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Why Yoga Should Be Taught In Schools

Yoga Presents The Risk Of Exacerbating Existing Injuries

Alabama Conservatives Maintain Ban on School Yoga – Creationism Could Be Taught In Arkansas Schools

Unfortunately, while Yoga has a plethora of health benefits, it can also contribute to exacerbating existing injuries. 

The trouble with teaching Yoga in school is that kids might not realize that an old injury can return if they are not careful. Without careful instruction and modification of certain poses, Yoga can cause old injuries, aches and pains to niggle. Yoga is a full-body workout, and if children have pre-existing injuries, this may exclude them from practice or put them in a position where their injuries are exacerbated.

Heres How Yoga Helps Kids Manage Stress:

It teaches better breathing. Proper breathing technique is essential not only for movement, but also for controlling stress. Yoga trainer Dana Santas teaches kids to perform simple exercises such as rib riding diaphragmatic breathing and peace palm exhaling. In the latter, children learn to exhale for 8 seconds in a controlled pattern in order to calm themselves during emotionally overwhelming experiences.

It involves mindfulness. Kids can learn simple mindfulness techniques, such as closing their eyes and focusing on their breathing or another sound. Adding an element of fun, such as instructing kids to imagine that they are flying through the air on a magic carpet, keeps kids interested and helps develop their imaginations.


Its calming and soothing. Because of its non-competitive nature, children dont have to worry about being compared to their peers. The object of yoga is for each person to get in tune with himself, and explore his or her own limits. Yoga is a gentle, peaceful, and relaxing discipline that can help students take a break from stressful math equations or History quizzes.

It prepares them for the future. Learning yoga early in life provides kids with tools they can use as adults, including mindfulness, concentration, enlightenment, and compassion.Without a doubt, teaching yoga in school with simply result in happier healthier, more productive adults.

Check out this creative yoga session for kids:

Scientific Evidence For Yoga And Mindfulness In Schools: How And Why Does It Work

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

As an education professional who is interested in school-based yoga, you might have already witnessed the benefits of yoga for your students. Still, a question remains. How and why is yoga beneficial for children and adolescents, and specifically, in the school setting? Research on yoga in schools has grown exponentially over the past 5 – 10 years, and while the results are still preliminary, scientists are beginning to understand why yoga serves as such a valuable component of school curricula nationwide.


Research suggests that school-based yoga cultivates competencies in mind-body awareness, self-regulation, and physical fitness. And classroom teachers benefit as well. Taken together, these competencies may lead to improvements in students behavior, mental state, health, and performance, as well as teacher resilience, effectiveness and overall classroom climate. The figure below outlines some of the potential benefits of yoga for youth :

Develops Mind-Body Awareness

Improves Self-Regulation

Cultivates Physical Fitness

Enhances Student Behavior, Mental State, Health, and Performance


Reduce & Eliminate Stress

The most popular reason that people begin taking yoga classes is to reduce stress as college students are under a lot of stress, even from day one. Pressure from family and friends to succeed, financial stressors and a demanding social atmosphere all pile up and take a toll. Reducing and eliminating stress through taking just a few minutes each day to breathe deeply can potentially help.

Incorporate The Art Of Breathing

Why Yoga is Changing Schools

Breath is the most important aspect of any yoga practice. By bringing conscious awareness to the breath, we activate an internal, deep-level change and bring balance to the body and mind. A conscious breathing practice, otherwise known as Pranayama, should be the key part of your class thats incorporated during both the meditation and asana segments. By introducing this to your students, you can help them learn pranayama techniques and encourage them to practice it off the mat. This will ultimately help your students improve concentration, build focus, and enhances their asana practice. 

Should Yoga Be Taught In Schools

Can doing yoga ten minutes a day energize your child and enhance their ability to learn? According to one study, published in The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, the answer is yes.

Researchers evaluated the mental health benefits of yoga on middle school students. Students were randomly assigned to either a regular gym class or to a Yoga Ed group that had 11 weeks of yoga sessions. The adolescents that were part of the yoga group reported positive mood and attitude changes, increased energy and an improved ability to relax.

