Yoga 4 Classrooms®

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The Benefits of Meditation for Children | Forbes article

Monday, October 24, 2016

Recent articles such as this one in Newsweek featured a Baltimore school that replaced detention with meditation. This is part of a burgeoning trend of replacing punitive discipline with restorative justice practices in schools. While our friends at the Holistic Life Foundation have been leading school programs in the Baltimore area, other schools across the country such as Edmunds Elementary in Des Moines IA, have also been using yoga and meditation strategies to help students reflect on their actions and make mindful choices. At Edmunds, students that have experiencing difficulty with self-management are guided to name their emotion and practice their "go-to" breath which they choose at the beginning of the day to use when they are feeling triggered. Teaching students to manage their emotions and giving them a space to self-regulate also supports Social and Emotional Learning objectives (SEL) such as self management and responsible decision making. The efficacy of this approach involving yoga and meditation rather than detention is highlighted by tangible benefits such as a decrease in suspensions and increase in school attendance. 

In addition, the research on meditation and the developing child's brain is providing scientific support to the benefits observed in schools. A growing body of evidence highlights increased attention, reprieve from trauma and improved mental health as a result of meditation. This recent Forbes article, featuring statements from Lisa Flynn, founder and CEO of Yoga 4 Classrooms, succinctly highlights these evidence-based benefits and demonstrates the growing mainstream acceptance of yoga and meditation for children and in schools. Read the full article...

Interested in bringing yoga and mindfulness to your school? contact us to learn more.

Related Articles:
Scientific Evidence for Yoga & Mindfulness in Schools : How & Why Does it Work?
Inner City School Principal Shares Results of School-Wide Implementation of Yoga 4 Classrooms | VIDEO
Yoga for School Kids - Yogaglo features Yoga 4 Classrooms


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School implements yoga to support executive functioning

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Steckel Elementary (Whitehall, PA) Principal Glenn Noack said the program, "Yoga 4 the Classroom," was introduced because his diverse student population often struggles with "executive functioning," which includes impulse, focus and attention control. He explained the students can perform the exercises right from their classroom seats. He added the program will not only help reduce stress and tension, but will also help reduce pre-test anxiety. 

Contact Us to implement Yoga 4 Classrooms® in your school!

Read more from 

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Yoga helps students through busy school days | ABC News feature

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

School days are busy with plenty of transitions. How does yoga help students focus and get ready to learn? A growing corpus of research demonstrates that yoga activates the centers of higher executive function in the brain which facilitate complex tasks and are involved in forming new memories. It is no wonder that schools across the country are turning to yoga and mindfulness programs to improve classroom climate and boost academic outcome.

Sustainability Academy in Burlington, VT is a great example of sustainable Yoga 4 Classrooms implementation. They worked closely with local trainer Susan Cline Lucey to give all teachers, staff and students a common set of tools for self-management  Yoga 4 Classrooms

Would you like to Implement this simple and cost-effective program in your school? Contact Us to learn about training options.

Watch this ABC News Special to get the full story.

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The business and science behind children's yoga | News Article

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Yoga 4 Classrooms CEO and founder, Lisa Flynn speaks with Fosters reporter Kathy Eow. She explains her philosophy for bringing kids yoga into the educational system while using sustainable business ventures.

"Supporting yoga with scientific evidence about its health benefits grounds yoga in logic for the naysayers. Approaching yoga from a business perspective allows ChildLight Yoga / Yoga 4 Classrooms to be a sustainable venture. A different strategy, perhaps, but one that just might actualize Flynn’s long-term goal. “My philosophy is, if we can start kids off really young, and make it just part of the fabric and culture of the educational system, where we’re taking these pauses and movement and mindful breathing breaks and so forth, we’re building emotional resilience over time. That’s going to take policy change.”"

Contact Us to develop a sustainable and customized implementation plan so you can bring yoga and mindfulness tools to your classroom.

