"In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents, which means that more than one third of the US nation’s youth are overweight or obese (CDC, 2015). This epidemic of childhood obesity comes with an array of tragic and familiar, consequences, both in the short and long term.
High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease. Diabetes, cancer, stroke.
Above & Beyond
But yoga does so much more than get students’ bodies moving, and it actually helps to fulfill needs that a traditional P.E. curriculum typically does not. For one, in most team sports, the activities typically aren’t focused on developing a child’s individual development, sense of balance and space, and general coordination. While kids may learn very specific skill sets such as kicking or throwing, they don’t often come away with an improved sense of holistic body-awareness.
Yoga gives them that control, and does even more to promote their wellness through the development of key social, emotional, cognitive and academic life skills, such as attention and focus, decision-making, cooperation, stress management and empathy.
Through Yoga Ed. lesson plans, students are given time to be introspective, to slow down and be quiet within their bodies, while simultaneously being challenged to ask big questions and take more ownership of their thoughts, feelings and actions. In the end, this means students that are not just healthier, but more prepared to face future challenges with confidence and resilience.
All According to Plan
Getting yoga incorporated into the P.E. curriculum doesn’t have to be daunting, especially because Yoga Ed. reinforces the National Standards for Physical Education and Health that are already in place, in the United States and abroad. Yoga doesn’t overturn the current system, it simply offers a fresh perspective on how students can improve their own fitness and experience exercise in a new way.