School through a program called California Pacific Medical Center Health Champions. It was a phenomenal program. I was able to go into the school during the day and teach first and second graders weekly. These photos were from parents night where we got to show off all the yoga they were learning. That was 10 years ago, so these kids are probably graduating high school right now!
Ten years later, and it is still one of my number one goals as a kids yoga business owner and teacher.
In New Haven, there is a program that is a partnership between United Way of Greater New Haven, New Haven Public Schools, and the City of New Haven called Boost! This program is a component of New Haven’s nationally-lauded School Change Initiative, a comprehensive package of education reforms with ambitious goals.
The moment I had been waiting for finally happened! At Truman school in New Haven, I was able to go in during the school day and teach the whole second grade weekly as part of their physical education classes. They also had me come in and do a workshop to teach their teachers some tools they can use in their classroom. I then did one of my yoga classes in a classroom so the teachers could see how to put it in action.
Through Boost! I am also teaching an after-school program to K-2 grade at Clemente Leadership Academy. None of these kids had ever done yoga before- they LOVED it. I also LOVED teaching them. When I asked them all to say one word to describe how they felt after we did sun salutations, the words I got were “awesome,” “happy,” “excited,” “relaxed!” My heart was full.
Next month I’ll be starting a weekly program with the 7th & 8th grade girls at Truman School. I also get to go back to my roots and spend four days in PS 83 in the Bronx, teaching yoga to the K-2 classes. Boost! is supporting all of these classes- how awesome is that?
Getting yoga classes as part of the school day is happening more and more. A fellow yogi & friend, Peg Olivera, who founded the non-profit 108 Monkeys here in New Haven has been getting mindfulness and yoga into so many of our public schools.
There are many benefits of bringing yoga into the classroom, here are just a few really important ones:
~teaches tools for stress management;
~better student decision-making;
~increased self-awareness and self-esteem;
~improved concentration and retention; and
~more efficient use of class time.
We are on the way, and what an important change that’s happening. I see the shift and it will be with this next generation. It’s our job to give them the tools to have a happy, joyful, peaceful & productive future. What better place to start then with incorporating yoga in our schools?
Do you teach yoga in schools? do your kids get yoga at their school? I would love for you to share your experience!