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

Maleia Kicking Woman receives a blanket from tribal members Tuesday. (Courtesy Photo)
4 Native American students in Marysville receive awards

MARYSVILLE – Four students won Indigenous Education awards at the quarterly breakfast… Continue reading

8 local students win Arlington Rotary Club awards

ARLINGTON - Eight middle and high school students from the Arlington, Lakewood… Continue reading

Cecily (Karli Reinbold) falls for the dashing Algernon (Kennan Miller) in Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” (Courtesy Photo)
It’s important to be Earnest in Wilde’s Victorian satire

MARYSVILLE – Oscar Wilde’s ”The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy… Continue reading

Bennett, Severn of M-P February Students of the Month

MARYSVILLE – Alexis Bennett and T.J. Severn of Marysville-Pilchuck High School are… Continue reading

Krista Longspaugh
Briefly

MARYSVILLE - Marysville Fire District’s first career woman firefighter will retire Friday… Continue reading

Folks check out the Miracle House for homeless families. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)
Help for homeless families available in Marysville

MARYSVILLE – About 508 students in the Marysville School District were homeless… Continue reading

Girls build toolboxes during a recent trip to the RAP Center at M-P. (Courtesy Photo)
Local girls take field trip to RAP Center to learn about trades as a possible career

MARYSVILLE – About 32 female high schoolers and 14 professional tradeswomen took… Continue reading

California scrub jays were spotted near Jennings Park in Marysville.
Record numbers participate, counted in local bird event

A record 152 people participated in the Everett-Marysville Christmas Bird Count, it… Continue reading

NWIC students, community show off Native American artwork on quilts in Tulalip

TULALIP – Styles of Native American artwork from across the country are… Continue reading

Get tickets for AHS Drama fun musical fairy tale ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ playing in March

ARLINGTON - The Arlington High School drama department will perform the musical… Continue reading

MG wins 31 awards at regional FBLA competition

Marysville Getchell High School’s Future Business Leaders of America 22-member team won… Continue reading

Community briefly

New Lions Club MARYSVILLE – A new Lions Club is starting up… Continue reading