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Body and mind

Yoga part of Ironton physical education program

Physical education is usually one of the more energy intensive parts of the school day, but on Wednesday, students at Ironton Elementary took part in activities of a calming nature.

Instructor Vivian Khounlavong-Vallance led more than 50 children from the school’s third grade classes in yoga exercises, teaching them such things as a cat, cow, cobra and warrior pose.

“This is to bring together your mind, body and spirit into one,” she said. You learn to quiet your mind and listen to yourself.”

Khounlavong-Vallance is doing a four-week stint at the school, arriving on Mondays and Wednesdays as part of the physical education program.

At one point, she led the children in stomping.

“Think about when you’re sad, upset or angry,” she said. “If someone says something to hurt your feelings, what do we do? We stomp it out.”

Throughout the session, she had the students repeat the mantra “I am peace. I am love. I am smart. I am kind.”

“A mantra is something you repeat to yourself over and over,” she said. “You repeat it. You believe it and you live it.”

Patti Freeman is the physical education instructor at the school, with assistance from Jan Johnson.

“This is something new we’re trying,” she said. “Vivian was interested in working with the P.E. program to get her certification.”

Khounlavong-Vallance works at Preferred Fitness in Ironton and teaches yoga sculpt, yoga flow and boot camp, and received her certification for yoga in the spring.