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Fund for Teachers Journey: Children's Yoga in Bangalore

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    Sarah Norris

Lauren Greenspan and Julia Handelman teach at Graham Primary School in Columbus, Ohio. They were among the 2017 class of EL Education's Fund for Teachers (FFT) Fellows. Read more about FFT and what this long partnership has meant for EL Education here

What did they set out to do?

Complete the Children’s Yoga Course at Atma Darshan Yogashram in India and a week long training at The Holistic Life Foundation at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, to integrate yoga into the school and help students better cope with stress.

Kids Yoga

Classroom-based yoga in India allows time for relaxation and reflection.

Reflections from Lauren:

My instructional practices will change drastically as a result of my fellowship learning. I have learned the importance of incorporating time for reflection and self-awareness into yoga. For example, after each yoga exercise students need an opportunity to pause and assess how that yoga exercise has impacted their body, mind and breath. I have also learned the proper pacing and teaching sequence to help students master the yoga tools, so that they can incorporate them into their daily lives.

My experience has allowed me to hone in on which yoga tools are most successful at helping students to manage their stress and remain in a learning ready state. I will teach these key yoga strategies to students in a sequenced way so that they can master them and incorporate them into their daily lives.

In the U.S. there are often barriers to accessing yoga and wellness programs for under-served youth. Typically, yoga programs are offered in more affluent neighborhoods. This is a great disadvantage to under-resourced communities who do not get the opportunity to learn these calming and stress-relieving practices. Perhaps our yoga class will begin to take on this access challenge by offering yoga to our parent community and bringing yoga to the communities where our students live.

Read much more about Lauren’s experience here

Reflections from Julia:

We are trying to give our community positive tools to manage their stress and gain a sense of peace in a chaotic world.

We will celebrate student learning in Community Meeting by sharing our learning with others. We will also have a parent class, where we will invite family members in to teach them what we learned in yoga. Our students will leave yoga class knowing they are teachers of yoga and can share their learning with their community.

I am amazed by the impact reflection has had on my as a learner this summer. It has changed the way I think and taught me to be more thoughtful and observant. I will always intentionally make space for reflection because it has been so valuable to me. My experience was so layered and each day I remember something new. I am so excited to continue to reflect and learn.

Read much more about Julia’s experience here


Teachers: ready to think about your own funded learning adventure? Learn more about the Fund for Teachers application here!