Thursday, March 09, 2006

yoga in the schools, now

"the government wants to tackle obesity and this is one way this school is going about that. the children get physical benefits and all of them can get involved in yoga, which is not competitive."

it's quite encouraging to see this welsh school taking the initiative to introduce yoga as an option for students. with luck this will spread throughout the u.k.

long-time readers know i've written here before about a scattering of schools in the u.s.a. that have made yoga available to children in the fight against the obesity epidemic. often these are after-school programs.

now we see u.s.a. school consider yoga from another angle -- to relieve test anxiety. since the so-called no child left behind law has made high-stakes, one-shot testing crucial to a student's and school district's future, test anxiety has proven to be a big issue:

"teachers long have provided students a steady diet of practice exams and refresher classes as test preparation, but now stress reduction -- even yoga -- has been added to the menu, said judy bowers, past president of the american school counselor association."

it's a fascinating article on how these intensely pressured tests are changing american education. it's just an interesting example of how multi-facted and useful a yoga practice can be.

as punk-rock yoga teacher j. brown is found of saying, the core of yoga is not only the physical practice with its physical benefits, but also to realize that the practice can be used to help you create positive models for thought and behavior.

there are some very small and preliminary scientific studies that indicate yoga may indeed be quite effective at controlling moderate anxiety and contribute to controlling some anxiety disorders. of course those of us who do yoga know it works great for anxiety, over time.

i think it would be fascinating to do a study where some students do yoga before a test and others don't. then after the test, compare the scores of the 2 groups -- i expect there will be a difference favoring the calmer students who have taken yoga, but i would like to see how much difference it might make!

posted by fortune | 8:02 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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