Joining an increasing number of their peers, students in one California public high school recently incorporated yoga into their physical education program. The students boosted their grade point averages and increased their overall emotional and physical health after engaging in the focused, calming discipline, which the school presented as a specially designed fitness program. One freshman with a GPA of only 1.6 raised her score to a 4.0 by her senior year and found that she slept better and got along better with family members after her participation in the program.
Physical education experts say that yoga can offer numerous benefits to people of all ages and backgrounds: It can assist in reducing stress, improving the mind’s ability to be flexible and attentive and increasing physical stamina and endurance. Therefore, it only makes sense that students, particularly young adults facing overcrowded schedules and multiple academic and social pressures, could benefit from the practice of yoga.
Through yoga, high school and college students can learn to tame restlessness through assuming a series of relaxing poses designed to calm the mind and body. Yoga can also provide a stable personal anchor in the midst of the often-stormy transitions that come with the high school and college years. The practice additionally offers the opportunity to connect with a like-minded community of peers, who can form a vital network of support for one another.
Another advantage: Many schools offer academic credits for taking yoga and other physical fitness or personal development classes.