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Yoga in the Schools Symposium

Program Schedule

Wednesday, March 9

7:30–9:00 pmOpening Session and Keynote
Linda Dusenbury
Keynote speaker Linda Dusenbury, PhD of the Collaborative on Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) will link yoga to the broader movement and deepen the relevance of yoga in schools.

Thursday, March 10

8:30–9:30 amYoga in the Schools Research ShowcasePresenters: Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Tamar Mendelson, Catherine Cook-Cottone, Andrea Hyde, and Janet Johnson
10:00 am–12:00 pm

Morning Workshops (choose one)

Addressing Developmental, Learning, and Behavior Challenges with a Daily Classroom Yoga Curriculum
Anne Buckley-Reen

This session focuses on the steps to implementing yoga with challenging or challenged students and their classroom teams. The presentation outlines the goals, phases, modifications, and supports to prepare a wide range of learners through yoga. Using the Get Ready To Learn preparatory yoga curriculum as our model, we explore the impact of classroom yoga on educational and behavioral outcomes. Educators and support staff participate in the program as models and help to create a community in the classroom that is nurturing, grounded and connected. A short sequence will be practiced with the group and a video clip will highlight the changes school-wide as the result of embedding yoga in the daily curriculum.

Yoga and Urban Youth
Andres Gonzalez, Co-Founder, Holistic Life Foundation, Baltimore, MD

Gain a deeper understanding of the needs of urban youth while learning how to engage them in yoga and mindfulness practices that they can take home and share with their community. Discussions will include Challenges of Working with High Risk Youth Teaching Tools Engagement Principles Off the Mat Yoga Do’s and Don’ts of teaching yoga in schools We will also lead participants through a variety of Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation techniques.

1:45–2:45 pm

Afternoon Workshops (choose one)

Evidence-Based Practices in Teaching Self-Calming to Children with Autism and Special Needs: Foundations of the S.T.O.P. and Relax© Method
Louise Goldberg, ERYT 500, Yoga Therapist and Author, Creative Relaxation, STOP and Relax, Margate, FL

This workshop illustrates principles and tools of a systematic yoga curriculum for students with autism and other disabilities that impede communication and information processing. Participants will learn the neuropsychology underlying stressed reactions vs. relaxed responses, the benefits of yoga practice for improving self-regulation and resilience and supporting academic, social, and behavioral gains, the advantages of a physical practice for children with disabilities affecting cognition, focus, and communication, the components of practice (movement, breath, and imagery, structured teaching, and adaptations for moderate to severe needs), progress monitoring tools, and promotion of functional use of self-calming skills. Participants will experience a 15-minute lesson and engage interactively with the presenters and materials.

Chair Yoga: A Sustainable Alternative for Our Schools
Mayuri Gonzalez, School Yoga Project Director, Little Flower Yoga, Pelham, NY

When we bring our yoga practice off the mat and into a chair, it becomes more accessible, more sustainable, and easier to integrate into the busy school day. Finding the space and time to roll out 30 mats can be one of the most prohibiting challenges for potential school yoga programs. In addition, getting down on the floor can be both a physical and psychological barrier to participation for many people. Chair yoga can offer students and their teachers all the benefits of a mat based practice: A physical and mental break, increased focus, greater energy and tools to support emotional regulation. In this workshop, we will explore tangible, effective ways to bring yoga into the classroom without yoga mats or any other props, adapting yoga poses and activities through the creative use of a chair.

4:15–5:30 pmKripalu Yoga in the Schools Yoga Class with Janna Delgado
7:00–9:00 pmEvening Session and Keynote Address
Catherine Cook-Cottone, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, New York
Keynote speaker Catherine Cook-Cottone will discuss themes and findings from an in-depth qualitative examination of the implementation of a yoga in the schools program within the context of a lawsuit arguing that yoga is a religion and should not be taught in schools.

Friday, March 11

8:30–11:45 amYoga in the Schools Success Story Showcase and Closing Session

Leah Northrop, Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor/Faculty, Falk Laboratory School at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Carla Tantillo Philibert,Founder, Mindful Practices, Chicago, IL

Brian Hastings, Principal, Conway Elementary, Conway, New Hampshire

Abby Sayegh, Wellness Specialist for Early Childhood programs, Physical Activity Specialist, Office of Student Health and Wellness in Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL