Imagination Yoga in the Schools (IYS) gives children and teachers a chance to take a break from the outside world and come into a place of relaxation, movement, imagination and joy.
Rising rates of childhood obesity, inactivity, distractibility, anxiety, depression and bullying are national concerns. School-based yoga is one way to address these issues and research suggests these programs have a number of positive effects on student health, behavior, and performance.* Such programs offer focus on needs of the whole child, impacting the development of academic, social and emotional competence in children with resulting benefits for teachers and their classroom climate.
IYS's weekly activities that nurture physical, mental and emotional development inspire positive changes in the lives of participants. The mindfulness techniques that accompany movement teaches children how to calm themselves, focus their attention, move their bodies while improving their strength and balance, develop kindness for themselves and others, use their imaginations, and develop a sense of community. These are tools that can be used in the classroom, at home, and in the community with far-reaching benefits:
Teaches healthy ways to express feelings and regulate their emotions and behavior
Positive impacts on students’ academic performance
Encourages a sense of community and belonging within the classroom
Provides opportunities for beneficial motor breaks throughout the day
Enhances focus, attention, concentration, comprehension and memory
Supports social and emotional learning
Enhances flexibility, strength, and physical well-being
Encourages respect for oneself and others
Improves physiological outcomes including bone strength, muscle strength, muscular flexibility, heart health, respiratory health, neural development and motor skills
Helps schools meet Physical Education standards which in Oregon includes HB 3141 which requires school to provide 150 minutes of PE to K-5 grade students per week. School districts are mandated to be in compliance with this standard by this school year.
*For detailed information on this research visit www.yoga4classrooms.com.
How it works
IYS uses the Imagination Yoga Calm Curriculum developed by Oregon-based Imagination Yoga and tested and refined to become one of the premier children’s yoga programs in the United States. Children are introduced to yoga using themed adventures and imaginative associations that capture their attention, invoke their imaginations, and get their bodies moving.
IYS personnel make arrangements with the school principal and second grade teacher(s) to teach a series of ten 45-minute classes to second at a mutually agreed upon time in the school building. Yoga mats are provided for all participants.
We need your support
Our goal is to provide the Imagination Yoga curriculum to every 2nd Grader in every public elementary school in the Gorge. We are slowly making inroads and forging relationships with teachers and administrators who want to support this 10 week session offering. The more funds we are able to raise, the more sessions we are able to teach. As we build partnerships with PTAs (Parent Teacher Associations), local businesses and individual donors, we are able to go into new schools and communities. The cost of providing an Imagination Yoga session of 10 classes costs $500. Please consider lending your support to grow Imagination Yoga in Schools.