Read the Full article here:

Yoga 4 Classrooms founder & CEO, Lisa Flynn. Photo by Kathy Eow of
Yoga 4 Classrooms founder & CEO, Lisa Flynn.
Photo by Kathy Eow of

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Inner City School Principal Shares Results of School-Wide Implementation of Yoga 4 Classrooms | VIDEO

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

According to our recently developed Research Repository, a free compilation reference book of peer-reviewed studies on yoga, meditation, and mindfulness for children, adolescents, and in schools, approximately 423 studies and research review articles have been published in this field since 1969. In summary, findings suggest that yoga supports the development of mind-body awareness, physical fitness and self-regulation. These competencies can have positive downstream effects on behavior, well being, academic/cognitive performance, social awareness and relationships, supporting the social and emotional learning goals espoused by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). And classroom teachers benefit, as well. Therefore, school-based yoga programs have the potential to offer a cost-effective, evidence-based solution to address many of the behavioral and academic challenges faced by schools, while promoting emotional resilience and positive school climate, key factors in keeping kids in school and preventing mental health disorders. 

In an effort to help inform and inspire the continued discussion about key contributors and best practices for successfully integrating yoga and mindfulness into daily curricula, Yoga 4 Classrooms® has begun to document the implementation journeys of the schools we have supported. In addition, we hope to encourage the development of additional research projects that can serve to document such case studies, both qualitatively and quantitatively, helping to grow the field of evidence supporting use of mind-body practices in the educational setting. In our first case study, we highlight the school-wide implementation of Yoga 4 Classrooms® at Edmunds Elementary in Des Moines, Iowa, which reveals several beneficial outcomes as a result of fostering social and emotional learning competencies over the last few years. 

Edmunds Elementary is an inner city school in Des Moines, IA where the student population is 95% minority with over 60% English Language Learners. When School Principal, Jaynette Rittman, started at Edmunds three years ago, she found that the students were extremely dysregulated despite the positive behavior intervention systems and social and emotional skill building programs they had in place. Jaynette and her team integrated their existing tools to create a school-wide system called EC3 (Edmunds Culture, Climate and Content). While this created a new framework for school-wide expectations, including the implementation of “Stop-Think-Make a Good Choice”, there was still something missing. Students were beginning to stop to think, but they were still lacking the skill set needed for self-managing and making a good choice. 

After investigating the related benefits of integrating yoga and mindfulness at school, Jaynette and her staff decided to train with Yoga 4 Classrooms®. With full staff buy-in and internal leadership, Yoga 4 Classrooms® has been integrated twice daily into the schedule and implemented school-wide with notable results. After just two years, Edmunds Elementary went from having the lowest test scores in the district to an 18.7% increase in 2016, the most significant improvement district-wide. Office referrals decreased from 1000 incidents per year, 3 years ago, to 250-300 incidents in 2016. Demonstrations of student engagement and student leadership have become increasingly common, as well as instances of students applying new skills outside of school during challenging situations. Staff members have shared that their own well being, emotional resilience and effectiveness have been improved, and some have even been inspired to start or deepen their own personal yoga practices, as well. Not surprisingly, a general feeling of community, connectedness and overall engagement has had a significantly positive impact on overall school climate. 

Jaynette credits the successful implementation of Yoga 4 Classrooms® to a number of factors including the decision to go school-wide and to integrate yoga into the daily schedule. In addition, she highlights administration support as being a critical factor to ensuring full implementation school-wide as well as staff buy-in and a democratic approach where all stakeholders feel heard. As well, and perhaps the most important piece, according to Jaynette, is effective and thorough training combined with a team-based, intrinsically motivated approach to curriculum fine-tuning and roll-out. Jaynette and her team were dedicated to developing a year-long curriculum to support their unique goals and objectives.  Finally, she ensured that all staff members had all the support and resources they required including manuals, lesson plans, photocopies and even assigned support staff to help with the class and fill in when the classroom teacher was absent. With little to no external consulting and resources beyond that provided by the intial Yoga 4 Classrooms In-Service Workshop, followed by the IMPLEMENT™ Leader Training, Edmunds has quite successfully and sustainably implemented yoga and mindfulness school wide. 

At Yoga 4 Classrooms®, we understand the recipe for successful implementation of a school-based yoga and mindfulness program is unique to each school and depends on many variables. We also know that with strong leadership and effective, empowering training and support, sustainable school-wide implementation is possible. Yoga 4 Classrooms® program is designed to empower schools from the inside to plan and roll out implementation in a way that is best suited to their unique school community, goals and structures. Contact us to learn more. 

