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The Providence Journal
Newport – It’s not easy being a child.
How do you suddenly go from tearing around the playground to concentrating on schoolwork? How do you get control of your emotions when you become angry or overexcited?
One answer may be yoga. Adults have found contentment and relaxation through the ancient Indian practice and now a local yoga instructor is teaching it to children.
Every Wednesday, about a dozen children gather inside a room at St.
Michael’s School to learn the lotus position, stretches and controlled breathing techniques.
“They can calm the chatter in their minds and they can calm themselves down,” says yoga instructor Ann Lewis Hemeon. “That’s the point of all of this – to get the kids to stop, slow down and not be so impulsive, to be in tune with their bodies and their breath.”
Hemeon, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Michael’s School, has been teaching yoga at area studios for five years. Over the years, she has had her private school students try yoga techniques before tests and after recess “to try and get the kids to calm down and focus. And they loved it.”
Then, last summer, St. Michael’s sent her to a conference in Cali fornia to learn about a yoga curriculum for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Since then, she has led a workshop for teachers to demonstrate moves they can show their students.
Now the school is letting her use space for an afterschool Yoga Kids class that is open to the community. It’s an eight-week session for $90. The current class is full. Included in the relaxation techniques is meditation and massage.
“We rub their temples and foreheads,” she says. “The kids just melt.”
(C) 2007 The Providence Journal. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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