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September 29, 2023

Yoga Practices to Enhance Student Focus and Health

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years! In the U.S., we are starting to “get the hang of” yoga and what it means for our health and wellness. As a recent “yogi” (convert), yoga feels like taking care of myself. My practice has encouraged me to slow down, focus my breathing, live mindfully, and remind myself that my body needs time to stretch and restore. 

One of our newest courses is 5501: Yoga Practices to Enhance Student Focus and Health. The course explores how yoga can be used with students and even the ways it benefits teachers! The research on yoga explains the many ways it is beneficial for students in and outside of the classroom. 

For a glimpse into this new course, explore the resources about the benefits of yoga, along with strategies for making yoga accessible, inclusive, and how to address cultural appropriation. Check out some or all of the rich resources about this ancient practice below!

Learn the Benefits & Implications of Practicing Yoga with Students

Yoga has its roots in ancient India and has been around for thousands of years. The word “yoga” comes from the word “yuj,” which is a Sanskrit word that means to yoke or unite. The practice of yoga brings together the body, mind, and spirit! 

Introduced to the United States by Swami Vivekananda in the late 1800s, yoga has gained popularity due to the ways it can improve physical fitness, reduce stress, and enhance mental health. The research tells us that the practice of yoga–(breathwork, meditation, mindfulness) provides many benefits, as long as it is taught in a way that is safe, inclusive, accessible–and acknowledges and respects the practice’s cultural origin. 

Many schools now use yoga in their curriculum to help students manage stress, improve focus, and enhance their overall health. 

Watch the video below and listen to what students have to say about the benefits of yoga, including: 

  • “It’s calm and peaceful.”
  • “It represents peace, and it brings out the goodness in our hearts.”
  • “When you’re angry you can practice it.”

Benefits of Yoga

Click on the links below to learn more about how yoga benefits students and schools. 

Ten Amazing Benefits of Yoga for Students,” from IIMT

Discover the Benefits of Yoga for Students,” from Explore Health Careers

The Many Benefits of Teaching Yoga in Schools,” from Pragyanam

School Based Yoga for Managing Stress and Anxiety,” from the American Psychological Association (APA)

Accessibility 

An important consideration when talking about yoga is how to make it accessible for students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. 

Yoga Accessibility and Inclusivity,” from Yoga Online“

Making Yoga Accessible-How to Begin,” from Yoga International

Inclusivity 

How can we ensure all feel welcome when practicing yoga? Learn about some of the “dos and don’ts,” below. 

Making Yoga More Inclusive: Language Do’s and Don’ts” from Yoga International

No, We’re Not Asking Too Much-On Making Yoga More Accessible and Inclusive,” from Yoga International

Cultural Appropriation 

It is important we are mindful of issues related to culture, language, religion, race, trauma, and more when setting out to practice yoga with students. The articles below are helpful to review before you begin. 

Cultural Appropriation: Discussion Builds Over Western Yoga Industry,” from the Guardian 

How to Approach Teaching Yoga in Schools,” from Omega

6 Ways to Create a Culturally Inclusive Classroom,” by José Viana

Whether you are a yoga convert, have been practicing for years, or are ready to give it a go, we encourage you to take a look at course 5501: Yoga Practices to Enhance Student Focus and Health.

Namaste!

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