Students welcome new school year with yoga
By Jessica M. Lim
Special to The Daily News
Published August 23, 2011
GALVESTON — Why should yoga be taught in school? What is the significance of yoga to my child’s education?
These and a lot more intriguing questions loom through the heads of parents inquiring about the newest addition to the physical education curriculum at Ambassadors Preparatory Academy.
In a nutshell, yoga helps students focus on the tasks at hand by concentrating on their breathing and relaxing their mind and body.
Yoga also helps strengthen their bodies by doing various poses and exercises.
Studies have shown the benefits of yoga to school children are innumerable.
According to the Rainbow Kids Yoga Manual (rainbowkidsyoga.net), among the most pertinent ones are as follows:
• Increases self-confidence and builds a positive self-image;
• Builds coordination and balance;
• Nourishes creativity;
• Teaches self-acceptance and self-love; and
• Develops self-discipline and self-control.
Aside from these, yoga helps students to be more focused on school work through simple breathing exercises — sitting up tall, taking a deep breath in and a deep breath out for three times will greatly help a test-taker concentrate on the questions being asked in a quiz.
Most importantly, yoga is fun. By doing individual poses, partner poses and group exercises, children’s imagination and creativity are spurred to life.
Studies have shown that students learn best by doing. And in doing yoga poses and visualizations, children are able to stimulate their minds and bodies; this greatly helps their learning process.
To summarize, yoga is a holistic practice which brings focus to the inner and outer self.
Self-awareness and awareness of the environment encourages children to develop compassion, generosity and respect. In doing so, children grow up to become healthy, responsible and disciplined members of the community.
Jessica M. Lim is a certified children’s yoga teacher at Ambassadors Preparatory Academy in Galveston.