Kids learning yoga in Groves

Published 9:36 am Friday, August 12, 2016

Families in Groves have the opportunity to practice their down dogs and get in tune with their breath. All they have to do is go down to the Groves Activity Building on Thursdays and practice with Melody Butler.

Butler, a Groves native and full-time yoga instructor, has been officially licensed for one year and has been teaching at the Activity Building since May.

“I grew up in Groves, so it was really my natural first choice when it came to teaching,” Butler said, who also teaches classes at YMCA and Exygon.

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Butler’s move to yoga was informed by her time in college studying theater and finding that she “really liked it as a mental and physical exercise.

“Yoga helps me handle tough situations and teaches living in the present.”

In response to why she decided to teach to children and parents, Butler cited the joy of working with kids.

“I really love working with kids. I always leave with funny stories,” Butler said. “Yoga teaches being kind and being active members of the world.”

Butler thanked Activity Building Coordinator, Kathy Flores, for providing her with the opportunity to host family fitness classes during the week

“It was weird. They had Zumba and other [exercise] classes, but no kids’ classes,” Butler recalled. “They were really pumped to have yoga here.”

When it came to listing the numerous benefits of yoga practice, Butler was quick to respond, “I just think that anything we could add to our toolbox is great.

“Yoga helps people ensure that our place is a better place moving forward. It gets kids interested and exposes them to new cultures.”

The mental benefit of such a practice, in Butler’s eyes, is just as vital, if not more so, to its practitioners.

“It’s important to expand minds and horizons,” Butler said. “Yoga is great for bringing awareness and what it can do to add on to the creativity we’ve got going on.”

When the yoga instructor turned to look at some of her youngest students, she commented:

“Kids are little sponges. They soak up information really quickly. Moms and families who come in here sometimes send me videos of [their kids] singing songs we sang in class… and of having their Barbie’s doing yoga.”

And according to the levels of excitement that the children in her class displayed while she was there, it appeared that Butler was doing something right to appeal to her young charges.

“I like it because—!” said Anna, a five-year-old student. “We do workouts!”

Another one of the students, Collin, mentioned that he liked the various activities that they did in class, like coloring.

“I like up dog,” he said, when asked about his favorite yoga pose.

When asked about her favorite aspect of the practice, Butler took a moment to respond.

“It teaches mindfulness and being present. I think it teaches us how to be human — how to connect with somebody by looking him or her in the eyes… It teaches of ourselves to give what we can.”

Butler usually teaches yoga classes at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursdays at the Groves Activity Building. Classes are $7 each and are intended for parents and children.