DECATUR – If there's one thing that says “superhero,” it's strength.
“We do (yoga) for our muscles,” said Aniyah White, 6, flexing her biceps.
Camp Connections is all about heroes this summer, and though the kids started off with the familiar Batman and Superman sort of superhero, they've been learning that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They can even be heroes themselves.
At the Baum School site, yoga is a regular part of the young heroes' activities.
Heroes need to take care of their health, said counselor Lisa Ferriozzi, and every day includes active play and lessons in healthy nutrition.
“We've already had a busy day,” she said with a laugh. “They've been to the Y, they've played dodge ball and in a little while, we have P.E.”
Yoga videos are available online at cosmickids.com, led by Jaime Amor, whose soft voice and lilting British accent are soothing. Behind her, thanks to green screen technology, lives an animated world of stick bugs and caterpillars, rainbows and butterflies while she tells stories and teaches kids to do yoga poses that go with the action in the stories. The videos are available for free, and Lamontriona Turner, 7, said she does them at home, too.
“I just like it,” she said. “I think it's fun.”
The Amors met thanks to Jaime's work teaching yoga to children in England. She is a trained actor who studied at the Bristol Old Vic, and between acting gigs, she entertained at children's parties. She is also a certified yoga instructor and their website releases a new video every month, as well as DVDs for home use.
Both kids and adults take part, though the kids do a little more squirming and the adults can't always contort their bodies into a position where, to use one of Jaime Amor's examples on Monday, they can pretend to use their foot as a phone, though the attempt ended in helpless laughter.
“Yoga relaxes them and calms them down,” Ferriozzi said.