Yogis for life
Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) kindergarten teacher Mary Hastings is much more than a primary schoolteacher. She is also a 200-hour, certified yoga instructor who began the after-school and summer camp program, “Yogis for Life,” for interested kindergarten through fifth graders.
“I strongly believe the earlier a person begins their yoga practice of connecting their mind, body and soul, the better off a person is when coping with all the chapters we face in our life,” said Hastings. “Adults, but also kids, need more time to just be in the moment without stress or worry of being right or wrong,” added Hastings.
A Colorado native, Hastings earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Colorado, then went on to earn her teaching certificate through a master’s program at the University of Colorado – Denver. She has taught primary grades in Colorado, Arizona and Texas. An avid runner accustomed to high intensity workouts, Hastings blew out her knee and tried to find that one workout, the one thing that would replace running. While living in Texas, Hastings attended her first hot yoga session. Holding her eagle pose to the point that her heart was racing and her brow was sweating, Hastings became hooked and found a second love in yoga.
Hastings moved back to Colorado in 2010 and took a leap of faith; she attended the teacher instructor training and became a certified yoga instructor through Sumits Yoga Colorado.
At TTE, Yogis for Life classes are held once a week for a five-week program that includes an organized art, activity or game to teach students how to set their intention (or goal) for their yoga practice. The 90-minute class connects students with one another, but more importantly with themselves.
The benefits of yoga are immediate and long lasting, as yoga reduces stress, improves memory and attention span, teaches tolerance and healthy habits, improves concentration, enhances balance and flexibility, and promotes self-love.
By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Mary Hastings