New Youth and Family Yoga Program at Riverstone Yoga This Fall

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By Linda Viertel –

Everyone seems stressed these days, and none more-so than kids in their 24/7 super-connected world, which is why Tarrytown’s Riverstone Yoga salon owner and yoga teacher, Patricia Fischer, is creating her new Youth and Family Yoga Program starting this fall. Her self-described goal: “To help children and teens self-regulate, self-navigate and reduce stress in order to give them life-enhancing skills.”

Tarrytown resident Angeline Montoya, a Riverstone Yoga regular, and her son Sam practice relaxation together on their mats. — Photo: Leslie Seery

Science (university studies and multiple research projects) is finally catching up to what yoga practitioners and teachers have known for years – that simple yoga workouts, coupled with a short meditation time, help relieve stress and encourage a healthy management of life’s daily problems. “Most people don’t know how much stress they are living with – they have no idea until they learn to manage it,” says Fischer. “Yoga integrates the mind and body in a 1000 different ways.”

This fall, the Riverstone Yoga studio will fulfill Fischer’s dream of having a “full service” set of yoga classes: pre-natal, post-natal, mommy and me, toddlers to tweens and  teens, in addition to adult programs. A family yoga practice has been in the works “forever,” she notes, which is why her extensive programming covers all ages. Parents will be able to choose a program where they can either drop their child off for a class or stay for a parent/child class. And, classes are small in order to encourage an effective student to teacher ratio. Resources will also be made available for creating a yoga home practice.

Leslie Seery will be handling the programming, and Jennifer Monness, the creator of Meditation Lab, now a fixture in the Irvington schools, will be training Riverstone’s teachers in the art of meditation. With 14 teachers on staff, Fischer acknowledges how important meditation training is so that each teacher can style his or her meditative practice accordingly, within the context of their yoga classes.

 Youth, according to Seery and Fischer, is the perfect time to develop healthy habits to better handle stress and anxiety, and to develop emotional awareness and self-regulation. Moving from reactiveness to mindfulness takes time and practice, they assert, but, “Slowly a child’s coping skills become second nature and will remain so lifelong.”

They posit the question: What would a group of children that have practiced yoga together since the age of 3 look like at age 15? Would they have a stronger sense of self and be better able to self-regulate? Would they develop confidence, kindness, compassion and an open-mind, be better able to focus and attend to tasks?  Current scientific research in the field of yoga is saying “yes” to all these questions.

“Everything happens so fast these days,” Fischer notes, “And yoga brings you back to sanity. It can work wonders to calm a child down before a test, to ease tension before an adult or student presentation.” That’s why Fischer also provides yoga classes off site in the corporate world, at places like Regeneron, Aetna, and the Sankara Spa at The Castle. Remembering her intense life as a lawyer, Fischer created her corporate yoga/mindfulness program asking herself, ”How can I help people escape golden handcuffs and bring balance into their professional lives?”

Wellness is for everyone at Riverstone Yoga.  All are welcome to the studio’s open house drop-in kids’ classes during the week of September 10 -16/adult classes September 16-22 (pre-register/$10 cash per class) For many, a yoga practice is life-saving; for others, it’s quiet, interior, solo stretching time. No matter what age, size, weight or shape, that time on the mat could bring a heightened level of peace into your stress-filled life.

 If You Go:
Riverstone Yoga
2 Hudson View Way
914-332-YOGA (9642)

Also read: Jennifer Monness’s Meditation Lab in Our Local Schools

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