Yoga, a form of mediation rooted in Hinduism, focuses on breathing approaches and moving the body into specific positions. In adults, long-term benefits include greater flexibility and strength, improved health and even weight loss.


Physical activity for children is something which is essential in this day and age of technology. Not only is physical activity important for the body, it is also linked to positive self-image, socialization encouraging teamwork and problem solving- mental stimulation and overall healthy lifestyles, says Kristen Turner, the site lead at Advocate Lutheran General Fitness Center.

So, should yoga be taught in schools?

Benefits include:

Some examples of child-friendly poses include:

  • Happy hopping tree balance: children balance on one leg with the opposite foot pressed above or below the knee of the balancing leg; Reach the arms out like branches and take three small hops
  • Its Not Religious Like The One Thumb Down Comment

    Once I thought it through, I realized that my kids were benefitting from the same aspects of yoga I experienced in my local studio. My kids weren’t being asked to raise their hands in prayer or to chant, “Om.” There were no statues of the Buddha. Rather, they were learning strength, balance, and flexibility. They were learning how to quiet their minds and bodies. They were learning that physical challenges can happen beyond the athletic fields and competition.


    Yoga Classes In Schools Is Banned In Some States

    According to the Alabama State Board of Educations Administrative Code, Yoga cannot be taught in schools. It is not just Yoga that cannot be taught in schools. The code also disallows the teaching of any other guided imagery or meditative practices to school children. 

    According to the ban, it is not legal to teach children any form of dissociative mental states and techniques. Yoga was listed as an inappropriate form of physical education, and some states across the US follow suit. For this reason, Yoga might not be possible at your childs school.  

    The Criticism Of Meditation In Schools

    Why meditation should be taught in schools, spoken by Lea Waters PhD, scribe by Andrea Downie, MAPP

    Some worry that bringing meditation to schools acts as a gateway to Buddhism, in what is supposed to be a secular environment.

    Others, such as David Forbes, a professor in the School Counseling program at CUNY, argue meditation programs target schools with students of color. Forbes said the practice encourages kids to be passive and adjust to situations that many of us think people should adjust to.

    However, Bruce Gill, who runs the meditation program at Eastern High School in Washington, DC, and is Executive Director of Minds Incorporated, suggests mindfulness can give students important tools to navigate a fraught system.


    We dont want them to react in the face of a threat from a police officer in such a way that provokes something destructive happening, that provokes something fatal happening, Gill tells Scheltens.

    Yoga Has A Profound Impact On Children

    Yoga in schools has been proved to have a profound impact on children; it helps them to be more calm and at peace with themselves and their surroundings. It puts them in the right mental place to be ready to learn, teaching them methods of dealing with their stressful lives, through breathing practices and exercises called postures. The exercises take the childrens bodies through a wide range of movement whilst

     simultaneously using breathing practices to enable the child to remain present with all that they are feeling in their bodies as they move . This is a bottom up therapeutic approach that helps the children to manage the stress that is held in their bodies even if they do not have the words to talk about it. We recognise that stress can

    manifest itself physically in the body and these postures allow the child to become a part of their own self-care. Becoming a part of their own self-care is very empowering and increases their general well-being and self-confidence

    An Investment In The Life Of Every Student

    Introducing yoga to your school is not just a temporary measure to solve long term issues, it is an investment in the culture of the school and the life of every single child and adult that takes part in the practice. Through the Healthy Body / Healthy Mind School-based Yoga Programme, we believe in enriching the life of every student that we come into contact with.


    Through the practice of yoga we can enrich the childrens lives through the unparalleled gifts of emotional, physical and mental resilience and the fortitude that yoga affords us. Yoga is the gift that keeps on giving.

    This Is Why We Should Teach Yoga In Elementary Schools

    Yoga: Healthy exercise or religious indoctrination? Some parents don’t have a favorable view of a program that teaches yoga in one California city’s elementary schools

    When I started teaching yoga eight years ago, it was still a tough sell in Alabama. Opinions about yoga mostly fell somewhere on the spectrum between “just stretching” and “of the devil.”

