Millwood High School, where students score credit for yoga. Image via: Halifax News Net
Here's one that would've rocked my socks off as a kid: yoga--in school. Doubly so if it replaced the dreaded P.E., where military push-ups and getting pegged by a dodge ball made exercise as much fun as the dirty sock smell in the locker room.
Canadian schools seem to have a cool thing going on introducing 'tweens and teens to yoga time on the mat. Beyond that, they are making it an accepted part of the curriculum where they can earn school credit. Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Board of Education recently approved yoga in Vancouver's school district 42 for school credit. As have Millwood High School in Sackville, Prince Andrew High in Dartmouth and Auburn Drive High in Cole Harbour, among others.
With Western medicine finding more and more evidence of the physical and mental benefits of yoga, it seems the practice finds a natural place in school systems. After all, good health and mental alertness are needed for solid learning skills. Not to mention, the stress management yoga can provide, especially around exam weeks and the college application process.
In my opinion, and based on my own experience, I'd like to think maybe the mind-body connection would also help in weaning certain youth off of sugar-laded, processed junk foods. And that's something I think Jamie Oliver could appreciate, too.
Now let's just hope only well seasoned certified instructors make the grade in teaching the courses. It's challenging enough for adults to know their body limitations. I suspect it's more so for kids.
::Yoga Journal - Yoga Buzz
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