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Monday, October 26, 2015

Flipping for yoga! Teen gymnast switches to non-competitive practice

Stretched to her limit, last year, fifteen-year old Kira Fox, a competitive gymnast since age eight from Englewood, New Jersey, decided to switch to a less competitive and commitment-intensive activity.

“The summer before high school, I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. I wanted to try something else,” says the tenth grader.

Fox had been to a couple of yoga classes with her mom and decided to give it a go with a private teacher after school.

“I didn’t know the poses so well and wanted someone could personalize it,” she says.
Working twice weekly with Vinyasa yoga teacher and founder of non-profit, Yogis Heart, Trella Dolgin, Fox noticed benefits immediately.
“I thought I’d get more flexible, but didn’t expect that I’d...
get stronger. It made sense, why I couldn’t do moves like a middle split in the past, due to tight hips and handsprings. Also, I never felt stressed about yoga, but had felt it about gymnastics – about my performance, doing well and impressing my coaches. In yoga, I don’t have to impress anyone,” says Fox.
Eager to learn more about anatomy, alignment, and to help others, the teenager enrolled in a month-long, all-day yoga teacher training program last summer at Manhattan’s Pure Yoga studio.
Since the intensive, “Each time I practice I set an intention. I’m still doing yoga for exercise, but I like the other aspects – coming on to my mat and forgetting everything else except being present," says Fox.
Yoga’s centering effects have helped Fox with her high school academics, too.
“When I don’t understand something in class, before freaking out, I sit, breathe and continue to remain focused. I don’t worry. I’ll figure it out later,” she says.
Practicing on her inner family and friend circles, “I soon want to do privates or maybe hold a fundraising class – maybe for cancer,’ says Fox. Ultimately, “I want to teach kids of all ages. It’s great for the body and the mind. I hope more kids get in to it.”











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