Should Yoga Become Part of a School’s Curriculum or After School Program?

Yoga Should be Part of a School’s Curriculum

Yoga should be part of a school’s curriculum for all age groups, especially for middle and high school children, a sensitive time when they are faced with peer pressure, the stress of extra school work, and for many older children the added stress of thinking about and planning for their futures. Many of these stress factors lead to poor grades due to the inability to focus, increased anger, feelings of loneliness, and poor food choices. Yoga is a tool that can be used by every child to help alleviate stress and face life with a calmer mind and attitude. It helps to promote self-discipline, physical coordination, right/left brain coordination, self-awareness – both physically and emotionally, and an increase in self-confidence. Children that practice yoga including breath-work, poses, deep relaxation and meditation become more aware of themselves, and are better able to understand and control their emotions. A child will also learn to compete for their own personal best which further builds self-confidence, and during a yoga class that allows a child to teach a pose, it promotes leadership. When taught specifically for children, it is also fun!

Physiological Effects of Yoga

Below are the beneficial physiological effects of practicing yoga broken out into three main categories:

Balloon Breath
Balloon Breath

Breath Work:

+ Increases oxygen levels in our blood which gives us more energy

+ Heightens our overall consciousness

+ Improves mood by increasing calmness and decreasing anger and fear

+ Improves circulation of the blood, nourishing the brain and the body – helps with studying!

+ Helps to reduce pain

+ Rids our bodies of toxins

Cobra Pose
Cobra Pose

Poses:

+ The postures of yoga are intended to coax the body out of old ways of holding itself

+ Moving postures in yoga are particularly beneficial and effective for restoring endocrine balance

+ Increases physical efficiency

+ Stretches and strengthens muscles and ligaments, balancing the musculoskeletal system

+ Inversions and twists help increase the flow of fluids within the body which nourish the nervous and endocrine systems – also helping to eliminate toxins

+ Organs are massaged which aids in their health and function

+ Improves flexibility which is important for nerve function

Meditating
Meditating

Deep Relaxation & Meditation:

+ Instills clarity and focus

+ Increases a sense of well-being and health

+ Reduces blood pressure

+ Boosts immune system

Yoga is a Complete Practice for Mind & Body Wellness

The, emotional, physical, and physiological effects of practicing yoga make it a complete practice for personal wellness. Having a healthy mind and body makes it easier for our children to deal with day to day life, school, and interacting with other people.

Another benefit is that comfortable clothes and a yoga mat (or equivalent) are all that is needed to practice yoga. No expensive equipment is required!

Children Practicing Yoga

Do you know a child that regularly practices yoga?

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Children's Yoga Books

Fly Like A Butterfly: Yoga for Children
Fly Like A Butterfly: Yoga for Children

Fly Like A Butterfly: Yoga for Children by Shakta Kaur Khalsa

"...an extensive repertoire of...postures that are perfect for children...."

 
Teaching Yoga for Life: Preparing Children and Teens for Healthy, Balanced Living
Teaching Yoga for Life: Preparing Children and Teens for Healthy, Balanced Living

Teaching Yoga for Life: Preparing Children and Teens for Healthy, Balanced Living [Paperback]

Help kids become more confident and self-directed, use a holistic approach to enrich students' lives, and guide kids to manage stress more effectively

 

Yoga Supplies

YogaAccessories 1/4'' Extra Thick High Density Yoga Mat (Phthalate Free) - Dark Blue
YogaAccessories 1/4'' Extra Thick High Density Yoga Mat (Phthalate Free) - Dark Blue

At 6.2mm, the YogaAccessories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat is a full 1/4'' thick, an extra long 74'', weighs almost 4 lbs, and is one of the thickest mats on the market. The mats come in a variety of colors that are strong and vivacious, but not overpowering in their brightness.

 
YogaDirect Fun Yoga Mat For Kids - Butterfly
YogaDirect Fun Yoga Mat For Kids - Butterfly

Special designed and a sized yoga mats that are just for kids!

 

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Comments 5 comments

sflorsch profile image

sflorsch 3 years ago from Fort Worth, TX Author

prettynutjob30 and peachpurple: Thank you for your comments. When the next school year starts this Fall, my plan is to approach a couple of school PTA's to offer an after school program. I figure that might be a good way to break in. Your positive comments are a blessing!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

my niece praticed yoga outside of school since she was young. She had a slim figure and tall, unlike her parents. I remembered that singapore has this yoga exercise for students in primary school but not in malaysia. I do agree that yoga exercise should be included into students school program. Voted up and congrats for being nominated as hub of the day.


prettynutjob30 profile image

prettynutjob30 3 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

Great hub, voted up and shared. I too believe yoga would be a very positive experience for kids to have in school. Not only would it be beneficial for their health, it would help to clear their minds as well, which would make a much happier and calmer environment.


sflorsch profile image

sflorsch 3 years ago from Fort Worth, TX Author

Hi KittHill, Thank you for your comment. Depending on the type of yoga, the calorie burn will be different. I have read that it is about 85 calories for 40 minutes of Hatha Yoga. Deep breathing to help relieve stress will also help reduce cortisol levels to stave off belly fat too. I don't teach Yoga to loose weight specifically but when the mind and body come together and a person starts to feel good about themselves and change their way of thinking, the body weight naturally changes. Gym is definitely a time for kids to burn calories, but not all children are into gym time and some school districts (like mine) don't require a gym class every year. Yoga is a positive outlet for children and could be an alternative to the regular gym class. I am certified to teach yoga to children and there are certain ways to get kids to sit and listen. It certainly does take some kids longer to settle down, but yoga can give them the tools to learn and calm themselves down too. The classes have to be taught according to age group to make it effective.


KittHill 3 years ago

Gym is a time for children to be active and burn calories. Yoga is fine, but how many calories does it burn? They could learn different stress relief regiments also, like Tai Chi, which I enjoy more. Most children are overweight because they are lazy and sit on computers at home all day. Parents feed them crap and blame others for their children's weight problem. School gym class is the only time some of them get off their butt and move. Some children cannot sit and be quiet in class, I do not think they will for meditation.

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