Integrating Yoga Programs into Schools (Empowering Students)

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

Who said Yoga is only for adults? Yoga is not a practice that discriminates. Anyone of any age can do it and benefit from it. Does that mean that Yoga should be taught in schools? I certainly think it should be.

The great thing about Yoga is that it starts off easy and only becomes more challenging with time. This means it is a practice that your child can grow with. It provides children with a sense of achievement as they progress. It is a practice that can be enjoyed alone or as a group. 

Yoga is not a new practice. It is already practiced by millions of people across the globe; by people who claim that the health benefits are simply undeniable. If you had the opportunity to provide your children with access to a practice that will benefit them not only now but for the rest of their life, wouldn’t you want to? I would! 

Below are 15 great reasons why your child’s school should be offering Yoga classes.

Yoga for kids in school – 15 reasons why it’s a great idea:

1. Yoga builds friendships.

Kids that start learning Yoga together will immediately have a common interest to bond over. Very often, kids that are introduced to Yoga early on in life typically take to it. Some even become devoted to it for their entire lifespan. Because Yoga promotes a certain lifestyle and mindset, it bonds people together and helps young children form lifelong friendships.

2. Yoga is non-competitive and includes everyone.

One problem that children of school-going age face is the feeling of not being included. The need to belong is part of the human condition, and for some children, this can be a serious problem during school years. Some children feel left out when they cannot play certain sports or don’t fit in with a certain group of children due to differing interests. 

Yoga is a practice that can be enjoyed by everyone. You don’t need to be a star athlete, and you can be any size and age to participate. Also, there is no competition, so each student practices at his or her own pace. This way, children can all be included in the same thing without feeling any sort of pressure.

3. Yoga develops balance and good posture.

Yoga stretches and poses teach children to be in better control of their bodies while strengthening the core, which helps develop good posture. The more muscle tone and strength your child develops through Yoga practice, the better you can expect both their balance and posture to be. 

4. Yoga practice develops physical strength.

Most children spend their days in the classroom, and their afternoons and evenings glued to the screen. Unfortunately, unless children are required to sign up for a sport after hours, they don’t get much in terms of physical development. Yoga is an enjoyable way for children to relax after a busy day and develop some physical strength too. It provides a full-body workout of muscle toning and strengthening, which will stand any child in good stead.

5. Learning Yoga encourages children to entertain themselves away from screens.

Nowadays, it seems as if both children and parents turn to TV, computers, tablets, and phones for entertainment. This can cause a child to become fairly close-minded. If you want to encourage your child to try something new and get away from the screens in his/her life, Yoga is a great way to do that. 

By learning Yoga in school (where televisions and other screens aren’t used for entertainment), kids learn that there are other ways to derive enjoyment from an activity.

6. Yoga practice improves coordination.

Coordination is something that develops over time. Some people master it, and others tend to struggle with it every now and then. With Yoga, a great deal of emphasis is placed on breathing, concentrating, and developing all major muscle groups. Both coordination and balance are naturally developed at the same time. 

7. Regular Yoga develops brain health (memory and concentration).

School children often struggle to concentrate in class, and they often find it difficult to remember what they have been taught. This is normal as the developing mind needs to learn the skills of memory and concentration in order to focus on classes and apply the new knowledge. 

Yoga, which consists of a series of stretches and poses, encourages students to learn and master each pose/stretch. They need to be able to learn the name of each pose and then carry it out correctly. This requires constant memory and concentration workouts, which go a long way towards developing a healthy brain. 

8. Yoga gets rid of stress and promotes peaceful mindsets.

Who says that kids don’t experience stress? Of course, they do. Adults often overlook that fact or don’t quite know how to deal with it. Do you ever notice that your child seems frustrated with no outlet? Perhaps your child is acting out in class or having disputes with friends in school. 

By incorporating Yoga into the daily syllabus, kids have the opportunity to enjoy a healthy outlet for their stress and frustrations. Yoga encourages a more peaceful mindset, which is something that a stressed child can truly benefit from.

9. Learning Yoga boosts a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.

When children first start Yoga classes, they won’t know how to do the poses and stretches, and this is undoubtedly a challenge. Children love a challenge that’s fun. As they progress and achieve the correct poses and stretches, they acquire a sense of accomplishment. They also see for themselves that they can, with effort, achieve something that they once thought was impossible. This does wonders for a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

10. Regular Yoga practice promotes fitness.

Yoga is not just a practice. It’s a lifestyle. When children get into Yoga, they will learn about keeping a healthy fitness schedule, eating right, and taking care of their mental health too. When children learn about Yoga in school, it’s a great basis for learning to live a healthy lifestyle, where fitness is taken seriously. 

11. Yoga provides a healthy distraction from daily struggles.

Sometimes kids see school as a chore or something unpleasant. As Yoga is fun, incorporating it into the school schedule can provide kids with something to look forward to. Even if they don’t want to attend Math class or deal with being teased on the playground, Yoga classes will provide something fun to take their mind off of it, even if it is just for an hour between classes. This can create a newfound interest in actually going to school each day.

12. Learning Yoga teaches kids to deal with frustrations productively.

Most schools don’t focus on teaching children real-life skills, such as learnings how to deal with loss, rewards, frustrations, and stresses. Unfortunately, children are typically left to fend for themselves in these areas. 

By learning Yoga, which focuses on clearing the mind, creating a sense of calm, and breathing deeply and mindfully, children can relieve themselves of frustration with greater ease. By learning these techniques, children will be able to step away from frustrating situations and give themselves time to find their center, calm down, and approach the situation from a new and more productive angle.

13. Learning Yoga provides an introduction to mindful living.

Living mindfully is something that is becoming more prominent nowadays.

Living mindfully is being able to experience a situation or moment and being fully present. It’s a non-judgmental state that allows a person to be both aware and not negatively affected by circumstances around them. It allows students to develop a method of making decisions with a clear head and with both the immediate and long term effects in mind. Yoga teaches students how to achieve this particular mindset and can be particularly useful to school children in the classroom, on the playground, and out in the world.

14. Yoga reduces anxiety and nervousness.

Many children experience anxiety and nervousness and don’t know how to deal with it. Yoga’s breathing techniques and slow, calm approach is an excellent method for calming anxiety and quelling nervous feelings. Yoga classes might be particularly useful before big examinations and tests, for instance. 

15. Teaches children how the world around them connects to them.

Children learning Yoga understand that there is a pose or stretch for everything in nature and around them. The movements and the correlation of the meaning behind each of them teaches children more about how they are connected to absolutely everything around them. 

In Short: Yoga Taught in Schools Would Do Children a World of Good

As you can see, I strongly believe that children can benefit from Yoga, and what better place for them to learn more about it than at school?

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He covers topics like spirituality, philosophy, finance, sports, games, and food. JC earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a Marketing Concentration at Mercyhurst University. He is a certified USPTA professional who teaches tennis in the New York City Metropolitan area. He has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.