Related Articles from Our Blog:
Yoga 4 Classrooms IMPLEMENT Leader featured in YogaIowa Magazine 
Educators Use Yoga 4 Classrooms to Help Ease Student Anxiety Over Testing
An Antidote to Teacher Burnout: How Yoga and Mindfulness Can Support Resilience In and Out of the Classroom 
Yoga in the Schools Movement: Defining Success

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Yoga 4 Classrooms Implement Leader featured in YogaIowa Magazine

Monday, May 30, 2016

Dustin Hockman, classroom teacher and Yoga 4 Classrooms IMPLEMENT Leader was recently featured in the spring 2016 issue of YogaIowa magazine.

Dustin integrates yoga throughout his class day with his ESL students at Edmunds Elementary School, a diverse, inner city school in Des Moines, Iowa. He also teaches adult yoga classes at several locations nearby.

Students in Des Moines face a tremendous amount of pressure to succeed in school in addition to the numerous stressors they experience outside of school. Dustin shares Yoga 4 Classrooms programming with his students as part of an integrated, school wide effort at Edmunds Elementary aimed at helping students improve their social and emotional skills, learning and behavior.

School wide implementation of Yoga 4 Classrooms means that students at Edmunds Elementary have yoga and mindfulness integrated in their schedule twice daily as well as throughout the day, as needed. The result: soaring test scores and a significant reduction in behavioral referrals, a supportive and safe school climate fostered by a dynamic school principal and staff who committed fully to program integration two years ago. Watch in the coming month for the full story to be shared here at our blog.


Read the full interview with Dustin Hockman published in the current issue of YogaIowa magazine.

Watch this video clip of Dustin sharing a short, playful yoga sequence with his ESL students as they prepare for the start of the day.




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Scientific Evidence for Yoga and Mindfulness in Schools: How and Why Does It Work?

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

As an education professional who is interested in school-based yoga, you might have already witnessed the benefits of yoga for your students. Still, a question remains. How and why is yoga beneficial for children and adolescents, and specifically, in the school setting? Research on yoga in schools has grown exponentially over the past 5 - 10 years, and while the results are still preliminary, scientists are beginning to understand why yoga serves as such a valuable component of school curricula nationwide.

Research suggests that school-based yoga cultivates competencies in mind-body awareness, self-regulation, and physical fitness. And classroom teachers benefit as well. Taken together, these competencies may lead to improvements in students’ behavior, mental state, health, and performance, as well as teacher resilience, effectiveness and overall classroom climate. 

The figure below outlines some of the potential benefits of yoga for youth (and adults):

Develops Mind-Body Awareness

By training students how to pay attention to the relationship between their mind and body, school-based yoga helps children notice the impact of stress on their well-being. For example, a student might start to notice that their stomach gets tight when they're worried about a test, or that they tend to gravitate toward unhealthy food when they're feeling down. This awareness (also known as mindfulness) may lead to changes in behavior by, for example, choosing to do 5 minutes of breathing exercises to relax a tight stomach or opting for an apple instead of chips. Preliminary studies of yoga for youth (Benavides & Caballero, 2009Wang & Hagins, 2016) and young adults (Eastman-Mueller et al., 2013) are starting to support these ideas.

Improves Self-Regulation

At a very broad level, self-regulation refers to our ability to manage our stress, emotions, and behaviors. Psychological and neuroscientific research (MLERN, 2012) is starting to show that yoga and meditation may help youth manage their stress and mood (Kaley-Isley, Peterson, Fischer, & Peterson, 2010Miller et al., 2014) and behave more positively (Butzer et al., 2015Schonert-Reichl & Lawlor, 2010). The basic idea is that yoga helps calm the fight or flight response, and induce the relaxation response, thus helping children calm themselves down and be less reactive in difficult situations. So instead of lashing out in anger on the playground, a student might take a deep breath and walk away.

Cultivates Physical Fitness

An important difference between yoga and mindfulness meditation is that yoga includes physical postures. In essence, yoga is a practice of “mindfulness in motion” that uses the body to promote awareness of the present moment. Given that more than one-third of American children and adolescents are considered overweight or obese (Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2012), school-based interventions that encourage the development of physical fitness are sorely needed. Research suggests that yoga may improve physical fitness in adolescents (Purohit et al., 2016) as well as benefit several aspects of physical health, such as improved respiratory function (Liu et al., 2014), increased exercise adherence (Bryan, Pinto, & Parasher, 2011), and reduced obesity risk factors (Cramer, Lauche, Haller, et al., 2014).

