Once the student, now the (yoga) teacher

Class of ’98 alumna Renee Downing guest-teaches a yoga course at DDHS. Downing is a personal trainer and yoga instructor in California. Click pic for more images in our gallery.

Renee Downing was once a student who roamed the halls of Delavan-Darien High School. The Class of 1998 alumna also said she didn’t particularly enjoy gym class back then, either.

But time can change things in mysterious ways and the careers you end up in may not be the one you thought you’d be in before high school graduation.

Downing was back at DDHS a couple of times these past few weeks, volunteering to teach yoga to today’s generation of students.

Downing flew in from her home in Huntington Beach, California, to visit family in Delavan. While here, the professional personal trainer and yoga instructor conducted two yoga classes for Sandee Ortiz’s students in the Trends in Physical Fitness course. The course is designed to allow students to experience the latest approaches to fitness with such activities as yoga, dance movement, pilates, body toning, cardiovascular training and more.

Yoga taught by a professional (with plenty of California clients, no less) and an alumni was really a perfect opportunity for DDHS students, Ortiz said. Downing really connected with the students.

Check out what she said on her Facebook page after teaching her first mini-class to students:

“That was so much fun! I didn’t count them but there must’ve been 25 teenage girls all paying attention to what I had to say, and even laughing at times. After speaking for about 10 minutes, I saw that they were getting a little restless so I had them tell me with a show of hands whether they wanted to try some “body sculpting” with weights, or yoga. Tons of hands flew up for yoga. I asked them what they knew about yoga and the few that were brave enough to answer said that it was stretching, so I made a goal of showing them how it can build strength as well. We were only able to do about 10 minutes, but it was so much fun walking around a packed room, every girl in Warrior 2 explaining subtle details of how to do the pose correctly, and they all listened! I felt like I was in my element walking around teaching to such a full room.”

Downing came back for a second class period and taught the entire time, allowing for more stretches and poses.

“A big thanks to everyone who helped make my visit to Delavan so wonderful. Thank you Sandee Ortiz for allowing me to speak to and teach your amazing high school girls,” Downing said after her second visit.

She also put on several free “donation” yoga clinics in Delavan while she was in the area.

For more about downing and her personal fitness and yoga instructing business, visit her website: www.radbodyandmind.com/. Or, stop out and see her if you’re in southern California.

Thanks for visiting and teaching our DDHS students about yoga!

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