Why We Practice Yoga in the IEP

By now many people are aware of the health benefits of yoga; increased flexibility, strength, health, improved concentration and overall vitality. We are fortunate to be able to offer yoga classes to students in the IEP once a week as part of our overall fitness and physical education curriculum.

As a yoga teacher I find it’s important that students’ understand why we are practicing yoga and just how it benefits practitioners in a myriad of ways. Certainly students can experience a sense of renewal and freshness after one session of practice, but is this the main reason we practice, as a sort of self-massage for the body? I would have to say no, indeed feeling good after yoga is a nice byproduct of the practice, of which there are many, as mentioned above. The main reason we practice yoga in the IEP, which is emphasized to students, is to support our meditation practice.
So how does the practice of yoga postures and breathing support a healthy meditation practice? In order to practice meditation effectively we need to sit up straight and sustain our seated posture for longer periods of time, with minimal discomfort. It’s fair to say that in meditation the spine is of central importance; by strengthening our spine we are working on improving and perfecting our posture. Firstly, meditation is an art form that deals with the body and posture.

Through improving our health, strength and flexibility with yoga, we not only feel better in all areas of our life, we’re also preparing ourselves for the more rigorous demands of meditation.

Each year we invite parents to participate in our weekly Focus & Concentration classes. If you are interested in learning more about meditation, or joining one of our classes, please feel free to contact Ajarn Casey  for more information.

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