    Fortunately, a lot has changed in the last decade, and the yoga community in Birmingham has grown exponentially. My classes at studios regularly top out at 30 people. Yoga classes at large chain gyms boast numbers in the 60s and higher. Yoga-based nonprofit Sweet Om Alabama hosts a massive community yoga event at Vulcan Park every fall attended by hundreds of people. Most adults I talk to either already do yoga or know that they probably should. They recognize that yoga improves physical fitness, relaxation and focus.

    It seems like yoga is always in the news. Every week, a new study comes out touting yoga’s benefits for anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD, autism, insomnia, diabetes, heart disease, back pain, stress, weight management and any other modern-day affliction you could think of. Yoga is universally beneficial with virtually no risks or side effects. Yoga that is properly instructed and modified for your unique needs will improve your health and your life.

    Why, then, do we withhold the benefits of yoga from our children? Are these gifts exclusively the privilege of adulthood?

    Should Yoga Be Made A Compulsory Subject In Schools And Colleges

    Yoga in Berlin: Yogalehrer Mindful Yoga Berlin / Isabel Peter

    Jagriti KumariAYUSH minister has recently sent a proposal to MHRD to make Yoga a compulsory subject in schools and colleges. Here is how stakeholders react to the issueChildren must be taught Yoga Grand Master Akshar, Yoga entrepreneur

    Congratulations!

    You have successfully cast your vote

    Should be a part of curriculum Padmakali Banerjee, pro-vice-chancellor, Amity University, HaryanaHelp to de-stress Asha Singh, Teacher, Kendra Vidalaya, Sector 3, Rohini, DelhiHelps in overall development Shivanna B, Assistant professor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru

      Yoga Brings Together Mind Body And Breath To Produce Perfect Balance Within Us And Can Be The Perfect Addition To The School Curriculum Here Are 5 Amazing Benefits Of Yoga In School

      Yoga brings together mind, body and breath to produce perfect balance within us. In todays rushed lifestyle, Yoga can be the perfect addition to school curriculum as it can help children keep their minds calm and grow holistically.

      Yoga is an amazing science of life and living. It is a limitless chasm of information which brings knowledge, knowledge which leads to wisdom.

      From time immemorial, it has helped bring greatness to the lives of many. It is a treasure that has been inherited thus far and must now be imparted for the benefit and welfare of future generations to come.

      The little huts, the cooling shadow of the trees and the loose sands of the earth that stuck to little yogis feet are now replaced by the wide halls of classrooms. Though the scene may appear to be different, yoga adapts to time, place and circumstance.

      As we all move with time, evolving with the changes around us, Yoga too takes on new forms to forever remain a guide.

      Yoga is a mystic blend of tradition and innovation and through the innovative environment of todays classrooms, we can take the tradition of Yoga to the younger generations.

      Yoga benefits people of all ages and is suitable for people at all walks of life. It all depends on the purpose of our practice, what we strive to achieve and what our ultimate goal is.

      For children and young adults, the benefits are numerous. They have just begun their lifes journey and Yoga is the ideal light to shine over their path.

      Reduced Anxiety And Tension

      Children and adolescents are exposed to a variety of stressors at school and at home. These stressors can range from extreme, chronic stress such as living through poverty or abuse, to relatively minor stressors such as test anxiety. Adolescents with unmanaged stress are at a higher risk for developing mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, which is why some researchers have explored whether school-based yoga might help reduce anxiety, tension, and stress.

      One randomized controlled trial of 97 fourth- and fifth-graders assigned some students to participate in a mindful yoga program that met four days per week for 45 minutes. Compared to attending school as usual, 12 weeks of mindful yoga led to significant reductions in students problematic responses to stress, such as experiencing repetitive negative thoughts and strong, intrusive emotions.

