Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 12th 2013 Contents B2
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 12, 2013
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
Yoga can be fun and interactive
and encourages creativity in young
Doing a monkey pose, a tree pose
or singing along to a children s song
with actions can help youngsters
counter the pressures and stresses
experienced daily in a fast-paced
If practised at an early age, yoga
will encourage healthy lifestyles, a
deep sense of fulfilment, self-con-
fidence and boost a child s body
Irish-born Katherine Long has
been a yoga instructor for the last
four years. She operates Yoga 4 Youth
at Gallus Street, Woodbrook, where
she offers yoga to tots from ten
months, teenagers and adults.
Long believes children can build
their confidence through yoga when
presented to them in child-language.
She said the children who attend
her sessions know what they are
about and have a certain level of
"Yoga gives them that confidence
to explore and ask questions," Long
Yoga originated in ancient India
and is a Sanskrit word which means
to add, to join, to unite. Online
reports stated that the number of
people who practise some form of
yoga in the United States has grown
from four million in 2001 to 20 mil-
lion in 2011.
Long s soft voice, petite frame and
calm disposition set the tone for
Wednesday s interview in the garden
space at the back of the building.
She said, "I found yoga because
I wanted a form of exercise.
"I was going through a difficult
time and I found that it really helped
me figure out what was happening
in my own life."
Yoga and children
She s been practising yoga for
about 13 years and first taught it in
the rural community of Brasso Seco.
So just why would an optometrist
want to channel all her energies on
She said, "A few years ago I just
suddenly thought that I could teach
yoga because it s done so much for
"It s made me feel a lot more con-
fident, so therefore I felt I would like
other people to feel the same way.
So I ventured on a yoga teacher-
training programme which was to
teach yoga to adults and that s how
I first started."
But Long believes her calling is to
work with children. The mother of
a teenage boy and girl studied chil-
dren s yoga and yoga therapy for
She said she enjoyed working with
children and found it very reward-
She explained that with the "tots
and nenen" who attend classes on
a Saturday, it was all about music
"We use a lot of music and we
sing everything. They sing along.
"It s really quite amazing.
"They tell you what they want to
do just by their actions you know,
because they can t verbalise every-
thing at that age."
General yoga classes are held
mornings and evenings with close
to 70 children participating on a
Not to take away from other phys-
ical activities like swimming or track
and field, Long said yoga had a lot
more interaction among the children
in the class which doesn t happen
in all sports.
"We interact with them through
poses but in a story fashion," she
There s a lot of pressure on chil-
dren in society. There s a lot of infor-
mation and children do not know
how to assimilate everything.
Long thinks yoga empowers
everyone to tune in and do what has
to be done and not take in the "clut-
ter" that comes from the outside.
She said, "Yoga brings creative
ways to develop confidence, trust,
team work, focus, concentration,
and a sense of community, allowing
children to feel calm, teaching them
how to relax and thereby build their
self-esteem, their self-control and
"Because of the awareness of their
bodies they make better choices
about what they eat, how they live
what they say, making them more
She said Yoga 4 Youth was a play
on the word youth---you and youth.
She said youth should be embraced
Long said she could make a dif-
ference with young people by uplift-
ing their confidence.
"Yoga helps the children to under-
stand that there s more to what s
put in front of them and gives them
to confidence to find out what s their
calling in life."
...with Yoga 4 Youth
Counter the pressures
Yoga 4 Youth
22 Gallus Street, Woodbrook
Yoga instructor Katherine Long at
her Yoga 4 Youth studio on Gallus
Street, Woodbrook, last Wednesday.
PHOTO: RHONDA RAMBALLY
Children ages four to six
participate in children's
yoga session last Thursday.
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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