Today’s students face tremendous pressure to achieve within a world that is often overwhelming. The tools of yoga and mindfulness offer proven methods of developing the inner resilience needed to navigate physical, mental and emotional stress. Bringing these practices to your school or community organization is a simple way to support making your students’ lives healthier, and can increase their capacity to learn effectively, manage challenging emotions, self-regulate behavior, and achieve personal and academic success.
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 lives–even 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. (And just think of how much better off families would be if the kids then brought that mindfulness home and shared it with their parents!)
3. Increased focus means better learning. It takes a lot of intense focus to learn to balance in Tree Pose. Learning to focus on poses can help students understand how to focus on their schoolwork, too.
4. Resilience to bullying. I’m not naïve enough to believe that teaching kids yoga will solve all their problems, but I do believe yoga encourages people to love themselves and embrace the things that make them unique. This probably won’t make the bullying stop, but it might make kids more resilient to bullies.
5. Research proves it. A 2003 California State University, Los Angeles study found that yoga improved students’ behavior, physical health and academic performance, as well as attitudes toward themselves.