Don’t tell them it’s exercise: Free Yoga Calm class keeps kids engaged

MARYSVILLE – Spread your fingers like a starfish. Move your knees side to side like windshield wipers. Move your legs like you’re riding a tall bicycle.

Any of that sound like yoga yet?

How about make a bridge so a boat could go under it or go into downward dog and wiggle your tail? That kind of sounds more like it.

Sarah Knudsen was teaching a free class called Yoga Calm at the Marysville Library Saturday. It is targeted for children, folks with ADHD and those with special needs.

Language is only one of the differences between this class and other yoga sessions.

Knudsen likes to make sure she shows the participants how to do each move. “This is the bed-bug pose,” she said, drawing laughter.

“They have to see it,” she said, adding she also goes at a slower pace to make sure there is understanding. She also reads slowly from a book and lets them borrow small stuffed animals to comfort them.

If there are kids with ADHD, she likes to have them do some leading or play games to keep them engaged. If there are older adults or those with disabilities, she adapts the yoga movements to keep them safe.

Jamie Rizzo attended the event with her four children ages 5-9. She homeschools them in their recreational vehicle, so she likes to get them out into the community as often as she can. She had done yoga before but they had not.

“We’re going to” do yoga in the future, she said, smiling.

Knudsen will continue the class on the last Saturday of each month at least through March. She also teaches city classes at Jennings Park Wednesdays at 6 p.m. And she teaches at Willow Place to those with special needs every other Tuesday at 2 p.m.

As the hourlong class came to an end, Knudsen turned off the lights. She told them to point their fingers and toes for a long stretch – like slime or bubble gum. They relaxed, closed their eyes, breathed in and out, as their belly would rise and fall like the ocean.

They traced their fingers, breathing in as they went up and out as they drew down. “It’s calming. And you can do it anywhere,” Knudsen said.

More in Life

Thousands watch Marysville Strawberry Festival Grand Parade

MARYSVILLE – Thousands upon thousands of fans lined State Avenue and Third… Continue reading

All types of activities draw people to The Market

MARYSVILLE – A Beatles tribute band and other groups helped draw festival… Continue reading

New partnership boosts turnout for Car Show at Marysville Strawberry Festival

MARYSVILLE – About 140 cars, trucks and motorcycles of all ages, shapes… Continue reading

Good weather brings crowds to Funtastic Carnival

MARYSVILLE – Good weather brought hundreds of ride enthusiasts to the Funtastic… Continue reading

The Rosarians from Portland, Ore., bless the new rose planted in honor of the Maryfest Board of Directors. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)
Maryfest board honored at Rose Planting

MARYSVILLE – The entire Maryfest Board of Directors was honored at the… Continue reading

Teacher Trace Prael gets a big hug from a Mountain View Arts and Tech graduate. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
MVAT, Tulalip Heritage graduate seniors (slide show)

TULALIP – One speaker after another talked about overcoming obstacles, never giving… Continue reading

Vivien Palmer performs a contemporary dance to “Red Violin” at the Marysville Strawberry Festival Talent Show Thursday night at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Dancers, singers highlight Talent Show; festival gets busy this weekend (slide show)

MARYSVILLE – Singers and dancers dominated the stage at the Marysville Strawberry… Continue reading

Jazzy cheers for one of the participants in the CTW Combat Pro Wrestling event at the Marysville Strawberry Festival Saturday. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Crowds enjoy pro wrestling at Strawberry Festival

MARYSVILLE – Maryfest brought professional wrestling to the Marysville Strawberry Festival for… Continue reading

‘The Zaniac’ gives Marysville Kids Day participants a big hand – actually 2

MARYSVILLE – “The Zaniac” Alex Zerbe had children jumping and dancing around… Continue reading

Most Read