Elise Luce Kraemer, Visual Artist
Masterman Yoga Class -Tree Pose/Vrksasana
2011
Acrylic on Canvas
72" by 28"
Masterman is a rigorous Philadelphia academic magnet school that draws students from all of Philadelphia. Margie Brunner, a sixth grade teacher at Masterman and yoga practioner herself, decided to offer yoga to students to help them handle stress. This image depicts the groups' field trip to a local yoga studio. Per Ms. Brunner: Last year I noticed a girl in my class crying somewhat hysterically after receiving her score on a writing assignment that I had just returned. Much to her dismay, she had earned a 90. She was an excellent student and always went above and beyond on every assignment. After class, I spoke to her and realized it was not really the score, but rather she was so overwhelmed with her schoolwork, extra curricular activities and family outings. In listening to her and speaking to her mother, much of this stress was self-inflicted. However, convincing her that she might have been overdoing it was not something the child was ready to hear. I made it a priority to think of another way to help. A few weeks later while I was taking a yoga class myself, a light bulb went off in my head. Why not give the students a means of releasing some of the stress during school by offering the yoga class? I am thrilled with the results and hope to expand on it next year.
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