Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 39

16 Hudson Valley Parent n January 2018 By CAREN BENNETT I was apprehensive when it came time to send my son to full day Kindergarten - would he be able to adjust to the long hours in the classroom? Would he meet the common core requirements? Although I was thrilled when he began learning to read so quickly, there were plenty of tearful mornings when he was stressed and exhausted and simply did not want to go to school. For better or worse, students at all levels face higher academic expectations, increasing amounts of homework and testing, along with the increased use of technology and overscheduled extracurricular activities. Yoga and meditation are known to help adults focus and alleviate stress and anxiety; could these practices help children in the same way? Try a pose, see the difference Sandy Sooknanan is the founder of Dutchess Yoga Studio in Wappingers Falls, where she offers yoga classes for children. She sees a noticeable difference in her students after they have finished a class. "I have seen that after practicing yoga consistently, children become very alert, they concentrate better and their self-esteem improves," Sooknanan explains. "They learn that persistence brings positive results." Sooknanan believes that these positive results could easily translate to school classrooms. She suggests that teachers could implement a five minute breathing exercise before they begin class. "Teachers could also stop a class for two minutes and ask every student to get into tree pose or a pose that will ground them if there is a lack of concentration during that class. Kids will lighten up, calm down for a moment and they might even laugh and the energy will definitely move towards a more peaceful and positive transition back to the studies," she says. Schools already giving it a try At Montessori of New Paltz, a school for grades pre-K through third, yoga and meditation practices are built into the curriculum. Students practice yoga at school in two different ways. During the week, they have group yoga lessons as one of their "specials" for the week. In the classroom, there is a yoga mat set up at all times that children can choose to use. Near the mat is a stand with a book of various yoga poses that the children have learned throughout the week in their group lessons. Children can use the yoga mat if they are feeling frustrated, but they may also choose to use it for a variety of other reasons. Yoga could make your child a better student Calm down, refocus and reduce stress with yoga Teachers at Montessori of New Paltz see huge differences in their students after they practice yoga. Students are more relaxed, less frustrated and ready to concentrate.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - HVP January 2018