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I love teaching all of my classes, but I look forward to Sunday afternoons at 12:30 with extra excitement.

That’s when I teach the Youth Yoga class at The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford.

I am so impressed by the kids who come to this class.

They do the same 26 postures that we do in the regular beginner’s class. We do a second set of some postures, like Half Moon, Standing Bow Pulling, and the Cobra Series, and only one set of others in a room that’s heated to about 85 degrees. (Believe it or not, some kids actually request that I turn up the heat!)

Class lasts for 75 minutes, which gives us about an hour for the actual yoga practice. We use the extra time to socialize (as adult yogis know, the community aspect of practicing in a group with people you feel appreciation and affection for is one of the powerful things about this yoga), ask questions, and do demonstrations or try additional poses from the Classic 84 series.

Yes, these kids have young bodies. Yes, their class is shorter and the heat is not as high as it is in the “regular” class. But you know what?

Doing those 26 postures with precision and strength in front of a mirror is still an ENORMOUS challenge, and every week, these kids come to class with determination and good humor and curiosity and their practice blows me away. They figure out the rhythm of Pranayama Breathing. They struggle to lock their knee, to keep their balance, to stay calm during deep backbends. They accept corrections with grace and compliments with shy smiles and wide grins.

And they look in the mirror.

For kids whose bodies are in the midst of changing and whose physical sense of self can be vulnerable to criticism and unrealistic expectations, I think this time in front of the mirror, seeing competence and determination and strength and growth, is a key part of what this class has to offer. Teenage kids need every opportunity they can get to see how truly awesome they are.

I could go on and on about these beautiful, strong, funny kids.

But why listen to me when you could come and see for yourself?

This Sunday, May 28, families (kids aged 11 and up with an adult relative) are invited to practice together with the youth class, from 12:30 to 1:45 pm.

Do you have a child currently taking Youth Yoga? Come and practice with us!

Did your child come to a previous session? Come and practice with us!

Is your child curious about what you do when you go to yoga? Bring them and enjoy the fun of doing yoga side by side.

This one-time class is free. Please bring a mat, towel, and water for each participant (also available for rental at the studio.) No need to sign up ahead of time.

If anyone in your family group is practicing at HYF for the first time, make sure you leave 15-20 minutes to fill in a waiver when you first get to the studio.

Hope to see you this Sunday!

— Ellen Olson-Brown, The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford

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