Yoga in the wild

Written by Lynn Hessbrueggen

Energetic, hyperactive kids wouldn’t possibly enjoy a calm, centered exercise such as yoga… at least that’s what you would think, until you meet Colleen Stacey, yoga teacher extraordinaire. This stunning woman managed to get a group of elementary aged kids to master “sun salutations” and “downward facing dog” with ease and sans complaints.

The kids and Colleen in a plank pose, part of the Sun Salutation.

This past Friday, Colleen joined Abriendo Mentes for a second children’s yoga class. Following her famous dinosaur yoga in June, she came prepared for a new favorite, jungle yoga (yoga de la selva). Adding some roars and claws to regular yoga exercises made the half hour of yoga go by in a snap. No one even realized they were even exercising as the Salon slowly transformed into a humid, cloudy jungle adventure.

Luis, a true jungle cat.

Colleen had the kids walk through an imaginary jungle while doing the different exercises, and adding a little fantasy to regular yoga positions. First we became leopards by kneeling on hands & knee, stretching one leg up in the air (the tail, of course). The kids almost started to be afraid of themselves… well, almost. Accompanied by cobras and sideways walking crabs the journey through the tropical yoga rainforest continued. Monkeys and dangerous mangrove boat trips (good exercise for your abs) followed. At the end of their adventure Colleen enchanted the little ones to sit still as little turtles. Not an easy thing to do as all AM teachers know.

Colleen helping Verenice with her turtle pose.

After a 30 minute class, we transported back to Potrero from our selva adventure, still with the thoughts and feelings of a wild trip to the Amazon jungle.

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