Yoga Is Here To Namastay

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Students participate in the first yoga class at Jericho High School. (Photo by Lauren Steinberger)

By LAUREN STEINBERGER

Jericho High School is wrapping up the first year of its yoga course, which was offered to students from grades 10 through 12.

Jericho High School Athletic Director John Mankowich explained how physical education offerings are evolving.

“Now, with the addition of yoga, it adds an element where kids are able to find something they like,” he said. “If you’re looking for that stress-reliever, but still working on muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and hitting all of those fitness components, this would be a great course.”

Guidance counselor Mary Jo Moriarty is excited about the new yoga course option.

“I think it is such a good outlet for students to learn the practice of yoga because it will help them with their stress in everyday life for school and outside of school,” she said.
Physical Education teacher Lauren Funes teaches the new yoga class and is excited about making a difference.

“Yoga is the best thing ever for not only your body, but for your mind too,” Funes said. “With all of the tests that students take here, it is very important to connect the two.”

Her class consists of basic yoga skills, fitness testing, yoga terminology and poses, partner yoga, as well as individual creations of salutations that students present to the class.

Junior Sophie F. took the class because she thought it would be “a good opportunity for me to de-stress during the school day.” Sophomore Veronica P. took yoga because she likes Funes’ teaching style, and “is looking forward to relaxing in a class.”

On the contrary, varsity athlete and junior Jason D. explained that he did not take yoga since he prefers to get varsity release and this is not an option for the new course. But senior Christine B. thinks this first year of yoga was a rewarding experience.

“In my time in yoga, I have learned a lot about managing stress, mindfulness and allowing myself to concentrate on what I need,” she said.

According to Mankowich, there are once again eight sections of yoga scheduled for next year, and due to its popularity, incoming ninth graders are now allowed to register for the course.

—Lauren Steinberger is a student at Jericho High School

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