“Usually when I’m stressed, I do things and say things that I would not normally do,” one St. Louis fifth grader says.
“When I’m stressed, it makes me wanna give up. It makes everything seem worse than it is.”
Studies show that 1 in 5 children in the U.S. suffer from a mental, behavioral, or emotional concern – and 1 out of 5 children report worrying “a great deal” or “a lot.”
Students at Ellisville Elementary School in the Rockwood School District do yoga every day.
“Yoga gives me a break from sitting down in class all day,” one student shares. “Tree pose gives me a chance to focus on my balance, and not anything else, says another.
Dr. Terry Harris, Director of Student Services at Rockwood School District (and Yoga Buzz teacher training graduate) is a big advocate for yoga in the classroom. “As educators, the greatest gift we can give our students is the gift of self-care,” Dr. Harris says.
Nikki Hassanzadeh is a fifth grade teacher at Ellisville Elementary and also a yoga instructor. After having spent the last eight years integrating yoga daily into her classroom, she has watched first hand how it can help improve students’ behavior and focus – and even support their growth academically.
“These students are practicing taking care of themselves first, which is a gift they will have and be able to use for their entire lives,” says Dr. Harris.
And it’s clearly making an impact – Ms. Hassanzadeh’s fifth grade class is prepped with some pretty tangible tools for self-care as they finish the school year and prepare to transition to middle school this fall. As one student puts it, “Yoga is like the medicine for my stress.”
Check out the full video below: