By Kara Conley, Current Staff
Tammy Lascelle, a special education teacher at East, has created a yoga corner where students can learn one or two poses before heading to class.
Lascelle offers students some yoga lessons in the U hallway between periods three and four during passing time, but only a few days each week. It’s a way for her to interact with students and create a more joyful environment.
“We were told as a staff we needed to be more present in the hallways in order to encourage students to behave more appropriately, greet them, and enjoy them,” Lascelle said.
The hallway yoga is used to bring smiles to the students’ faces and add some fun during the school day, according to Lascelle.
“We try to make sure there is a funny face or something cool to do when kids come around the corner or up the stairs [to the U hallway],” Lascelle said. “Everybody needs a smile. Everybody needs to feel good in the environment that they’re in. It does create laughter and fun, so that in itself is a benefit of the yoga.”
Hallway yoga is provided two to three times a week with poses to do with friends or even classmates students have never met before. Lascelle believes the novelty of such a pleasant activity would be lost if it was performed every day.
“I think it’s more novel because if it’s done all the time, it may not be as special,” Lascelle said.
The yoga is performed in the small open corner at the end of the U hallway where students have some space to stretch.
Not everyone is aware of hallway yoga, even those nearby such as East Spanish teacher Beth Kastner. “I have not felt the ‘chi’ all the way to U55 yet,” Kastner said.
“Everybody needs a smile. Everybody needs to feel good in the environment that they’re in.”
– Tammy Lascelle, East teacher
Lascelle hopes more students decide to join her in between third and fourth hour in doing some poses. She wants to have the school embrace the joy that stems from the exercises. “My dream is to have the whole U hallway participate in hallway yoga. At least do the tree with us. Branches out, reach for the sun, center, breathe. I would like to see everyone down U hallway do it at least once,” Lascelle said.
Some students say they would gladly join if they ever went that way. It isn’t something that is well known in the school, but a few students find it intriguing.
“I didn’t know our school did that, but it sounds really cool. I could probably learn a few cool poses, too, which would be really fun,” Alice Lang, a West sophomore, said.
“It sounds very interesting, and could probably bring some relaxation,” West sophomore Sydney Faehling said.
The best part of hallway yoga, according to Lascelle, is being a part of the students’ lives. Some of the staff have taken notice and become a part of the yoga lesson, while others have admired from a distance.
“It’s not just doing yoga, it’s playing, and it’s having fun. Enjoying my coworkers who think we’re crazy or crazy enough to join in,” Lascelle said. “The teachers either join in or shake their heads and roll their eyes or they point and giggle because it’s kind of funny and kind of cool, but they don’t always join in, which is too bad because I think everybody could benefit from the student interaction.”
Lascelle finds great happiness in making school a fun and positive environment for the students. Not only does the U hallway provide some delight with hallway yoga, but also makes people laugh with the “Kanoodle-Free Zone” posters.
“When staff comes up to the students and say, ‘No canoodling’, everyone knows what that means, everybody laughs and giggles about it, even the canoodlers,” Lascelle said.
With all the fun the U hallway brings, the yoga presents pure joy to the students who join. According to Lascelle, there is not enough time for students to find any spiritual or relaxing remedies in the short passing time it is provided, but it is there to bring a touch of amusement to students’ days.
“It’s just nice getting out in the hallways and having fun with the kids,” said Lascelle. “It’s why we do what we do, to create some kind of connection and it’s fun.”
(Top photo courtesy of Tammy Lascelle, East teacher. Bottom photo by Kara Conley, Current Staff.)