Calm your mind with summer camps

Teens at last summer’s Teen Yoga Camp in Montevallo practice a partner pose. (Contributed)

Teens at last summer’s Teen Yoga Camp in Montevallo practice a partner pose. (Contributed)

By MICHELLE ADAMS / Community Columnist

In this age of smartphones, gaming devices and the popularity of social networking via the Internet, the mind is often on information overload and needs time to quiet.

This year’s yoga camps, sponsored by the Kinesiology Department at the University of Montevallo provide just that opportunity. The two free camps offered this year are the Mom and Me Yoga Camp, June 9-13, from 10 a.m.-noon, and the Teen Yoga Camp, June 16-20, from 10 a.m.-noon. Both camps are held in the Bibb Graves Dance Studio on the UM campus.

“The tools of yoga can be used at any age,” yoga instructor Diane Landers said. “Whether it is physical practice, meditation or stillness, hopefully a lifelong practice will develop.”

Just as there is much focus to be physically fit in our society, there should be a system to take care of the mind. Meditation, the act of focusing and quieting the mind in order to generate an inner calmness, can be an important part of yoga practice.

“Especially for busy teens who are constantly plugged in and committed to a variety of activities, it is important to for them to balance their lives,” Landers said. “Our yoga camp encourages them to turn off the device for an hour to calm the spirit and just be in the here and now.”

The yoga camps help active teens and busy moms to feel aware, balanced and centered. Through movement, activities, music and meditation, a sense of peace and calmness can be achieved.

“We will, of course, practice individual yoga postures and partner poses, in addition to breathing practices and meditation,” Landers said. “This is our first year for the Mom and Me Camp, so we will see which activities the children enjoy and focus on those a little more, perhaps having the children work in groups to create mandalas or playing ‘Mother May I’ with yoga positions.”

Providing yoga instruction at the camps this year are Cairista Britton, Melissa Boyles and Mary Jane Smith. Providing guided meditation will be Sandie Wesley. To reserve a space at either of these free yoga camps, contact Diane Landers via email: landersd@montevallo.edu.