Enhances Student Behavior, Mental State, Health, and Performance

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), social-emotional learning involves developing 5 core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making (CASEL, 2015). Research strongly suggests that school-based programs that enhance these competencies help students succeed not only academically, but personally as well (Durlak et al., 2011). Early evidence is also beginning to show that yoga and meditation might help students be more self-aware (Monshat et al., 2013), manage their emotions (Noggle, Steiner, Minami, & Khalsa, 2012), enhance their relationships (Conboy et al., 2013), and make better decisions (Barnes, Bauza, & Treiber, 2003).

Research also suggests that school-based yoga may improve academic achievement (Butzer et al., 2015; Kauts & Sharma, 2009Singh et al., 2016; Wang & Hagins, 2016) and classroom behavior (Barnes, Bauza, & Treiber, 2003; Koenig, Buckley-Reen, & Garg, 2012; Schonert-Reichl & Lawlor, 2010). In addition, yoga-based physical fitness may result in numerous positive outcomes including improved mood, reduced risk of psychological disorders, and enhanced cognitive performance (Fox, 1999; Sibley & Etnier, 2003).

In summary, a growing number of scientific studies suggest that yoga may enhance students’ mind-body awareness, self-regulation, and physical fitness which may, in turn, promote improved behavior, mental state, health, and performance (Butzer et al., 2016Ferreira-Vorkapic et al., 2015; Khalsa & Butzer, 2016; MLERN, 2012; Serwacki & Cook-Cottone, 2012).

Supports Teacher Resilience and a Positive Classroom Climate

Importantly, the benefits of school-based yoga also extends to classroom teachers.Recent research suggests that providing educators with training in yoga- and mindfulness-based skills may have several beneficial effects for educators, including increases in calmness, mindfulness, well-being, and positive mood, improvements in classroom management, emotional reactivity, physical symptoms, blood pressure, and cortisol awakening response, and decreases in mind and body stress (Harris et al., 2016; Jennings et al., 2013; Kemeny et al., 2012; Nosaka & Okamura, 2015Schussler et al., 2016; Sharp & Jennings, 2016). Indeed, providing teachers with skills and practices to enhance their own self-care is a crucial step toward improving classroom climate, teacher effectiveness and student outcomes (Roeser et al., 2012).

Based on the increasing evidence supporting the efficacy of yoga for children, school-based yoga programs are being increasingly implemented across the United States. These programs are designed to address stress and anxiety, and promote social and emotional learning, physical and emotional health and well-being, all basic requirements for readiness to learn and a positive, healthy school climate.

Ultimately, anecdotal evidence about the benefits of school-based yoga is not enough. Rigorous scientific research is what’s needed to change educational policy and make yoga a universal component of the public school system. Yoga 4 Classrooms® is excited to be part of the growing evidence-base for school-based yoga (you can read about our research study here).

Announcing the "Research Repository: Yoga and Meditation for Children and Adolescents"

With the intention of providing a FREE, helpful resource for educators, schools, program providers, researchers and others interested in the body of evidence supporting yoga, meditation and mindfulness for children, adolescents and in schools, Yoga 4 Classrooms and ChildLight Yoga founder, Lisa Flynn, and Bethany Butzer, PhD, partnered to compile a comprehensive research repository. This organized reference list of peer-reviewed published studies and research reviews provides links to abstracts and full-text publications when available. And, it's updated quarterly!

Download the Research Repository FREE from our Supporting Research Resources page here.

Portions of this blog were derived from a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Children’s Services titled “Implementing Yoga within the School Curriculum: A Scientific Rationale for Improving Social-Emotional Learning & Positive Student Outcomes” by Bethany Butzer, Denise Bury, Shirley Telles, and Sat Bir S. Khalsa.

Article Author:
Bethany Butzer, Ph.D.
serves as a research consultant for Yoga 4 Classrooms. Bethany received her Ph.D. in psychology in 2008 from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and she recently spent 2.5 years as a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where she studied the effects of yoga in school settings. Bethany is also an author, speaker, researcher, and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. Learn more at 

Lisa Flynn, E-RYT, RCYT,
is founder and CEO of ChildLight Yoga
and Yoga 4 Classrooms, and author of the Yoga 4 Classrooms Activity Card Deck; and Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Reslient Children. Lisa contributed to the first research study to use subjective and objective data to examine the acute and longitudinal effects of a school based yoga intervention in young children. Recently honored as Dover, NH region’s “Small Business of the Year,” her studio and training center, serves as headquarters for its internationally recognized trainings and products while providing award-winning yoga programming for local families. Learn more about Lisa.

