Karen D'Abrosca2Hi, my name is Karen D’Abrosca. I’ve practiced yoga for almost 20 years and completed my Radiant Child Family Yoga Teacher Certification in July 2011. I’m in my 26th year of teaching Health & Physical Education in a suburban public high school in Rhode Island.

I first met Shakta 9 years ago when she taught a RCY 1-3 workshop in RI. This planted the seed for incorporating these teachings into public school curriculum. Within one year, I wrote and taught my first “Wellness” high school elective course. I now teach 2 sections each semester, 28 students per class, learners of all different abilities. Though the large group is occasionally a challenge, introducing as many students as possible to yoga and mindful living is my mission.

Seeing the students respond so positively to the yoga asana, meditation, healthy food discussions and self-care rituals prompted me to continue my yoga studies, earning my RCFY 200 hour certification.

I can barely find the words to describe what this training and certification has done for my teaching and for my life. To date, over 600 teens have passed through this course ~ building their RC Yoga “tool box”, coping skills for today’s fast paced life and related pressures.

On a personal note, I don’t know how I would have coped with my life’s script without a strong yoga foundation.
Shakta and the RCFY 200 retreat family gave me not only skills for my “job” but empowered me with personal resilience for my day to day life. I am the caregiver/guardian for my 91 year old mother living with Alzheimer’s disease while maintaining my family life, full time teaching and most recently travelling abroad teaching yoga on women’s retreats.

So for this newsletter, instead of a lesson plan, I choose to feature “STUDENT SPOTLIGHT of STRESS BUSTERS!”, techniques teens use to cope with high school pressures and manage life today. I asked my current students to name a few skills they take off the mat into their lives; skills that help them be calm, focused and relaxed. These practices can be done at their desk, some in the car or in bed when trying to fall asleep. And they are great for adults too!

These techniques can be found in various RCY teacher manuals and/or Shakta’s books including Kundalini Yoga.

“STUDENT SPOTLIGHT of STRESS BUSTERS!”

• Deep Yogic Breathing * the breath is always with us
• 5-5-5 Breath * Inhale (5) Hold(5) Exhale(5)
• Physical Body Check In – tense and relax muscles head to toe
• Shoulder Shrugs, Neck Circles
• Upper Spinal Flex – stretching arms long across desk
• Spinal Twist Right & Left in chair
• Spaghetti Test – while seated, shake arms and legs to release tension
• Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation – touching thumb to each finger pad ~ Substitute words here: “I Can Do This”
• “Stillness” Present Moment Awareness CD
• “Golden Waterfall” Rainbow Walk CD

May you find happiness, joy and positive energy in your daily life.

Karen D’Abrosca