Allie Kirkman | South Bend Tribune | Feb 28, 2020

SOUTH BEND — “As I breathe in, as I breathe out, my arms reach out to the sides,” George Gandy read aloud to a dozen of his Darden Elementary School classmates.

“Lift up to the sky,” the third-grade student said as his arms stretched toward the ceiling, “and then relax back down.”

George passed the book, “Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story,” along to another student in the yoga circle. The group continued to practice other exercises pictured, from the bridge to the downward-facing dog.

Once the kids were warmed up early on this recent morning, Kourtney Bradshaw-Clay got out a chime for meditation. As the echo of the instrument filled the room, students sat cross-legged on blue yoga mats and placed one hand on their upper chest and the other on their belly.

“Deep breathe in,” Bradshaw-Clay said, in a calm, relaxing voice, “and out.”

Bradshaw-Clay is a yoga instructor with Mindful U, a traveling program that provides services to parents, teachers and students in Michiana. The organization was founded in 2018 by Rachael von Eschenbach, a pediatric speech language pathologist and yoga teacher who is certified in children’s mindfulness, and Mindi Dugard, a nurse and yoga teacher.

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