Related Articles from Our Blog:
Yoga in Public Schools: A Nationwide Grassroots Movement
Educators Use Yoga 4 Classrooms to Help Ease Student Anxiety Over Testing
An Antidote to Teacher Burnout: How Yoga and Mindfulness Can Support Resilience In and Out of the Classroom
Mindfulness in Schools: What Research Tells Us
Yoga in the Schools Movement: Defining Success
Research Report: Bridging Yoga Practice and Scientific Research


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Best Practices for Yoga in Schools White Book Created by Yoga Service Council

Monday, October 19, 2015

We are thrilled to announce "Best Practices for Yoga in Schools," a yoga service guide for yoga teachers, school teachers, school administrators, social workers, and anyone else interested in bringing yoga to kids safely and in a just and inclusive way is soon to be published. Book content was a collaborative effort of many leaders in the field, including Yoga 4 Classrooms founder, Lisa Flynn, and is being produced by the Yoga Service Council and the Omega Institute.

Click to watch the video and donate what you can - a donation of just $25 gets you first edition copy of this wonderful resource!

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Yoga in Public Schools: A Nationwide Grass Roots Movement

Monday, October 19, 2015

According to recent national surveys, there is currently a large and growing burden of psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse in our youth that is almost universal. In addition to this, a significant percentage of youth are obese and at risk for lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, behavioral problems such as physical inactivity, bullying, and school dropouts are becoming commonplace. Key factors contributing to these problems are the inability of youth to cope with the chronic stress of modern society and a lack of mind body awareness. Unfortunately, the focus of our school system has been exclusively on academic performance and preparing children to succeed in the adult job market, and it has essentially ignored the teaching of life skills such as stress and emotion regulation that would represent an education of the whole child.

Yoga includes practices designed to calm the nervous system and is ideally suited to alleviate the stressors faced by students. It represents a lifelong skill that can be learned and applied over a short period of time. Furthermore, yoga promotes mind-body awareness that can lead to sustainable and long-term positive changes in behavior. It is therefore logical and likely that school-based yoga interventions may have a preventive impact, targeting early risk factors for physical and psychological disorders and negative behaviors.

Remarkably, the implementation of grassroots yoga programs in public schools by both individuals and by formal yoga in school organizations offering school-specific yoga curriculums has actually become a movement. In a paper recently accepted for publication in the journal Advances in Mind-Body Medicine (School-Based Yoga Programs in the United States: A Survey by Butzer B, Ebert M, Telles S, and Khalsa SBS), a survey of these yoga in schools programs across the U.S. was conducted. The study identified and characterized 36 programs, which have been offering yoga in over 940 schools and have formally trained over 5,000 instructors in their curricula. To be included in the analysis in this study, yoga in school programs had to include yoga physical postures and exercises and/or yogic breathing practices, but virtually all also included relaxation techniques and meditation/mindfulness practices. The study analyzed each program’s scope of work, curriculum characteristics, teacher certification and training requirements, implementation model, mode of operation, and primary geographical region.

All programs were designed to be secular and teach universal values or life skills, which makes them suitable for public school settings. Most programs also included aspects beyond the physical by incorporating ethics or philosophy in their lessons. Several additional activities were also included in a number of these programs. Games, songs, journaling, crafts and team building exercises that would not typically be considered yoga per se are common auxiliary learning tools that have been seamlessly woven into the yoga lessons. The inclusion of those non-traditional components allows the yoga programming to be integrated with school values and social and the few social and emotional learning programs already in existence. In recognizing the need for this social and emotional component, the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has been promoting the inclusion of social and emotional learning in schools. Although the majority of the yoga programs have no formal relationship to the CASEL, many of the program goals are aligned with the core CASEL competencies of enhancing students' self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

While some programs focus exclusively on school programming, others also run their yoga programs at mental health organizations, community youth programs, or at-risk community youth organizations. The Kundalini Yoga-based Y.O.G.A. for Youth program based out of Los Angeles offers yoga classes to urban youth, giving them tools for self-discovery, discipline, self-respect and community engagement (see: Since its inception in 1993, Y.O.G.A. for Youth has served over 16,000 young people in Los Angeles county alone. Y.O.G.A. for Youth offers opportunities for youth to practice yoga and relaxation in schools, community facilities, hospitals and detention centers. Its unique programs have been designed to combat a myriad of issues that plague our youth today including stress, anger, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor concentration and obesity. A recent research study was conducted on Y.O.G.A. for Youth programs in L.A. charter schools, in which notable improvements in stress, resilience and mood were noted. An ongoing research study is evaluating the benefits of an after school Y.O.G.A. for Youth program in North Carolina.

