Jonesboro Kindergarten Center has incorporated yoga as a way to help students read. Gleaning on research linking physical balance with reading skills, the school invested in yoga mats and other activity-related equipments such as basketballs, tricycles, and hula hoops as a way to improve academic performance.
Movement and mind-body awareness are becoming an important component in cognitive development, whether it’s coping with anxiety, helping focus, or teaching kids the same life tools that yoga teaches adults.
In some parts of the country, however, parents see the incorporation of yoga as a way of bringing in religious beliefs. But as the scientific community gains a better understanding of the benefits of yoga, we are less likely to see association with the religious roots of yoga, and more on the scientifically tested mental and physical benefits of the practice, specifically in school settings. Hence, the use of the term “mind and body” instead of yoga, for example.
Professor Khalsa’s (Harvard Medical School) work on mental health and secondary students shows that yoga leads to improved mood, posture, and attitude. Students were more relaxed overall.
Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
But it’s also important to take into account that currently, the studies on yoga and young people are relatively new and we need more work to establish stronger correlation.
Point of View
When children do yoga, they aren’t practicing religion; they are training life-enhancing abilities that can positively impact every child, regardless of faith.Dana Santas | Pro Sports Mobility Breathing & MindBody Coach
Santas argues that incorporating yoga in schools means teaching students breathing, how to move with confidence, and mindfulness.
Alo, a yoga lifestyle brand that makes yoga clothes and produces yoga, exercise, and meditation videos, has made it a mission to incorporate yoga in schools. Their goal is for schools to have a dedicated space for yoga and to bring movement and mindfulness to young people.