Yoga is popular among the general population for its ability to help people relax, and more recently yogaâ€™s benefits are catching on at schools nationwide. As the article below iterates, 100 schools in the state of Minnesota have faculty members trained to teach yoga to their students. Theyâ€™re discovering that a calm child is better able to concentrate and perform optimally on tests and ultimately achieve academic success.
The article below also points out that â€œmore educators are embracing yoga’s principles and methods and touting its benefits: improved self-esteem, self-awareness, acceptance and focus; learning to quiet the mind and shift to positive, peaceful thinking; better posture, flexibility, balance and coordination, and an increased ability to cope with strong emotions and calm down. Studies have linked yoga in schools to better grades, behavior, health and relationships among students.â€
According to school social worker and registered yoga teacher, Kathy Flaminio, “Kids like to move, and the need for movement is critical. Yoga just regulates the system. It brings hyper kids to the center, and lethargic kids wake up. You’re changing the nervous system, and we know that if kids are stressed they’re not using the entire brain to learn. When we slow down the nervous system and they’re able to be calm, they open up and are better learners.”
LifeBoundâ€™s title, People Smarts for Teenagers: Becoming Emotionally Intelligent, guides students through their journey of discovering self, creating strong, healthy relationships and managing stress and other emotions. The People Smarts program works well on its own or could be formatted to complement programs such as yoga in many Michigan schools.
Important Questions to Consider:
With many schools cutting physical education classes, how can we raise awareness about the benefits of yoga for boosting not only a studentâ€™s physical and mental health but academic success?
How else can teachers, principals, schools and school districts incorporate emotional intelligence into the classroom to promote academic success?
Minnesota students acing yoga test
By SARAH MORAN, Special to the Star Tribune
November 29, 2009
It’s just another day in gym class, and 50 calm and focused sixth-graders are breathing deeply in and out. They sit cross-legged on colorful yoga mats, eyes closed and hands resting on their knees as soothing music plays in the background.
“Inhale slowly … and exhale, and feel your body fill with all that wonderful air,” says their physical education teacher, Rochelle Gladu Patten. “We know that yoga is a practice that brings your body and mind and heart all together,” she tells them. “And that’s what yoga means — to connect.”
Every Tuesday and Thursday, students at Susan B. Anthony Middle School in Minneapolis spend 20 minutes practicing yoga poses in Patten’s class. It’s just one of many Minnesota schools embracing yoga as word spreads about its benefits for students. More than 100 schools in the state have staff members trained to teach yoga to kids of all ages.
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