Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

For fidgety crowd, yoga can be elementary

Elementary Yoga

For fidgety crowd, yoga can be elementary

Yoga instructor Jill Cummings took on some third graders at H.B. Wilson Elementary School in Camden. I was almost as fidgety as the kids as I moved around teacher Joan Trojan's classroom trying to capture their exhuberance on film (memory card). More photos are here, or if you click on the photo of Xavier Diaz.


Cummings teaches both child and adult classes at her studio in Collingswood. Once a week, she visits a Camden school to teach children, a therapeutic experience she thinks is invaluable to any child, but especially to inner-city children. "They have so many external challenges," Cummings told Inquirer reporter Megan DeMarco. "They can learn to find some sort of relaxation." At the end of every lesson, she instructs the children to lie down on their yoga mats, close their eyes, and breathe. She tells them to breathe in the feelings "you really deserve to feel," like happiness and joy, and "let go of the feelings that don't feel so good," like sadness, anger, and jealousy. I wasn't even on my back and I could feel it.

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
About this blog

Tom Gralish is a general assignment photographer at The Inquirer, concentrating on local news and self-generated feature photos.

He has been at the paper since 1983, photographing everything from revolution in the Philippines to George W. Bush’s road to the White House to homeless people living on the street right outside his newspaper's front door. For his photo essay on Philadelphia’s homeless, he was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

His weekly newspaper column, "Scene Through the Lens," takes a look at Philadelphia's urban landscape.

Gralish, along with Inquirer colleague and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Vitez, spent a year visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture the stories and photos of "Rocky runners" who come from all over the world to climb the steps - just as Sylvester Stallone did in the Academy Award winning film, Rocky. Their book, Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps, was published in November 2006.

Reach Tom at tgralish@phillynews.com.

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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