During my last placement I had the wonderful opportunity to witness the addition of an 8 week yoga program to our classroom. The grade 3 students got the chance to participate in 40 minutes of yoga every Wednesday and Thursday. Initially I was unsure of the benefits of this program, as the first two sessions were not very successful for my highly energetic class who could not find that “stillness”.
But, after participating in the final session this week, it is a totally different experience. Over the past 8 weeks, the students were excited to go to yoga every week. Even the most behaviourally challenging students asked to have yoga every day. As the weeks passed, the students gradually were able lay still for longer periods of time, their balance improved, and they were able to hold a pose that they could not during the first session.
I have read a few articles about the positive impacts yoga has for student learning, including this one by a Penn State student J. Buterbaugh. After this experience in my practicum, I hope to implement a yoga program in my future classroom because I believe it would be beneficial to all of my students. If I were to do anything differently, it would be to ensure the yoga session is prior to active learning. During my practicum, students went straight to recess after the session, so I am not sure if the yoga impacted the classroom to its full extent.
Check out some other yoga benefits here!