Welcome to Yoga: 4 Strategies to Effectively Introduce Yoga to Your Students
Introducing new things can help to boost engagement and excitement about learning. Here are four tips to successfully introduce yoga and mindfulness to your students.
Trying something new in your classroom can be difficult or awkward, especially when you have nearly thirty students watching you. However, introducing new things can help to boost engagement and excitement about learning.
Over the years, we’ve collected a few ways to help ease introducing yoga and mindfulness into your classrooms.
Below are four helpful tips to successfully introduce yoga and mindfulness to your students.
Define the Practice
It sounds simple, but a simple introduction can go a long way to boosting student interest. We suggest that you use the following statement to share what yoga is with students.
Suggested Statement: “Yoga is an ancient practice that brings mind, body, and breath in union together. It comes from the area known today as India and involves breathing, physical movement, and quieting the mind.”
When we share a purpose with our students, we connect to the why. This helps students understand how yoga may help them in their learning and in their lives.
Suggested Statement: “The purpose of yoga in our class is to help us get connected with our minds, bodies, and hearts. This can help us reset our emotions, build self-awareness, and improve our ability to focus.”
Acknowledge and Invite
Acknowledgement of newness is a powerful way to build trust in the classroom. When we are honest in acknowledging how a new thing may affect our students, we role model how to navigate change. We suggest inviting students to participate, rather than obliging them to participate. Remind students that there is also value in observing respectfully.
Suggested Statement: “We know that this may be new and different for you. You are welcome to participate at your comfort level. You do not have to participate as long as you are not taking away from the experience of others, but we hope you keep an open mind and give it a try!”
Together, let’s define what respect means to you.
Setting classroom boundaries promotes a culture of safety. This is an exercise we encourage classes to go through prior to sharing a video. Please discuss with your students how to give and show respect. This can be a collaborative activity that gives students some ownership in their experience.
- What does respect look like?
- What does respect feel like?
- How do you show respect to others?
Getting started may seem daunting at first, but the upside is tremendous: engagement, excitement, and, even if nothing else, simply role-modeling for your students how to try something new. Now, we’d like to invite you to set a small goal for sharing yoga with your classroom. How will you get started introducing yoga to your students?
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