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Did you know that yoga is coming to campus?

Aug 12, 2022

Have you ever thought that yoga could be part of a campus classroom?

In an academically heavy American school, yoga is helping children there manage stress, strengthen their bodies, and lay the foundation for ultimately happy and successful lives.

benefits of yoga in schools
One morning, at the KIPP Summit Academy in California, USA, 20 seventh-grade students entered a yoga class. The school aims to help students from low-income and lack of caring families enter university for further study, and has high expectations for students' excellent performance.

Eighth grader Andy Chen had no interest in yoga when he first got into yoga three years ago. But after two years of mandatory weekly training, he slowly fell in love with yoga. "I realized that yoga can improve my performance, keep me calm when I'm feeling down, and increase my focus," he says. He loves Dolphin and Warrior, because they give him strength and balance. For him, yoga is not only good for physical health, but also an outlet for emotions.

kid yoga mat

how to implement yoga in schools

KIPP Summit is the first school in the United States to offer yoga classes. School administrators chose to partner with the nonprofit Headstand on a yoga program, which aims to introduce yoga to teens who have experienced emotional trauma.

Teachers and school administrators believe that yoga is beneficial and necessary for children's physical and mental health. Andy Taylor-Fabe, a teacher who has worked at KIPP Summit for more than four years, said he has observed sixth and seventh graders becoming more and more able to process the volatile energies that are characteristic of their teens and know how to lead in the right direction. He said: "Children used to mistakenly think that they were either hyperactive or lethargic, or either. However, through yoga, they learned how to be both calm and strong. From a behavior modification perspective , it can really help children effectively channel excess energy."

benefits of yoga in schools
De-stressing students is a very important aspect of the Headstand Campus Yoga program. They want to provide children with a tool to understand themselves, learn to self-reflect, and ultimately become more enthusiastic, wise, and happier people. This concept of self-observation and self-reflection is often called self-study in yoga, and KIPP calls it character building. This is an essential part of KIPP's values, as it is considered necessary for students' long-term success.

Building tough character in students is a long-standing ambition of KIPP co-founders David Levin and Michael Feinberg. They believe that an emphasis on academic achievement is insufficient. Priore believes her yoga classes help students develop those key qualities that KIPP holds dear, such as self-control, self-advocacy, grit, enthusiasm, optimism and gratitude.
girl yoga mat

yoga for school students how does make you feel mentally

Tracy Lord, grade 11, started yoga with Priore three years ago at the KIPP Summit. She likes Tree Pose and Half Moon Pose best because they keep her balanced, and Headstand because it's fun and challenging. "I like the peace, quietness, stability. I also like the way the class is organized so you don't have to think too much. You just have to go with the flow and flow naturally with your body."

Yoga also freed her from the competitive mindset that had made her nervous and exhausted. She once brought a competitive spirit into the yoga classroom, always comparing herself with the classmates around her. Priore reminds everyone that yoga doesn't involve competition with others, you practice it for your own body and mind. This sentence awakened her, "In order to get into the university, I always want to do my best, but there are always people who are better than me, which will bring great pressure. But when I apply the principles of yoga to my studies, everything It's changed. The stress is gone, I'm more focused on myself and what I can do. I'm no longer having to stay up until 3 a.m. trying to beat others, just doing what I can.”

Tools used in school yoga