We want kids to pay attention and focus in school, but have we given them the tools to do it? For the fourth graders at PS 205 in Bayside, Queens, a weekly yoga program is helping them learn just that.
Facilitated by Little Flower Yoga, a NY-based organization bringing yoga and mindfulness to kids and teens, the yoga program at PS 205 is designed to provide children the tools for improved learning, emotional balance and self-empowerment.
“We tell our kids to sit down, pay attention, focus, listen, but have we actually taught them how?” says Mayuri Gonzalez, Little Flower Yoga’s School Yoga Project Director. The sad truth is, in too many cases, the answer is no.
The yoga program is supported by the school’s teachers, too, who say the practices are benefitting the students by giving them a much needed time out, because even kids have stuff to stress out about, unfortunately.
“They need that downtime and to empower them and create a mindset where they can persevere and develop some resilience as they navigate complex tests and testing,” says teacher Cassandra Logan. The yoga program at PS 205 is teaching the kids how to tap into that tool set so they can feel more connected to their brains and bodies and find calm whenever and wherever they need it.
“When I think too much it hurts my head. I get headaches and then when I relax in yoga I feel good,” says fourth grader Erick Chambilla.
Another fourth grader Andrew Zayfma says yoga helps him in sports: “I play soccer. [Yoga] gives me more flexibility to kick the ball and lets me calm myself down before the game.”
Find more info about Little Flower Yoga’s programs here.