Yoga in Schools
"Offering yoga lessons has been a hugely positive activity addition to our School . Scoil Cholmcille is a senior mainstream school with 3 special classes for children with Autism and 1 class for children with Dyslexia.
Teachers commented on the lessons being pitched well with the story element of the lessons being very effective in engaging the children. Also the lesson worked on developing self confidence and self esteem. "I am a person, I am important". Some children continued to practice yoga poses and exercises at home and were motivated to look up you tube tutorials on yoga activities! It was also noted that children who would not necessarily participate enthusiastically in sport really enjoyed and looked forward to it each week.
For the ASD classes we really liked that the yoga class was based around a different story each week and the yoga moves mimiced the characters i.e. giraffe stretches tall. It kept the children interested and motivated to follow Emily's lead.
As a school, we are conscious of the need to encourage children in increasing activity levels and this is a great way to introduce children to new activities and experiences. The feedback from Parents and Children was very favourable without exception."
Annette O'Brien, Principal
Scoil Cholmcille SNS, Dublin 13
Yoga has been proven to be hugely beneficial to children when taught in the school setting. This is becoming commonplace in the US and United Kingdom.
As well as improving behavior, concentration and participation in school, yoga classes can compliment the school curriculum by touching on elements of geography, science and social science.
Here are some of the findings of studies on yoga in schools:
- Helps students’ improve their attitudes toward themselves.
A 2005 Californian study found regular yoga practice in school resulted in a 20% increase in students feeling good about themselves. This has never been more crucial in the Irish educational system. Read more here
- Improves student behavior
In the same study, researchers found students who regularly participated in yoga classes had fewer referrals or discipline problems
- Improves Academic Performance
A 2008 U.S analysis of roughly 300 studies involving more than 300,000 students in elementary and middle school found that students who received social and emotional course (including mindful breathing exercises) scored 11 to 17 percentage points higher on achievement tests than peers who did not take part in any courses. Also, behavior issues decreased. Read more here
These are just some of the benefits regular yoga practice can bring to schools. If you are interested in bringing yoga to your school or pre-school please contact me.
"We organised yoga for all junior infant classes in our school with Emily from Stretch and Smile Yoga which was a huge success. Emily was so professional and engaged with the children straight away, the lessons were perfectly set at the children’s level so was very suitable for them.
All the yoga stretches and movements were taught in a fun way with a story, such as pretending to be an animal or shape which the children loved. There was also some lovely games and warm ups to engage the children in each lesson. All yoga mats and music were provided by Emily so the school just needed a hall or classroom for the lessons which was very convenient.
We loved the positive language used in the class, such as ‘I see the good in you and you see the good in me’ which the children loved repeating. Every child improved their balance, coordination and concentration over the course of the lessons.
It was a fantastic experience for both children and teachers and we delighted to integrate yoga in our PE, SPHE and Learn Together (Educate Together) lessons. We would definitely recommend it to other schools. "
Junior Infant Teacher
Tyrrelstown Educate Together