SARATOGA — Families with young teens and children are welcomed to join Namaste Yoga, yoga of awareness, to help develop skills to use in everyday life.
Susan Cuda, owner of the studio, said the restorative classes are aimed to help teens and children develop skills they wouldn’t learn inside a classroom, such as breathing exercises and relaxation.
“For kids, they’re not always comfortable in the skin they are in, and they can’t really figure out why there doesn’t seem to be enough time for relaxation and regrouping,” Cuda said. “That’s what the restoratives are for. We wanted to offer this because school is mandatory and it’s hard to find your niche when you’re really not prepared,” Cuda said.
Having previous teaching experience, Cuda noticed young adults becoming overwhelmed with difficulties and big decisions. She believes relaxation is the key to figuring out those concerns and created the restoration class to teach relaxation.
“We have two different age groups that both suffer from anxiety. A lot of that [anxiety] is just the unknowing of how the future is going to unfold. There are certain expectations that their parents have. The kids don’t know where they fit in because they’re a little too young to have the background necessary to follow all of that logic of ‘what is it that I want’ and ‘what is it that makes me feel really good,’” Cuda said. “Not too many parents even know enough to ask their children that.”
The studio will offer the younger kids class on March 22 and the teen class on April 19. The children 12 and under will partake in a 90-minute class and focus on tackling restlessness. Cuda will teach alongside Tara Amazon, yoga instructor, and will use techniques such as “belly breathing.” Cuda said with “belly breathing,” the kids would each have a strap around their ribcage. The strap would expand out to show they are deep breathing and using the diaphragm to relax.
The teen class, which ranges in age from 13-17, will focus on tackling anxiety.
“It’s about noticing what’s going on with society and with the people we come in contact with. The [teens] look like deer caught in headlights,” Cuda said. “I can’t answer their career questions and I can’t navigate their boyfriend/girlfriend situations but I realize that it’s intense. Adolescence is so tough but we can at least offer them a safe environment with confident teachers that can help them relax.”
Cuda said that through relaxation and breathing techniques, young adults could take a step back and focus on what matters to them. She believes through the class the teens will realize what relaxation feels like.
“They’re facing more pressure dealing with what do you want to be when they are older and they don’t want to admit it but they’re clearly not grown up and they have to make some really heavy decisions,” Cuda said.
At school, Cuda believes the teens take on different roles to help them figure out what they want to do in life, such as what being a good student feels like or being the star athlete. However, rather than pleasing their parents through those roles, Cuda thinks they need to step back and feel what is in their heart and body.
“Sometimes if you can’t relax it’s hard to feel in your body and you get in your head. They get in their head and they’re making decisions from their head. That’s really what the restorative can give back — that just breath feeling in their body,” Cuda said.