Its Friday afternoon in a classroom full of first-graders and kindergarteners. Theres less than an hour to go until dismissal and the sweet release of the weekend.
Kids are spread out across the room. But theres no talking or giggling or playing. Instead, theres just deep breathing and slow movement from one pose to the next.
Its yoga club time at Old Pointe Elementary School.
Yoga club is just one of a handful of activities in which students can participate during Pointe Time once a month. Each student got to choose his or her own club.
I like to do yoga because I do it at my house, said kindergartner Elaine Sanders.
In yoga club, teachers Kizzie Kirkpatrick and Kristina Thompson lead more than 30 students through a series of poses, some with their traditional names and some with modified names to help kids remember them.
Standing straight up with her hands in a prayer position in front of her, kindergartener Kymaree Hope took a deep breath with her eyes closed. This, she said, is her favorite pose.
I like it because you can feel your energies coming through, she said.
A few years ago, Kirkpatrick wrote a grant to get yoga in her classroom. She even has a set of mats and her students do yoga on a regular basis.
Its relaxing but it gives them some aerobic activity, she said.
She incorporates yoga into lesson items, such as shapes, letters and numbers.
It works for so many things, she said.
Both Kirkpatrick and Thompson practice yoga outside of school and thought making it one of the optional clubs would be a good way for the children who wanted a more physical activity.
We thought it was something they might not know about, Thompson said.
In the yoga club, the students are really focused and engaged, she said, because they feel ownership of the activity.
They picked it, she said. Its their interest.
And Elaine and Kymaree certainly seemed calm but happy after their time in the club, moving from mouse pose to butterfly pose and everywhere in between.
Its the most fun thing we do at school, said Kymaree.
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072