About Yoga 4 Classrooms
Simple, Affordable, Sustainable
The neuroscience of child development research highlights that excessive stress damages the developing brain architecture, leading to vulnerability to lifelong problems in learning, behavior and overall health (National Scientific Council of the Developing Child, 2007).
Evidence is accumulating that yoga and mindfulness training is one effective and cost-efficient way to promote healthy brain development and function, and to foster stress resilience.
Science has shown, and educators have experienced first-hand, that when children are anxious, stressed, distracted or unbalanced it is nearly impossible for them to learn. A calm and present state of mind is a prerequisite for our children to be psychologically and physiologically learning-ready.
Providing the means to this end is the first and preliminary step in cultivation of positive development through a set of mental skills central to the aims of education in 21st century: self-regulation, prosocial dispositions, mastery and positive attitude towards academic success.
In line with core goals of social-emotional learning, short but regular formal yoga and mindfulness training exercises, combined with informal mindfulness awareness practices, can strengthen children’s innate capacities for being mindful to any experience (whether pleasurable, neutral, stressful or difficult) in ways that are responsive rather than reactive and reflexive.
According to the most recent research, self-regulation is strongly predictive of school readiness as it allows children better to adapt to classroom demands, such as sitting still, sustaining both attention and motivation toward a task, and using creative problem-solving skills, as well as allows children to learn in a more mindful, reflective fashion.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of yoga in schools.
What is Yoga 4 Classrooms?
Yoga 4 Classrooms is an evidence-based, low-cost, simple, effective and sustainable tool designed for classrooms, which facilitates students’ physical, mental, emotional and social personal growth. Yoga 4 Classrooms is anchored in well-validated evidence-based classroom pedagogies, developmental science, cross-sectional research in cognitive affective neuroscience, tenets of positive psychology and secular contemplative practices.
Yoga 4 Classrooms Mission
It is our mission to transform educational environments through yoga-based wellness training and support. We empower students and educators to create positive, peaceful, productive classrooms that support exceptional learning and a lifetime of health and wellness.
The goal of Y4C is to create peaceful, learning-ready, productive classroom environment through the systematic use of preventive mind-body tools grounded in yoga and mindfulness practices. Y4C provides the school with an easy-to-use, cost-effective, sustainable solution to improve students’ focus and readiness to learn, while positively transforming the school culture. Click here to learn more about our goals and objectives.
The Y4C curriculum is focused on social, emotional, and attentional self-regulating strategies and skills, grounded in mindfulness and yogic practices and developed to systematically cultivate well-being, resilience and lifelong learning.
Y4C features 67 yoga and mindfulness-based activities, divided into six categories: Let’s Breathe, At Your Desk, Stand Strong, Loosen Up, Imagination Vacation, and Be Well. Each activity includes illustrated instructions, discussion points, sub-activities, and educational tie-ins, for a total of more than 200 beneficial classroom practices.
The activities were specially chosen for their suitability for the typical classroom space and schedule and can be simple and sustainably implemented in a variety of contexts. That means all activities can be done standing beside or sitting at desks, while bodies remain off the floor, away from dirt, germs and chemicals. Y4C includes a mix of yoga postures, brain boosting movements, breath exercises, visualizations, mindfulness activities, creative movement and community-building games. Wellness, positive psychology and character-building discussion points such as the power of positive thinking, nutrition, and being a peacemaker, address the whole child – physical, social and emotional, while improving learning-readiness – making this the most comprehensive program of its kind.
Yoga 4 Classrooms is easy for teachers and students to use, and helps to create a more harmonious, learning-friendly school day. And its benefits go well beyond the classroom. Y4C provides children with important skills they can use in and out of the classroom for life long health and well-being. Absolutely anyone can use and benefit from the Y4C program – teachers, students, parents, therapists.
Y4C is self-sustaining as teachers continue to use the program with future groups of students, while the concepts are reinforced as students move up through the grades of the school. Once implemented, Y4C has the potential to positively impact overall school culture – that includes current and future students, teachers and other staff members, and even parents/families.
Though there are several worthy programs available, none are entirely suitable for the classroom environment and/or there is too much emphasis on yoga stretching and too little on addressing the whole child: social, emotional and physical. Y4C was developed to fill in the gaps, and simply and practically address the needs communicated by teachers, administrators and parents.
Learn more about the scientific research behind the Yoga 4 Classrooms program.
Professional Development Workshop
The Yoga 4 Classrooms Professional Development Workshop is a publicly scheduled one-day workshop open to any school professional.
Become a Y4C School
Yoga 4 Classrooms involves four key components that work synergistically to ensure program success and sustainability in schools: the Staff Development Workshop, Classroom Residency, Parent Education, and adult yoga classes for school staff on-site. Learn more about becoming a Y4C School.
Yoga 4 Classrooms Activity Card Deck
The Y4C Card Deck serves as an invaluable supporting resource for classroom teachers.