The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Spanish Teacher Hosts Yoga Classes After School

Every Monday and Tuesday afternoon, a group of teachers files into room 302 for an hour to stretch out and enjoy the exercise of yoga and pilates. Led by Spanish teacher Kim Hanley, the small group uses the hour to relax, de-stress, and try out a few moves after a busy workday.

Hanley began teaching the yoga-Pilates fusion class at the school to pursue her yoga interests with a group of friends before possibly teaching a class at a studio. “Regulars,” such as Latin teacher Krista Greksouk, Spanish teacher Robyn Hughes and math teacher Shelley Carranza, come every week, while other teachers will drop in occasionally when they have the time.

“About a year ago, I enrolled in a Pilates certification program, and I really enjoyed it,” Hanley said. “Yoga really inspired me.”

To practice her yoga skills and experience the artform more, Hanley decided to teach a class to the teachers at the school.

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“As part of my training, I wanted to give classes to continue learning,” Hanley said. “I wanted to give to others what I had learned about the body and the body- mind connection through different movements in both yoga and Pilates.”

Hanley finds yoga meaningful for several reasons, mostly from the relaxation and centering techniques that yoga entails. Hanley believes this technique does much to alleviate her stress and relax her mood, two things she cites of the many benefits that yoga has in her life.

“With yoga and Pilates, no matter what you were doing beforehand, it’s a way of coming onto your mat, and letting everything else go,” Hanley said. “You become absorbed in the motions and the movements and the exercises. You find your breath with the moves, and its all you think about.”

Through teaching the class at the school, Hanley said she has grown even more appreciative of yoga and Pilates. Teaching has allowed her to learn about the two in more in-depth ways, increasing her own understanding.

“You see your students, and their alignments, and how it improves their posture,” Hanley said. “I really wanted to open others up to the possibilities of both yoga and Pilates.”

Though she didn’t start the classes with the intention of building a community among the yoga-practicers at the school, Hanley has done just that with her class. Teachers from different departments come to the class to learn yoga, and as a side benefit, get to know each other a little better.

“It’s really nice to de-stress, and get a little exercise,” Greksouk said. “I’ve also gotten to know teachers I probably wouldn’t have really known otherwise.”

Yoga and Pilates give Hanley and other teachers the opportunity to take a moment to appreciate the day and the current moment.

“Usually we’re focusing on something that has to do with paperwork, or the visual exterior or a sport that’s exterior to ourselves,” Hanley said. “Yoga and Pilates make us work on how can make the movement interior to us, how can we create the movement. Just taking a few moments to sit and deep-breathe can make such a difference in your day.”

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