Yoga at School: Providing Lifelong Mental Health Tools to Students

Most educators will not be surprised to learn that rates of depression and anxiety among North American children have been steadily increasing for the past 50 years. In fact, nowadays a full 1 in 8 children suffers from an anxiety disorder.

The question is: how can we empower our children to reduce their own stress levels and face life’s many challenges with greater resilience, confidence, and joy? For a growing number of educators, incorporating yoga practice into the school system is one very powerful answer.

Research shows that yoga helps reduce stress and address nervous system imbalances (e.g. depression, anxiety) by developing a stronger relaxation response in practitioners. Put simply, yoga helps people to cultivate a deep physiological state of rest that is otherwise difficult to experience. And once children are taught to access their own relaxation response, they are able to use it as a “mindfulness” tool that will help them to experience:

 The ability to relax in stressful scenarios (e.g. tests, competitions, social conflicts)

 Improved focus for enhanced learning attributes

 Character & social development: improved leadership, participation, and communication skills

 Reduced impulsivity and reactivity

 A wide range of physical benefits, including improved posture, circulation, and motor development

For 8 years, TheYogaKids founder Jyoti Bajaj has been partnering with administrators, educators, and mental health professionals to enhance the mental health of Ontario’s students through yoga. An Early Childhood Educator and certified Radiant Child® Yoga Program teacher, she excels at designing and facilitating yoga experiences that
complement the interests, energies, and developmental needs of children.

TheYogaKids’ Yoga for Schools program is:

 a developmentally appropriate combination of poses, brain training exercises, and relaxation techniques that are brought to life through play, songs, storytelling, arts, and crafts

 a fully customizable program can be incorporated into a school’s

Physical Education curriculum, or offered during lunchtime or after school sessions

 facilitated by children’s yoga specialists in sessions that run from 45 minutes to an hour

 based on 7 key elements: breathing, exercise, diet, relaxation, positive thinking, character development, and connection to life

TheYogaKids and its school partners are committed to equipping children to thrive—mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially—despite the many stresses and challenges they now face. Are you interested in exploring how you, your school, or your child’s school could help students access the profound holistic benefits of yoga
training? Join a movement that empowers children to create a more balanced, happy, and healthy world—one breath at a time.