      A study of the Yoga 4 Classrooms program found that a group of 18 second-graders who participated for a half hour per week for 10 weeks showed a significant decrease in cortisol concentrations from before to after the program. Cortisol in our saliva tends to increase during stress, and heightened cortisol concentrations as a result of repeated stressors may be detrimental to our mental and physical health. This study provides preliminary evidence that school-based yoga might help mitigate these negative effects. 

      Schools Are Embracing Mindfulness But Practice Doesn’t Always Make Perfect

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        Nashville teacher Riki Rattner uses expandable balls to help students visualize their breathing. William DeShazer/WLPNhide caption

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        Nashville teacher Riki Rattner uses expandable balls to help students visualize their breathing.

        When kids at Warner Arts Magnet Elementary School act up, they aren’t sent straight to the principal’s office. Instead, many students at the high-poverty school in Nashville, Tenn., go to the “BeWell” room.

        The serene space is awash in sunlight and brimming with plants. There are yoga mats, toys, a lounging nook and soothing music drifting out of a desk speaker. In this room, teacher Riki Rattner, who is also trained as a yoga instructor, helps students practice deep breathing and check in with their emotions.

        “Let’s get you checked in and calming down. Taking care of you,” she tells a fourth grader who walks in after a tiff in art class.

        One in 5 American children struggles with anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and almost half experience at least one serious stressor at home like divorce, poverty or a parent’s addiction according to the nonprofit Child Trends.

        To help students cope, a growing number of schools like Warner are turning to mindfulness. Its boosters claim all kinds of benefits, and there is research to back them up. But mindfulness in schools can mean many different things, and the explosion of interest has some researchers and proponents advising caution.

        Reasons Why Schools Should Teach Kids To Meditate

        Why You SHOULD Teach Yoga to Kids

        Karen CostaYoga Teacher and Educator

        Yoga Teacher, Writer, Career Intuitive Coach, Mom, Wife, Perpetual Student View more

        The Dalai Lama, one of the great spiritual leaders of our time, has been quoted as saying, If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.

        As the mom of an 8-year-old boy, a yoga teacher, and a human concerned with the future of our species, this quote really hits home for me. I work with so many adult students who begin their yoga journey on the mat with the physical postures . They tell me that Savasana is often one of the toughest postures to master because they cant sit still.

        I relate. I am a reformed Savasana-skipper myself. Meditation is even more intimidating to people.

        I imagine that adults would have a much easier time learning to be still if they started practicing that skill as children. Think about it; brushing your teeth is a pretty easy habit to learn and apply each day. What would it look like if we taught our children to practice spiritual self-care just like we do personal hygiene

        The good news is, we already have some answers to that question. A growing number of schools are bringing mindfulness strategies to their students with countless positive benefits to the children, families, teachers, and the larger community. Read on to see why it makes sense for more schools to join this movement and to teach kids how to meditate.

        Yoga For Schools Curriculum Based Classes

        There is an increasingly heavy burden being placed on schools to be responsible for the mental and emotional well-being of children. Yoga gives children a roadmap for emotional intelligence. Yoga is such a versatile practice that I have been able to write creative courses that are weaved into the Northern Ireland National Curriculum to support the needs of the schools and children to meet these increasing demands that they find themselves under. These programmes are designed for schools with the holistic well-being and mental health of the children who attend in mind. The classes themselves are bespoke and are non-competitive, inclusive and engaging, written to address individual school issues.

        The goal is to support, emotional, moral, cultural and intellectual development of the pupils in schools and in so doing, society. This programme supports the objectives of the schools to teach and develop young minds to be independent and self-aware citizens who will contribute to society and fulfil their individual potentials.

        Reasons Yoga Should Be In Schools

        August 11, 2011Sign In

        I discovered yoga nearly 10 years ago in a required physical education class in college. I was stressed out, confused, and was just starting to learn how to be out in the world on my own. School is all about preparing for the future, and I had become completely unable to enjoy the present moment. I tried too hard. I was constantly disappointed in my performance. I was a complete wreck. It sounds unbelievable, but in one semester of yoga, I made leaps and bounds toward changing all of that.

