There’s a little Tom Sawyer in all of us

Okay – enough of this snow and ice!  Let me go back to the nice sandy beaches of Isla Mujeres and the 115 degree temperatures.

“In order to obtain real peace we must begin with the children.”– Ghandi


Day 2: Youth Yoga

a student completely focused on a pose


class in full swing

On the second day of our trip we were fortunate enough to work with the local kids outside under a palapa in the blistering 115 degree (with heat index) temperature.  I had on what little clothing was reasonably appropriate for a person of my size and age but the heat was persistent. The children began to arrive and Katherine got us started on our practice for the day.

full attention and focus

Besides the physical benefits of yoga, it can help improve a child’s ability to focus, concentrate and listen. It enhances their self-confidence and is a gentle introduction to self-discipline. Yoga, when practiced regularly, helps children grow in new and positive directions.  I walked around helping the children with poses but I was attracted to these two brothers.

Trying to find our "Tree Pose" - Vrikshasana

“The elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time.”

– Mark Twain – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The older brother was fully engaged and tried to follow along the best he could.  The younger one, well, he was a bit squirrelly. He was my “Tom Sawyer”- he wasn’t sticking with anything for too long in his boyish world. I instantly knew that he and I would work well together.
This was a day of adventure for these children.  The opportunity to experience something most of them had never experienced before.  I couldn’t speak the language of my little friend but as he crawled onto my lap for our final meditative pose, he turned to me and smiled.  That was all the communication I needed.

Benefits of Yoga



• Overall muscular strength and tone are increased

• Increased muscular strength contributes to joint health

• Aids in digestion and elimination

• Boosts metabolism and weight loss

• Improves flexibility

• Strengthens immune system

• Builds balance and coordination

• Improves overall body awareness


• Develops concentration and focus

• Teaches students how to work with their minds

• Releases tension

• Improves quality of attention

• Develops mind/body connection


• Promotes emotional awareness and ability to manage emotions

• Encourages calmness

• Teaches students to respond, rather than react

• Promotes self control


• Boosts confidence

• Teaches self respect and respect of others

• Encourages altruism

• Develops empathy


• Encourages connection to inner self and innate wisdom

• Enhances understanding and experience of interconnectedness


• Enhances learning readiness

• Encourages self-discipline


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