Traditional bureaucratic structures and misunderstanding amongst parents about the secular nature of yoga has led to some reluctance in the implementation of yoga in schools. Future research should examine the most effective and feasible avenues for delivering school-based yoga programming given these unique challenges. The yoga in schools movement is an appropriate countermeasure for the current challenges in our youth’s health and behavior and should lead to improved social and emotional skills, classroom behavior, and academic performance. There is also a critical need for research studies to quantify and document these benefits in order to provide policy makers with the justification to support the widespread implementation of yoga in our school curricula.


This article was reprinted with permission. It was originally published in the Kundalini Research Institute Newsletter, September 2015, written by Yoga 4 Classrooms Trainer, Nikhil Ramburn and well-known yoga researcher, Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., co-author of our published research study.  Visit Nikhil's blog.

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Peace Corps Volunteer Introduces Yoga 4 Classrooms to Teachers in Rural Madagascar

Friday, April 10, 2015

The reach of Yoga 4 Classrooms sometimes surprises even us! We were thrilled to hear from Peace Corps Volunteer Heather Rockwood about her desire to share yoga with teachers in Madagascar. Heather's story warmed our hearts and we're certain it will make you smile as well. Meet Heather and hear how she used the Yoga 4 Classrooms curriculum to provide teachers in Africa with a fun training and tools to share yoga with their students...  

All about Heather

My name is Heather Rockwood and I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in the rural town of Antsenavolo, Madagascar. I am a Master's International Student which means I am finishing my MPH while serving here in Madagascar.  I work closely with a USAID funded project called MIKOLO which works on primary health care for rural communities. I am lead in a pilot program for Youth Health Leaders and Clubs. As a secondary project I work on community permagardens and spend just about every other spare moment I have with children. 

I am originally from California and received my Bachelor's Degree in Food Science with a Minor in Religious Studies. I have many hobbies, but all things food consistently makes the top of my list. It is a little more difficult for creative cooking here in the bush, but I gladly accept the challenge. I also am a vegetarian (once a vegan, but it is incredibly difficult where I currently live) and take my health, well-being and that of others very seriously which is part of my inspiration for sharing yoga with my friends and family here. In a nutshell, that about sums me up.

Teaching Yoga to Teachers 

The benefits of yoga are renowned worldwide and the discipline has found its way into all parts of the world, even a small classroom in rural Madagascar. This past week in rural Antsenavolo, about 15 elementary school teachers took part in a 3-day training on the basics of introducing yoga into the classroom with the help of one Health PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer), a near 100+ anticipating eyes of eager children and the indispensable tool -- Yoga 4 Classrooms Card Deck. The teachers were mazoto (diligent) from the beginning and eager to introduce new activities into their classrooms that have the potential to create a safer, better and happier learning environment for each child. The teachers had no previous knowledge of yoga, but by the time the training ended and they completed the post-test, there was a significant and encouraging increase in knowledge and skills acquired. The training was greatly enhanced by the use of the Yoga 4 Classrooms Card Deck

The entire training took place in Malagasy, and the cards were translated so the teachers could use them. The basic ideas and accessibility of the main ideas presented on the cards made bridging the two languages easier and helped add to the accessibility of the knowledge presented during the training. There were laughs as the teachers tried to stand in Eagle Pose. There were smiles as the children watched their teachers dance to songs and of course there were many mistakes. These mistakes presented a perfect opportunity for the teachers to get a hands-on opportunity to embrace the yoga mindset of accepting what you are capable of at the current moment and letting go of the rest. It was a great success! The teachers left the training asking for more, so another training is soon to be in the works. 

Thanks again Yoga 4 Classrooms for your generous contribution to making the lives of my friends and family here in Antsenavolo more peaceful and full. 

And we say a sincere thank you to Heather for being so 'mazoto' in sharing yoga as a health intervention in Africa!

Are you working with a unique population or perhaps you are on a personal mission to make a difference through yoga and mindfulness education? Let us know how we can help!

Edited by Amy Taylor, Ph.D., Licensed Yoga 4 Classrooms Trainer

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