Yoga In Schools is Becoming More Common Every Day
Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7:21 PM
Yesterday I had the opportunity to observe several yoga teachers at Cass Street School in Milwaukee.
This group of teachers, known as K-12 Yoga, was founded by Susan Solvang and has been dedicated to bringing yoga to every child at Cass twice a week for the last two years. That alone is quite an accomplishment. I was impressed with the infrastructure they had in place. There were three rooms in the school for yoga – one a dedicated space. Several classes went on at the same time and they all had yoga mats, eye pillows, laminated name tags, yoga cards and other props.
These teachers, all well-trained and experienced, were looking to refine their skills and to continue to improve what they were offering to their students.
It’s great for me to have the chance to sit back and see how the children respond to various techniques and to see how teachers direct and redirect the energy in the classroom.
I watched the teachers shine with their communication skills. They consistently used describing rather than evaluating language. They commented on the behavior they wanted to promote and either ignored or gave simple needs-based requests to the children acting in a way that did not contribute toward class cohesion.
Before giving any feedback, I assured them that they too could observe me teach and have much to comment on. We are all in a process of refinement and growth and this peer review is taking teaching to the next level. Just watching them certainly helped me grow as a teacher.
The collaboration among this group of teachers and their willingness to bring in an observer for feedback is something I would love to see more of among children’s yoga teachers. It’s easy to start feeling isolated, burned out or lost in this tiny subset of the yoga world. Connecting with others, giving and receiving feedback and sharing support continues to feed our passion to get this practice to children.
I left the day feeling incredibly hopeful about the direction we are headed in the world of wellness and self-health. This committed group of teachers, who are having a long-term, positive influence on these kids – school wide, is an excellent example for all of us to follow as a way to continue to bring yoga into schools.