Happy International Day of Yoga!

June 21, 2019 is the International Day of Yoga. Students enjoyed learning yoga at school last year.

Roll out your mats and stretch your limbs – today is the International Day of Yoga!

According to the 2016 Yoga in America Study, the top five reasons people start yoga are: flexibility (61%), stress relief (56%), general fitness (49%), improve overall health (49%) and physical fitness (44%).

It’s those reasons and more why St. Joseph’s Indian School nurse and wellness coach, Ronda, began teaching yoga to students at St. Joseph’s.

This past school year, she taught yoga to grades one through eight for a 40-minute class period. She began class with a little bit of centering. Then she would introduce an activity of yoga poses to the students before ending with rest time to relax and shut their brains off for a little while.

Young students learn numerous yoga poses during their Personal Living Skills class.

Ronda said yoga provides balance, strength and relaxation – especially when students know they have a place that’s all their own during the yoga sessions.

“When you come to class, you’re on a mat and I tell the kids this, ‘That’s your safe place. This area belongs to you’,” said Ronda.

Ronda leads a group of St. Joseph’s Child Services staff in a yoga lesson.

Yoga often gives students a sense of calm. It can help assist the healing process for students who need a break from stressors of their everyday lives. Ronda said it also provides a safe place to deal with any trauma students may have experienced in the past they are presently working through.

Practicing yoga also gives students a break from the hustle and bustle of life, which Ronda says is very important.

“I don’t think anyone practices that enough – just to be still,” she said.

Ronda (in yellow) leads a group of students in a yoga lesson during their Personal Living Skills (PLS) class with PLS teacher, Pam.

Next year, Ronda and Trond, wellness coordinator at St. Joseph’s, are putting a focus on second and fourth grade students and yoga. Similar to a case study experiment, they plan to measure those students’ classroom performance, as well as balance, to see if yoga has any measurable assistance in helping the students excel in other areas.

“The goal is to teach our students to practice balance on their mat, and then take those tools into their everyday lives,” said Ronda.

It’s her hope that students take the lessons they learned during yoga class with them as they grow up.

“I hope they remember one part of it – to remember to take a breath,” she said. “Just to take a breath.”

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

2 thoughts on “Happy International Day of Yoga!”

  1. Good for you! I’m surprised because a lot of narrow minded Fr Right people consider Yoga evil. Nokidding. Yoga means union, union of body, mind & spirit. It is an Eastern tradition. I’ve been practicing Yoga for over 35 years & I can say there are many benefits if the students stay with it. Kudos to your nurse for bringing Yoga to your students. Good fortune.

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