Teachers Get Flexible in New Yoga Class

2 min read

One new option for after-school activities at Sequoyah is not for students at all. This past winter, the school offered a yoga class for faculty and staff. A handful of teachers and administrators joined the class, which ran from October to March.

Audrey Tumoine, the instructor of the new class, which met Thursdays in the Infinity Room from 4:45-6:00 p.m, also runs an afterschool class for students immediately prior to the adult class. Tumoine said she learned about Sequoyah through Christophe Boullonnois, Backyard associate teacher.

Ian Chang, Out Back Language Arts specialist, said the class’ Iyengar style is different than the one other yoga class he has done before, with more attention to precise positioning and balance. “It’s not my strong suit, balance,” he said, “but I came to really enjoy the intense focus” and calmness of the class. He also said that the yoga class would be even more fun if more teachers joined. Other teachers who have joined the yoga group include Azizi Williams (Sequoyah’s Assistant Director), Elena Phleger (Director of Development and Communications), and Cynthia Lee (Over There Lead Teacher). As a teacher, you pay half the normal rate for the class. (Parents, who are also eligible for the class, would pay full price, or the indexed-tuition equivalent.)

Speaking about her past yoga experiences, Tumoine said she has been teaching yoga since 2008. Having first started in Paris, she is certified in both Sivananda and Iyengar Yoga, and specializes in children’s yoga and pre/post natal yoga. Tumoine said she is“very fortunate to be in California where I am able to continue my learning with great yoga teachers.”

After studying philosophy in college, Tumoine said she felt unsatisfied. “When I discovered yoga in 2000,” she said, “it felt like I found the missing part of my philosophical studies.” 

The faculty and staff are pretty good at yoga, she said, but being “good” is not really the focus of the class. Some people are more flexible than others and can achieve nice poses, but this is not necessarily the goal. Practicing yoga means developing greater awareness,” said Tumoine.

For teachers, staff, or parents who are thinking about joining the class in the future, Tumoine added that “Iyengar Yoga focuses on the body’s natural alignment to promote healthy joints, bones and muscles. We also use ‘props’ so that every student can work on every pose at their own ability.“

As compared to the yoga classes for Sequoyah students, the adult class is quite different, Tumoine said. “Children don’t have the same focus as adults. You have to keep the children’s classes fun and entertaining by having them participate actively in the class.” Tumoine is on maternity leave currently, but hopes to offer the class again in the fall. Members of the community, whether kid or adult, interested in learning more about the class or signing up, can check in with Kelsey Wetmore, Daycare Director.