Creative Teens in Balance
For the past two weeks at our weekly “Teens in Balance” class, middle-school students from Grace Episcopal Day School (GEDS) have had the opportunity to work creatively in groups at Life’s Journey Wellness Center.
When driving to class two weeks ago, Penny, teacher of this GEDS Elective class, was struck with the idea to shape the yoga mats like triangles as she laid them out on the studio floor. That would turn out to be four “triangles” for the group of 12 students.
Penny ended up just setting up one 3-mat “triangle” as an example of the theme that day. Then, when the students arrived, she instructed them to create mat-triangles, which they really got into! An exciting, creative energy filled the room as a result this “different” layout, so Penny decided to further build on that!
Therefore, the next instruction was for the students to create one triangle out of three bodies and then explain what their body-triangle represented and discuss a little about the creative process used to come up with each choice.
“Whenever I think of a triangle, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit come to mind,” Penny explained as an example. “So, think about what comes to mind for you as you experience your Teens in Balance triangle.”
“Connectedness,” one group explained while stretching in a human triangle shape. “Togetheness,” another group stated.
“Birds under a bridge” was what another group created — demonstrated by one of the students using strength and flexibility to hold her body up in a solid Wheel pose (which was a human ‘bridge’ in this case) while the other two group members knelt on either side of her and fully stretched one arm each (the birds) under her back (the bridge). Those arms were the bottom of the triangle while a point at the top of the bridge was the top angle of the triangle. Can you picture it? 🙂
The main spokesperson for this group explained that while it had initially been tough for her and her partners to come up with their triangle idea, they stuck with it until they figured out what they could do!
The lessons from this group:
(1) Honesty, as they were honest to admit they had struggled at first (as the other groups had seemed to create with ease).
(2) Perseverance since they kept at it and eventually came up with a lovely triangle creation.
Because one of the groups worked in twos since one student was absent that day, this duo decided to transform to “mermaids” with their seated bodies leaning in toward each other at their sides and one arm each meeting at the top of them to create the top of their triangle.
The lesson: Less resources do not necessarily mean lesser results, as this group proved with their 2-person “triangle”.
Another group of three had formed three Wheel poses and positioned their Wheels to form one triangle.
“We just came up with something we all like to do and used that to create our triangle,” these youth explained
The lesson: Taking time to figure out what we have in common can work well for us — just as our positive differences can often be of use to each other, too.
Because the spirit of the class was so much fun and Penny wanted to give the absent student mentioned above a chance to experience some of what she had missed, “CREATIVE Teens in Balance” was the theme once again the following week. However, instead of giving the students one shape idea for the mats at the beginning of class, they were given the freedom to arrange the mats whatever way they desire — while still working in groups of three but with different partners this time. Then, they were to construct a 3-person group posture inspired by the layout of their mats.
Below, enjoy some of what “showed up” during the creative-body process! It was such a joy to watch!
After coming up with several wonderful ideas of their own, that segment of class concluded with Penny’s instruction to continue the creative mat journey by making crosses. She heard a few students comment to their partners that they were Jesus on the cross!
Have a glimpse of this past Wednesday’s fun Teens in Balance class…