Focus on Mindfulness

Students practicing yoga
Warming up before physical education is an important part of staying healthy, and Bayville Primary School students are finding new ways to warm up their bodies and calm their minds at the same time. 

Physical education classes are incorporating yoga into their routines and they are seeing success. The school year started with a focus on mindfulness at Superintendent’s Conference Day, and teachers have used what they learned in their classrooms. 

Bayville physical education teacher Carlyn Gordon said it was a natural progression to bring mindfulness to her classes and the children have enjoyed it. Along with physical education teacher Kristen Hordy, she has incorporated 15 yoga poses into the warm-up routine at the beginning of each class. “It helps them with focus, concentration and relaxation,” Ms. Gordon said. Additionally, she explained that the benefits of yoga extend back into the classroom, providing students with breathing techniques they can use to calm themselves when needed.

Downward dog, tree pose and warrior pose are some of the favorites, offering improved stretching, flexibility and balance. Another relaxation technique being used is tapping, or Emotional Freedom Techniques, in which the children lightly tap their own acupressure points to change negative energy into positive energy. “This is another technique they can use to respond to anger, frustration and anxiety,” Ms. Gordon explained.

Bayville Elementary School Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus said that yoga fits in nicely with the mindfulness techniques being used throughout the classrooms.