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Yoga Should be in Schools

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Below is the article from

Wed, Dec 7 2011

This Is Why Yoga Should Replace Gym In Schools


Yoga for kids is the sort of thing that makes fodder for Portlandia and Stuff White People Like, but it’s not just a cure for bourgeois boredom or hippie families; it would actually make a pretty good replacement for gym class, if you ask me. Most of the arguments against it seem to come from a fear that yoga could be seen as religious or spiritual, and thus be inappropriate for public schools. But the case for it, outlined in the video below from The Early Show on CBS, makes me really wish that I’d had the option of yoga instead of “racquet sports” when I was in high school (not that I didn’t love you, Mr. Case).

Not only are meditating 7th graders adorable, but regular yoga practice seems to be making a real difference in their lives and schoolwork. The Early Show focused on Kipp Summit Academy, a rigorous charter school in San Lorenzo, California. First brought to the school by Katherine Priore‘s Headstand, a non-profit that brings yoga to disadvantaged kids, yoga is now a part of the curriculum, thanks to outstanding results. According to Kipps, suspensions are down 60% and state test scores are up since they’ve instituted regular yoga classes, and teachers say they’ve noticed increased productivity in their students.

Plus, the kids like it. Kipps students told CBS that yoga helps them with everything from clearing their mind to anger management and doing their schoolwork more efficiently. They like the way it makes them feel, and recognize the improvements in their performance, too.

Which is all a far cry from my own Phys Ed curriculum, which mostly involved sneaking out of the gym while we tried to hit birdies or ping-pong balls in my classes.

And Kipps isn’t the only school to see similar results: In 2003, Researchers at California State University found a correlation between yoga and better behavior and grades in students at a charter school where they practiced yoga almost daily; they were even more fit than the district average according to the California Physical Fitness Test.

Check out the video below and tell me you don’t think that yoga for P.E. seems like a fantastic idea:

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