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Yoga Fitness In Our Schools

Author : Jane Corral

Ring the Bell, Yoga is in Session

The grow of attention deficit disorder (ADD), decreasing emphasis on physical fitness, along with the developing nervousness levels of our children, worry us all. With this in mind, some academic programs as well as public schools are giving Yoga a chance, by allowing their students to practice from an early age.

Parents who like Yoga are happy to share it with their children. Even the federal government supports efforts: federal Physical Education Program (PEP) grant value approximately $750,000 has helped train some 200 teachers nationwide in "Yoga Coaching."

According to an article in Education News, in October 2010, Yoga classes for students range from year-long orderly exposure, as part of a standard Physical Education class to elective classes, mostly less intense and every so often offered during the school day, or before or after, school. Providing the Yoga coaching costs, on average, $70 per class, but the cost to the school varies depending on students' ability to pay.

Nonprofit organizations, that recognize the value of Yoga practice, have jumped on the bandwagon to support it. Charitable group, Bent on Learning, raised $325,000 for children's Yoga in schools in June 2011, via an elite fundraiser, with guests like Gwyneth Paltrow. Other organizations raise funds on a smaller scale or "match make" opportunities between local Yoga instructor volunteers and needy schools.

Best of all, there is definitive proof that Yoga in schools leads to beneficial outcomes for students. The Program Evaluation and Research Collaborative (PERC) is an independent entity, overseen by California State University, and provides program evaluation as well as r and d services to local, state, federal agencies, and schools.

In 2003, they estimated the "Yoga Ed" program in The Accelerated School (a California charter school). The study subjects were 405 students from kindergarten to 8th grade, and 18 core subject teachers. The Accelerated School is located in South Central Los Angeles, with a student body composed of 62% Hispanic and 36% African-American students.

Highlights of the results of this study are brought up below.

"Yoga class participation appears to help students' improve their attitudes toward themselves.

Yoga class participation helped enhance students' behavior.

Yoga class participation helped elevate students' physical healthiness.

Yoga class participation helped students perform more excellent in school academically."


The introduction of Yoga programs has not been without controversy. Some critics of Yoga see its significant base, in Hindu spirituality, as a conflict with the ban on religious activity in public schools. To prevent this, the Yoga programs have developed alternative terms for components that contain traditional names or supposed spiritual aspects. Hence, breathing techniques are now named "balloon breath," "bunny breathing" and "dragon breath," for instance.

Therefore, if you are a Yoga teacher, who has been invited to advise Yoga in a public school, be attentive that extremist objections could probably surface. In such a case, it may be impossible to reason with the unreasonable. One substitute for public schools is "Yoga Fitness" or "Stretch and Breathe Classes." At the very least, our kids will learn to be fit, concentrate on their studies, and carry on with daily tension.

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Tags:   yoga teacher training new york, online yoga teacher training, yoga teacher training nyc, yoga teacher training ny, yoga online

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Submitted : 2011-07-29    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 477