What is Yoga Education
Our purpose at Yoga Ed. is to support the health and wellness of school communities. The way that we do this is through yoga education, or yoga and mindfulness that is accessible by, relatable to, and available for all. Learn what yoga and mindfulness mean to us, and how these are implemented through our programs and curriculum.
Yoga and mindfulness are at the core of everything we do at Yoga Ed., from the way we educate, to the tools and resources we share. However, with so many different definitions and perceptions of yoga and mindfulness out there, we’ve come to realize that it’s paramount to begin with defining these two terms, and turning first and foremost to their roots.
In honoring the roots of yoga, an ancient practice that began in the Indian subcontinent dating back over 6,000 years, it’s important to know that yoga is a Sanskrit word whose root is yuj, which means joining together, to harness, or to yoke. In fact, the Sanskrit word “yoga” is cognate with the English word “yoke.”
One common definition of yoga is “union.” In our work here at Yoga Ed., this union is experienced through the joining of physical poses, breathing techniques, and our attention to the present moment. Taken together, the movement, breath, and focus create a flow that leads people through the yoga class seamlessly.
The history of mindfulness can be traced to yogic practices of the people in the Indus Valley between 2300 BC and 1500 BC. Yoga exercises were practiced to achieve a stilling of the mind in order to observe your internal comings and goings without getting caught up in them. These practices and belief systems evolved as they spread through India, Southeast Asia, and East Asia to give rise to mindfulness as it’s commonly known and practiced in the West today. For thousands of years, people have been practicing mindfulness in all of its many forms, whether on its own or as part of a greater context.
Mindfulness is a way of being, and Yoga is one type of mindfulness practice. When we dedicate time being attentive to our present state, we can cultivate intimate self-awareness and powerful self-management skills. Mindfulness establishes the ability to clearly see how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect our life. During a yoga class, our students can be kept engaged and tuned in through conscious breathing, movement, and relaxation. And in the end, we can access the same mindful self-awareness and non-judgement, all while reaping the essential health benefits of physical activity.
More than ever, children and teens need tools to support their health and wellness. By understanding how youth grow and learn, we believe that we can help to develop those tools to best support youths’ academic achievement and success in conjunction with their overall health and wellness. Yoga and mindfulness are pivotal in this work.
Yoga Ed. is actively committed to incorporating ways to honor the history and culture of Yoga and Mindfulness within our curriculum and training, particularly in a way that does not supersede the first amendment. We aim to create safe and respectful yoga classes, resources, and trainings to cultivate health and wellness in children, teens, and the adults we work with.
Our yoga practice is backed by a firm evidence base. Grounded in anatomy, physiology and neuroscience, and taught through a lens of child development, our curriculum optimizes the physical, mental, emotional, and social benefits that yoga can bring to children and teens. Plus, our curriculum meets National Standards for Health and P.E, and supports social and emotional learning for youth and adults.
We agree to uphold the following Guiding Principles:
- We conduct ourselves in a professional and conscientious manner.
- We teach breathing exercises, yoga poses, brain breaks, and relaxation techniques.
- We provide mindfulness and yoga to promote health and wellness of children and teens.
- We call yoga poses by English names that do not have religious connotations and maintain pluralism in all programs and resources.
- We acknowledge the developmental levels of students in their practice and, where appropriate, refer students to seek alternative instruction, advice, treatment, or direction.
- We value diversity and demonstrate this by respecting all participants regardless of age, physical limitations, race, creed, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
- We respect the rights, dignity and privacy of all students.
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