DARIEN, Conn. -- For Talita Moss, a certified yoga instructor at Darien YMCA, her fun and relaxing classes aren't just for adults. Thanks to several youth-focused programs, the YMCA is providing local children a respite from the stresses of school and everyday pressures.
Moss, a Darien resident and a mother of two, joined Darien YMCA in 2009 and immediately rediscovered her love of yoga. After meeting with some of the Y's yoga instructors, Moss was inspired to pursue training. After completing a 200-hour certification, she began teaching yoga classes of her own.
"My first opportunity to teach yoga at the Darien YMCA was a session for teenagers," said Moss. "I absolutely loved it. They usually come with emotional baggage from school or home, so we used that as a starting point for the work that we did each day."
According to Moss, yoga generates huge benefits for children and teenagers because it helps them remain calm, improves balance and coordination and gives them an opportunity to express their emotions through their bodies. In addition to teaching yoga classes for teens, Moss also works with adults and children of all ages and abilities. She completed additional certifications to teach children's yoga and yoga to children with special needs.
"Children's classes are a lot of fun," said Moss. "Most yoga poses are named after animals, so we explore them while incorporating fun themes and using props for younger children and doing partner poses."
Moss believes it's crucial for children to work on health and wellness in a non-competitive setting. Yoga is a great solution for children dealing with high levels of anxiety as it helps relieve stress and tension. "Children are so busy, that it's hard for them to even notice how much they need to rest and destress," said Moss. "Their downtime is often filled with electronics or social media which can bring even more stress."
Outside of sports and school, yoga is certainly not the first thing children and teenagers think about. To help them understand the benefits, The Y offered yoga instruction taught by Moss at Darien High School's recent health fair.
"When children are exposed to mindfulness techniques, they are better able to deal with pressures imposed by social media, school, sports and pressure they put on themselves," said Moss.
For more information about Darien YMCA, visit their website.