In the hustle and bustle of the urban environment you would think is may be hard to find a moment to relax with peace and quiet, right? Well, one Bronxite is out to prove this wrong.
Jennifer Gentile, a native of the Throggs Neck region, will be holding two children’s yoga sessions this summer to benefit Bronx youth, helping to develop skills that will reduce stress in children and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
“From living in the neighborhood I see so many kids outside with nothing to do, and growing up as a teenager that’s when you get in trouble, when you have nothing to do,” said Gentile. “If you are a star athlete this will add to your flexibility and if not this will provide an avenue to become active.”
According to Gentile, a New York State licensed special education teacher and certified yoga instructor, it is important for children to have the ability to participate in a non-competitive environment to encourage participation and increase their self esteem.
The classes will each begin with a ‘getting to know you game’ and a physical warm up. For the bulk of the 45-minute class, children will be encouraged to use their creativity in thinking of original positions.
“Nowadays with the way education is set up imagination is being taken out of the schools. Kids in general are being told what to do and to constantly follow the rules,” said Gentile. “I want to inspire creativity and empower children to use their imaginations. For example I will use animals by asking how do you do a flamingo and letting them create a pose.”
Each class with end with breathing and concentration exercises that Gentile believes will benefit kids in the classroom, helping to manage the stress of work or tests and the social pressures they encounter each day.
Classes are $ 10 each, running six weeks, held at Performers Edge Dance Academy, located 4037 E. Tremont Avenue.
Children 6 to 11 years old will attend the Monday session from 3:30 to 3:45 p.m., beginning on Monday, July 27. Children 12 and older will have Wednesday classes from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m., beginning Wednesday, July 29.
Two scholarships will be awarded per session for youth showing a financial need, who must submit a one-page essay outlining why they want to practice yoga and how yoga will benefit the community.