A Q&A with Edi Pasalis, Director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living In April, the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living (IEL) hosted the first Yoga in the Schools Symposium, presented in partnership with the University of Virginia’s Contemplative Sciences Center and Curry School of Education. Edi Pasalis, Director of the IEL, shared highlights of […]
By Jane Rosen Two years before the end of my 36-year career as an educator, I started practicing yoga and sharing it with my fourth-grade class. In those two years, I saw the profound effects of yoga on my students’ learning, the emotional climate of my classroom, my interactions with students, my satisfaction with teaching, […]
by Elizabeth Shepardson Positive and healthy relationships among students and teachers in a classroom play an integral role in the level of success in the academic arena. Teachers are obligated to prepare students for the real world, and provide them with opportunities to learn and master 21st-century skills to help them achieve their dreams. As […]
When Maya Breuer first discovered Kripalu in the 1980s, she felt as if she was home —“like I had been here before,” she recalls. “The yoga and the compassion I encountered felt familiar on such a deep level that I intuitively knew this was a place where I could heal.” In the 25 years since, […]
On Monday, December 16, 2012—exactly two days after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary—I stood outside the doors of Pittsfield High School (PHS) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. As I waited for the receptionist to buzz me in, I wondered what to expect in my high school yoga class that morning. I was still reeling. My niece […]
Iona Smith, guest blogger
Like most of us, I would not want to relive my teenage years—unless I could do so knowing what I know now. Even so, I’ve been drawn to working with teenagers in my adult life. As a high school biology teacher back in my twenties and in my current role as a yoga educator in high schools, I’ve been able to pursue my passion for providing teenagers with tools for coping—tools I wish I’d had at their age.
Four years ago, I helped the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living (IEL) launch a pilot research study on how yoga affects teenagers. To date, we’ve found that our Yoga in the Schools program does indeed have beneficial effects on students’ resilience and ability to manage anger. As I head into my fifth year teaching yoga in a high school setting, I’m confident that I’m providing students with the wisdom and tools to help them navigate their teenage years in healthier, more skillful ways.
In this series, we hear from recipients of KYTA’s Teaching for Diversity and Rachel Greene Memorial Fund grants, as they change the world one posture at a time.
Melinda Atkins, Guest Blogger
Introducing yoga to a group of middle-school students is an enlightening experience, especially after teaching yoga full-time to high-school students. Middle-school minds are more impressionable, and their bodies more malleable, than those of their older counterparts. Eager to learn discipline, most are still children who want to be grown, and the success the practice rewards them with along the way encourages their self-confidence.
Today’s student typically suffers from poor posture, poor eating habits, and poor self-esteem. For middle schoolers, with an overt awareness of their changing bodies, classroom performance is hindered. With surges and shifts in hormones, along with excessive technological stimuli, students are hard-pressed when it comes to focus. This ultimately causes stress and, for many—especially those struggling to assimilate—failure.
Years of teaching high-school English has instilled in me an empathetic view of the physical, mental, and emotional demands involved in adolescent development. Armed with a master’s degree in Education and an understanding of the impact a pedagogic approach to yoga would have on adolescents, I created a semester-long yoga course and taught it as part of a high-school curriculum.