D Sharon Pruitt

D Sharon Pruitt

As I sit here writing with what I think is a pulled groin muscle, I thought I’d point out how important it is for us as adults to warm up before teaching classes. Adult yoga classes ease students into poses — the classes build up to a pose of difficulty. In children’s classes, we jump, we twist and we bend with enthusiasm. Without properly warming up it is we, the teachers, that could get injured. I am a runner and triathlete, and in truth, my injury may very well be the result of adding too many miles too fast… but I was doing a lot of butterfly, sea shell and flower poses recently which all stretch the groin. Coincidence or not?

I always incorporate sun salutations in my classes. Not all of the children find them interesting (even with the silly song and barking that we add), but the repetition of a sequence is an important part of yoga. Some children enjoy knowing what comes next while others are ready for games and savasana that follow. As in life, play is a lot more enjoyable after you have put in a lot of hard work. Doing the “work” of yoga makes the games and savasana all the more special. I like to start with sun salutation A and then add another sun salutation or sequence with variations. I remember feeling this particular classes anticipation of the fun to follow. The class that I may have injured myself in is an all boys class and a couple of the boys have been taking yoga for a few sessions and are always very rambunctious. They were vocal about not wanting to do sun salutations and I remember the feeling of wanting to move quickly through them. The sun salutations in class are not enough of a warm up for us as teachers. I typically get to class early enough to do 15-20 minutes of yoga on my own before class starts. It prepares my body and mind for the yoga, the fun and, sometimes, the challenges to come. I did not have time that day to do a proper warm for myself. Although I made sure that the class warmed up with our fun kid oriented sun salutations, it was just not enough for me.

Namaste.

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