Yoga Is Life

06 Jun 2022

An introduction to poses using the phases of life

By Noelle Holland, Wellness Director at The Cullasaja Club and creator of Yo-Kids

Photos by Christy Curcuru

Imagine if we taught all children ways to use their breath to calm anxiety, how to feel compassion

by making a mind body connection, and ultimately how to love being human. Yoga can help today’s youth build self-awareness, create an attitude of gratitude, and walk a path of happiness and kindness by embracing humanity. Yoga poses are a fun way to explore the phases of life. Grab a mat, spread out on the deck, or find a grassy patch and explore your relation to the world around and inside you.

  1. Infancy is the introduction

As our senses awaken, we become an observer of our surroundings and begin to hear the internal conversation we have with our minds our whole life. Child’s pose is a calming pose that provides the comfort we first knew in utero. As you rest in this shape, become an observer of your mind and body. Notice the vibrational rhythm of your heartbeat, the relation between the breath, and how you can allow your thoughts to come and go without conversing with them. Inhale to feel and exhale to let go.

  1. Toddlerhood is when we identify balance and boundaries 

Toddlerhood is when we begin to identify balance and boundaries and learn to stand and walk. Balancing table pose is foundational for standing poses. Alternate lifting opposite arm and leg for a few minutes or hold each side, learn to deepen your focus of your balance and core strength. Have fun with getting to know yourself, it is a lifelong process.

  1. Preschool is the flow of ups and downs

Early school years is a time when interaction with the world increases, independence begins to blossom and confidence in motor skills builds. We are learning to go with the flow of the ups and downs of the outside world. Warrior I is a lunge pose that incorporates every muscle in the body, helps us to become flexible in our stability and balance and improves concentration. Stay in this lunge for as long as you can remain comfortably uncomfortable on each side and stand in your strength. Be a strong but peaceful warrior as confidence comes and goes.

  1. Adolescence is the need for inner peace and calm

Young adulthood is significant due to the maturation of our hormonal and neural processing systems. Understanding how our “fight or flight” responses communicate with us is crucial to our inner peace and calm, especially during puberty. Tree pose slows down the heart rate and helps us feel more grounded like a deep-rooted tree able to withstand the weather of life. Give each side a try, and balance isn’t about being perfectly still or perfect, but moving in and out of center without losing your cool.

  1. Adulthood is a time for reflection

Middle adulthood to late adulthood are transitional phases, a time of reflection on the past and planning for our future and future generations. The aging process becomes more apparent as our bodies slow down and prepare for the end of our lives. Corpse Pose relaxes the central nervous system, and provides an opportunity to awaken a higher level of consciousness. Lay on your back and relax your body’s weight on the earth. Take the deepest exhale to release what no longer serves your inner peace and happiness, and completely relax.

For inquiries about Yo-kids yoga programs, or yoga in general, call Noelle Holland at 828-200-9764 and follow her on Instagram @yo_kids_yoga

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