North Kohala, located at the end of the road on the northernmost tip of the Big Island of Hawaii, is large in land area (133 square miles) and small in population (6,038 residents in 1751 households in 2000, currently 6,425 and 2,301 respectively).
We are isolated (the nearest town is 21 miles away with minimal public transportation access), rural and agricultural (98% of our land is zoned for agricultural use), and, like most Hawaiian communities, we are a blend of seven diverse ethnic cultures: Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Portuguese, and Caucasians.
We are the old sugar cane communities, where people are friendly and nature is bountiful. We are hard-working people with children who need extra care and attention. Many of our students live in multi-generational households where the adults face long commute times as they struggle to hold down multiple jobs in order to make a living. Thus many children are necessarily being raised by grandparents or other family members. What sets North Kohala apart from other similar, island communities is that our residents are actively involved in making Kohala a great place to live.
Over 92 volunteer groups, who are fiscally-sponsored by the locally-based North Kohala Community Resource Center work every day to provide services and programs to all ages and all facets of our community. Keiki Yoga Kohala is proud to be one of their sponsored programs.
Keiki Yoga Kohala is based on Yoga Ed.: an educational program that combines a science-based exploration of the body, mind and self with the exercise system of yoga to support and enhance social emotional learning, wellness and personal responsibility.
Yoga Ed. serves to help children be learning ready, physically fit, aware of self and others and confident. The practice of yoga (defined here as a methodology for integrating movement and breath to strengthen, align and balance the body, focus the mind and soothe and recharge the nervous system) is informed by a study of the body’s systems, the mind-body interface and the impact and consequences of one’s behavior choices with a focus on the five benchmarks of social emotional learning: self-awareness; self management; relationship skills; social awareness; positive decision making.
Students will learn how to move gracefully, breathe smoothly and deeply and sustain their focus and concentration, developing strength, flexibility, balance, mental clarity and emotional stability. Yoga Ed. presents this program as an effective and measurable methodology to achieve lifetime physical and mental health.
To learn more about Yoga Ed. please check out their website.