Yoga in Schools?
There are many cliches, stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding the practice of yoga. When many picture the practice, they see hippies chanting “Oh-hmm…” while incense burns. Still some think of moms with Starbucks escaping their kids on a Saturday morning. But, in recent years, as yoga has become more mainstream and prevalent, these stereotypes have begun to fade as the benefits of a regular yoga practice become apparent. But, something people don’t often consider is yoga in schools. Though, maybe they should.
There are numerous benefits to introducing a yoga practice into your school’s curriculum and the following are just a few of those reasons.
Increase Focus (without medication)
When kids have a hard time focusing today, too often our first solution is medication. They have an anxiety disorder or ADHD, or some other illness that requires paying a doctor to pump them full of medication. But, a consistent yoga routine creates an awareness of the body through deep breathing and teaches kids how to focus on a particular feeling or task.
The habits learned through a practiced yoga routine will often spill over into the classroom and give students the skills needed to manage their stress levels when faced with a challenging situation. Rather than reacting by yelling, pouting or misbehaving, students can turn to the breathing techniques they have learned in their yoga practices. Turing to breathing rather than an overreaction gives them the ability to manage their stress and emotions, a habit that will come in handy not only in the classroom, but later in life.
It takes consistent practice to master the various poses taught in yoga practices. The yoga instructor can guide them, but in the end it’s the student that has control over whether or not they can hold a pose without falling or teach their feet without bending their knees. Each pose gives students a specific goal to work toward and results they will notice once they have complete that goal. They will see the difference between when they start and after consistent practice and this will encourage them to apply that same persistence in other areas of their life.
Release Pent Up Energy
Many may think that because students aren’t running or moving, yoga doesn’t release the same energy as gym class. But, the stretches and breathing exercises work the muscles and stretch joints, expelling energy and increasing flexibility.
It’s a Stimulation Break
Even if a student chose to sit on their mat and breathe during an entire session of yoga, simply taking a break from the constant stimulation present in their everyday lives can be reason enough to implement a yoga class into a school curriculum. Students are bombarded almost every moment of everyday by noise, lights, screens, advertisements, peer pressure, school pressure and parent pressure. Even 20 minutes away from all that, in a room where they have to do is breathe, has the ability to refresh and rejuvenate a mind and give a child the energy need to face the rest of their day.
Encourage healthy, focused, confident students and create a healthy learning environment.
Find out what it would take to implement a yoga routine into the curriculum in your school by contacting Mindful Practices Yoga today.