do with our 1st graders.

I do more of a “yoga storytime” with the afterschool kids.

Here’s what I did with them this past Friday:

Yoga introduction. Talked about “with” time and “within” time (social and not social time)

Popcorn scatter to learn “home base” (your mat) – I say “popcorn” and kids jump around until I say “HOME BASE.” They go back to their mat as quick as they can.

We read My Daddy is a Pretzle by Baron Baptiste and I taught them each pose as we read the book.

Played Circle, Jog, Freeze, Melt – I’ve written about this game before. Basically, you jog in a circle while music is playing. When I say “FREEZE,” the kids freeze in a yoga pose they just learned. When I say “MELT,” we melt to the ground. Do this for a whole song.

Played “pick a card, any card” with my YogaFit Kids Yoga Cards.  Each kid picked a card and taught us the pose on the card. If they did not know how to read (yet), they showed us the picture and helped us get in the pose.

Within time (shavasana) – lay down and close your eyes time 🙂

One of my favorite quotes from the class, “Mrs. Byrd Fort, I feel so RELAXED.”

I love my personal yoga practice, but I am really excited to be sharing yoga with kids. I didn’t know anything about yoga until I was in college, so I am happy to be exposing them to this exercise in elementary school. In this world of sharing everything and being so non-stop all the time, I think it is good to know to stop and breath sometimes and that’s what yoga teaches us to do.



PS-Marty tells me I can’t remember anything anymore. And, he’s right. So, forgive me if I’ve shared this before, but my mom started a blog to keep folks updated on her treatments and such. Take a look, if you are interested!







About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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