Students in first through third grade at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven poised themselves with a pose for peace in honor of World Peace Day recently.Rumson’s Firefly Yogis co-owners Suzanne Mazzucca and Marlena Redling presented a Pose for Peace event on Sept. 27 at nearby McCarter Park, as school was closed for a holiday on Sept. 21, the actual World Peace Day.
“Yoga helps us to be present and connect to the world around us,” Mazzucca said. “We are grateful to live in this beautiful world, and we want to keep it peaceful.”
Assisted by parent volunteers Jess Patel (also a yogi) and Heather Lombardo, Mazzucca and Redling demonstrated a yoga approach to peace. They also discussed the benefits of yoga and the meaning of World Peace Day.
“In yoga we honor our earth, sun, trees, animals, and oceans through poses,” Mazzucca explained. The instructors then led the children through a sun salutation exercise to honor the sun, “since it brings us light, warmth, and life.”
After speaking to the students about the meaning of World Peace Day – which is dedicated to peace around the globe, specifically an end to war and violence – the instructors also led the students in a Peace Pledge of “Peace Begins with Me.”
In three separate sessions — one for each grade level — students executed yoga poses including the extended mountain, downward dog, cat, and cow. The students also completed a warrior sequence including the tree pose and warriors I, II, and III.
Near the end of each session, the students sat in a large circle and attempted to catch an oversized beach ball tossed to by one of the instructors. Students who caught the beach ball were given the opportunity to share what peace means to them.
Calmness, spending time with family and friends, loyalty, joy, happiness, caring for the earth, and yoga were a few of the answers.
Each session concluded with everyone participating in a “peace dance,” with event supervisor and Sickles School physical education teacher Daniel Ranahan acting as DJ.
— Edited press release from the Fair Haven School District