By Ocean Noah
What makes for a well-rounded student?
Students learn English so that they can use language to effectively communicate and share information. They learn basic biology so that they understand how their bodies work. They learn math so that they can calculate numeric problems. The list of subjects goes on.
Is yoga on your child’s school subject list? Probably not. Yet, studies show that yoga and meditation benefits a child’s psychological development when used in a school setting.
Benefits of Yoga in School
Adolescents with unregulated stress are at higher risk for developing mental health issues like anxiety disorders. In fact, 32% of American adolescents aged 13-18 experience an anxiety disorder.
Unfortunately, school can cause even more anxiety. Test-taking, the constant change of class material or structure, and the pressure to fit in with peers is all very stressful.
Luckily, practicing yoga and mindfulness techniques in school can help kids of all ages manage anxiety. According to a survey of school-based yoga programs in the United States, “substantial interest has begun to emerge around the implementation of yoga interventions in schools. Researchers have found that yoga practices may enhance skills such as self-regulation and prosocial behavior, and lead to improvements in students' performance.”
In one example, a study from Tulane University included random third-grade students with some degree of anxiety. The students participated in ten 40 minute sessions of yoga and meditation intervention before school started. "The intervention improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students,” stated the study.
As further conclusive evidence of the benefits of yoga in schools, The Greater Good Magazine of UC Berkeley reported on an inner-city school in Des Moines, Iowa where yoga is on the daily schedule. Students at this school come back from lunch and do “quiet mindfulness and reflection” activities like writing, drawing, listening to relaxing stories, or yoga. Their test scores increased by more than 18% thanks to that “reset button.”
When the students practice yoga in school this also benefits the teachers. One of the teachers shared, “Practicing yoga and taking these mindful pauses throughout the day is like hitting the reset button, for all of us. I was going to leave teaching I was so overwhelmed. Not anymore.”
Yoga in School Helps Kids Develop Positive Behaviors
Practicing yoga at school can teach kids healthy habits and help them develop emotional intelligence. In turn, this gives students more tools to lead healthy lifestyles as they move into adulthood.
Yoga in schools also helps foster a healthy school community and atmosphere. Think about it: If students can regulate their emotions with mindfulness and yoga, they are less likely to act out. If there are fewer meltdowns and outbursts in the classroom, students will likely focus and socialize better.
There’s more. When kids are healthy and happy, teachers may have an easier time teaching them - further reinforcing a positive learning environment. This is not to say that yoga and mindfulness will eradicate classroom drama. But, when students and teachers can use mindfulness to observe without judgment and approach conversations with less reactivity, the entire class can more effectively weather emotional storms.
Bring Yoga to Your School with Pretzel Kids
Does yoga in schools sound like something your child can benefit from? Or, do you aspire to teach yoga in schools? Well, you’re in luck. Pretzel Kids can help you bring yoga and mindfulness to schools and classroom settings!
For starters, Pretzel Kids offers a mindfulness course for teachers and moms interested in learning how to teach mindfulness to children. Once you enroll in the course, you can complete it at your own pace and come back to the modules at any time.
- What mindfulness means
- The benefits of mindfulness for kids
- How to teach simple mindfulness techniques to children and teens
- How to incorporate mindfulness into your life
Pretzel Kids also offers an easy and affordable online kids yoga certification course that will prepare you to teach yoga during recess or physical education classes. Unlike many other yoga instruction courses, this one teaches you our 8-step easy-to-follow curriculum - full of games, yoga poses, breathing techniques and tips for teaching well-structured and impactful yoga classes.
Both the Pretzel Kids Yoga Teacher Certification and How to Teach Mindfulness to Kids courses are open to anyone interested in learning to teach kids yoga or mindfulness. Better yet, those who take the Pretzel Kids Yoga Teacher Certification course are eligible to become licensed Pretzel Kids yoga teachers and join our Pretzel Kids yoga membership community. In this program, we will help you start your own Pretzel Kids yoga business in your community - using our branding, logos, marketing acumen, and proprietary teaching resources.
Combat Adolescent Anxiety With Pretzel Kids Yoga
We all know how much stress kids face in school. Fortunately, yoga and mindfulness in schools is gaining ground. And, you can join the kids yoga movement too by learning to teach Pretzel Kids yoga.
Are you ready to help children and teens develop healthy lifestyle habits? The kids are waiting for you!
About Ocean Noah: Ocean is a content intern at Pretzel Kids yoga. Originally from Los Angeles, Ocean moved to San Francisco to study creative writing at San Francisco State University. She writes fiction, blog posts, and op-eds. Ocean is thrilled to write for Pretzel Kids, as her mother is a yogi too!