Why Teachers are Incorporating Yoga in the Classroom

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Yoga has become a great way for classroom teachers, PE teachers, and even after school coordinators to help students de-stress from their day, re-energize and clear their minds to focus. Yoga creates the support for students to not just build up their minds, but their bodies as well, better preparing them for their future. Below we list the 7 major benefits of incorporating yoga into the classroom, introduce you to our friends at Yoga Foster, and share how one teacher is using yoga in her classroom.

Our friends over at Yoga Foster advocate and heavily support the use of yoga throughout the school day and have success story after success story from educators that have used their program. We are so inspired by the work Yoga Foster is doing that we’ve even partnered with them to create an online course for PE Teachers (which can also be tailored to after school professionals and classroom teachers) that walks you through introducing yoga to your students.

yoga in schools

About the Online Course

online course for teaching yogaYoga Foster dives into the benefits you will see from incorporating yoga, as well as the difference in Muscular and Skeletal systems between you and your students, so that you can practice safely. Founder of Yoga Foster, Nicole Cardoza, goes through starter poses and fun breathing techniques with short videos to help you with language in describing to the students, and eventually helping you create your own yoga bursts (short yoga breaks). You’ll end the course with the layout for a longer yoga session, and feel confident introducing this rewarding practice to your students.

The course is only 4 hours long and a certificate of completion for your professional development hours is available as well. View the course here.

 

7 WAYS THAT YOGA CAN HELP YOUR CLASSROOM DEVELOP AND GROW

1.   Yoga helps to Create a Positive Environment

Students often see going to school and sitting in a classroom as a chore, even though the education you are providing them is in their best interest. Yoga can help your students develop a community as a classroom and encourage each other to strive. By incorporating yoga bursts and dedicated yoga sessions in your classroom, you will see your students become more engaged and interested.

2.   Yoga Encourages Participation in the Classroom

As we stated above, practicing yoga in the classroom can create a sense of community with your students as a whole and with you as a teacher. As your students become more of a “family”, they will feel more comfortable with one another and open to sharing and participating during your lesson.

3.   Yoga and Activity Breaks Enhance Student Performance

Yoga can help your students build up their competencies in their academics and within themselves personally. The mediation of yoga allows for development of self-awareness, this in turn helps students to manage their emotions and relationships. When students feel in control of their emotions and their reactions, they feel confident.  This goes hand in hand with their participation levels that we mentioned in #2. Your students will feel more driven to succeed with the encouragement from their classmates and from their own self-drive.

4.   Yoga Relieves Stress

We all know that a major benefit to yoga is that is can help with stress and anxiousness. Not all students can identify when they are stressed or have the proper tools to use to help relieve it. This can be overwhelming, especially for students that usually have a lot on their minds. When your students start to practice yoga in the classroom, they will begin to see it as a time without outside stress or distractions. They can be momentarily free of the stress of their home-life, studies, relationships, and social media. Yoga and your guidance of the practice will allow them to find peace of mind.

5.   Yoga Helps to Build Confidence and Self-Awareness

Your students’ self-esteem is developed from experiences and reactions from their homelife, while they’re at school, and even in their relationships. We all know that students with low self-esteem can’t perform their best academically and may turn to other destructive practices. Through proper implementation and responsive learning, yoga in schools can help build the confidence of these students. When practicing yoga students have the opportunity to draw inwards, regain confidence, and feel more secure and strong in their state of self.

6.   Yoga Encourages Activity and Fitness During the School Day

Yoga can help your student develop peace of mind while also teaching them the joys of being active. Your students have grown to learn that in order to be fit that they must do exhausting laps around the gym and work up a good sweat. These types of exercises are just as valid as yoga, but may seem more like a chore. Yoga is more of a slow burn type of exercise that still builds muscles and flexibility.

7.   Yoga Cultivates Empathy

Often students feel too embarrassed to answer questions in class because they fear that their answer is wrong. They feel that if they give the wrong answer that everyone will make fun of them and laugh. Usually, this isn’t the case but they have developed a fear of being ridiculed; this is most likely cause by the lack of empathy they feel in the classroom. The lack of empathy in your classroom is not your fault but rather it something that was developed within the students. With the help of yoga, your students and yourself can build an empathetic classroom. Yoga can build self-acceptance and show your students that they all struggle from time to time.

How this teacher is Using Yoga Foster in her classroom:

“Friday is everyone’s favorite day of the week for many reasons, teachers included. I especially love the 23 voices who scream, “It’s yoga day!!!” when they walk into the classroom on Fridays. We do yoga bursts throughout the week, and occasionally I’ll surprise them with a yoga session on a non-Friday, but we never miss a Friday yoga session. Once the mats are out, we’re in our mindful zone. {Sometimes I even keep them out for reading time, just because the kiddos love them so much.}⠀”

Read more on how Ashley (@artsyapple) uses Yoga Foster in her classroom here.

 

About Yoga Foster

Yoga FosterYoga Foster began as a way to empower teachers with tools to bring yoga and mindfulness into their classrooms. Now in their 3rd year, they’ve grown to support hundreds of classrooms across the country. This course draws on some of the essential aspects of our signature Yoga Foster Fundamentals training to give you all the resources you need to integrate yoga into PE.

 

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