My students need 15 yoga mats and a yoga video to use to at the beginning of our day to prepare our minds and bodies for a day of learning.
Breathe in, breathe out...makes you feel better...doesn't it? Now stretch up, stretch down...relaxing isn't it? Research has shown that using yoga in classrooms for students with emotional and behavioral issues gives these students self calming strategies to use when upset.
My group of students attend an inner city school in Illinois.
They all have some kind of behavior or emotional issue that they are dealing with. Many use fighting or other physical means to express their anger or anxiety. When they fight, they get suspended or worse, expelled. This is a vicious cycle for most of my students.
After doing some research I decided to try yoga one day with them. I expected resistance, but what happened was a total surprise to me. They pushed aside the desks and said "Let's try it!" And they did! After our 20 minutes, they all exclaimed how much better they felt and I didn't have a problem with them all day. Now they ask to do it! Providing the proper materials, mats and a video, to them would help them enjoy the activity even more and perhaps encourage them to do it outside of school when they are starting to feel anxious or stressed. As adults they will need these self calming strategies so what a great way to start teaching them!
Every time I get a project donated, my students cannot believe that others want to help them.
If I can provide them a way to calm down before they escalate thus keeping them in class, this is a huge step in their education! Keeping them in school betters their chances of staying out of jail which is an issue in the population I teach. Please consider donating to our classroom project. And remember, breathe in...breathe out...relax :)
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