        For many of us, August marks the start of a new school year. Even though its been a few years since Ive been a student, this time of year still feels like a fresh start to me. Wouldnt it be amazing if more students had a year full of excitement, learning, AND yoga to look forward to?

        I wish every student could benefit from yoga in the way that I did when I was in school. So heres my list of reasons why yoga should be taught in schools.

        1. Teaching kids to manage stress will help them in all areas of their lives. School can be incredibly stressful. Teaching kids to handle this stress through movement and meditation will help them through all areas of their liveseven long after they graduate.

        2. Childhood obesity is an epidemic. Helping our kids develop body-mind awareness now might help them to make healthier choices throughout their lives.

        Is yoga a part of the curriculum in your school system? Do you think it should be?

        Membership Spotlight

        Meditation In Public Schools: Pro Or Con

        Does meditation help students navigate stressful thoughts, or set them up to be more passive? A look into the debate around meditation in schools.

        As mindfulness gains popularity and governments begin to study the impact mindfulness has on students, some people may be wondering: is teaching meditation to students a good thing?

        In this video from Vox, Liz Scheltens explores how mindfulness is making its way into US schools.

        Why Bring Meditation To Schools

        Yoga Therapy. Power to the people.

        Harvard researcher Sara Lazarstudies how yoga and meditation impact cognitive function. After noticing how her own yoga practice calmed her, she was interested in learning whether it was a placebo response of if meditation could change the brain. She decided to study the brains of people who had never meditatedfirst with a brain scan before they they participated in an 8-week, 30-minute meditation program.

        Lazar noticed changes in different brain regionsin particular, thickness increased in certain areas of the brain related to learning, memory, and emotion regulation as well as perspective-taking, empathy, and compassion .

        are more likely to take the skills home and teach the parents, to teach people in their community, and thats how weve seen the biggest change we made.

        While its not yet clear that students brains will undergo the same kinds of changes, the Holistic Life Foundation has seen first-hand the benefits of bringing mindfulness to the classroom.

        Were not just teaching kids to use the skills and tools, but we also teach them to be teachers, said executive director Ali Smith. Because theyre more likely to take the skills home and teach the parents, to teach people in their community, and thats how weve seen the biggest change we made.

        Even small changes, like teaching a class outside or building kindness into the curriculum can go a long way.

        Regular Yoga Develops Brain Health

        School children often struggle to concentrate in class, and they often find it difficult to remember what they have been taught. This is normal as the developing mind needs to learn the skills of memory and concentration in order to focus on classes and apply the new knowledge. 

        Yoga, which consists of a series of stretches and poses, encourages students to learn and master each pose/stretch. They need to be able to learn the name of each pose and then carry it out correctly. This requires constant memory and concentration workouts, which go a long way towards developing a healthy brain. 

        A Question Of Religion

        Although many Americans believe that yoga and mindfulness arent religious, not everyone accepts that the practices are completely secular.

        My new book, Debating Yoga and Mindfulness in Public Schools: Reforming Secular Education or Reestablishing Religion? examines these issues. The book argues that integrating yoga and mindfulness into public schools could violate laws against government establishment of religion.

        The Yoga Alliance, an organization that purports to be the the largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community, argued in 2014 that DC yoga studios should be exempt from sales tax because the purpose of yoga is spiritual rather than fitness. However, when parents sued a California school district in 2013 alleging that its yoga program violates the prohibition against the state establishment of religion, the Yoga Alliance rebutted that yoga is exercise and not religious. Thus, the Yoga Alliance seems to take the position that yoga is spiritual but not religious. Courts have not, however, made this distinction.

        In some legal cases the courts have concluded that yoga and meditation are religious practices. A 1988 Arkansas case known as Powell v. Perry, for instance, concluded that yoga is a method of practicing Hinduism. The 1995 Self-Realization Fellowship Church v. Ananda Church of Self Realization case classified the Hindu-Yoga spiritual tradition as a religious tradition.

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