The practice of yoga has recently become a hot trend and it has spread quickly across the country, especially for those who have a penchant for standing on their heads or turning their body into a human pretzel or even striking a downward dog pose in 100 degree hot box (now that's hot!). Friends Academy has its yoga fans of course, however, the type of yoga students have the option to participate is different than the "classic relaxing" one many think of when the word "Yoga" comes to mind.
Friends is very fortunate to have a new yoga teacher this year, the very personable and approachable Marlene Kirsh, who follows the approach of Vinyasa Flow Yoga otherwise known as Flow Yoga. Mrs. Kirsh describes this practice as "sequential continuous movements that flow from one posture into the next with the use of breath". As a student who actively participates in this class twice a week, I am learning to use all parts of my body to enhance my breath and energy. While this is a daunting task, it is also fun and gratifying. Mrs. Kirsh notably comments that "It helps to strengthen the entire body, and gain more flexibility, thus preventing injury". Besides working with our students, Mrs. Kirsh helps train school teams, such as football and soccer, executing specific agility and core strength accordingly. Her history in such work is incorporated in class as we regularly do different Pilates training as well.
In January, Mrs. Kirsh will not be alone using yoga to help young athletes do strength training and increase stamina. The German soccer team credits their yoga coach, Patrick Broome, with helping them win the 2014 World Cup. Mr. Broome's favorite Yoga quote is "How can you know G-d if you don't know your own big toe." Indeed, as a result of Mrs. Kirsh's class, I am getting in touch with muscles I didn't even know I possessed!
Overall, the focus of the class is to build strength, expand flexibiltiy, and lengthen our breaths. In this process, one just may reach a quieter mind. These are lifelong skills that will serve our students on and off the athletic field. Mrs. Kirsh is dedicated to helping our students learn such important and life transforming skills.