Fun & Fitness: Yoga’s Growing Popularity in Kids Education

Rich Boschetti, DPIE Academy Director
October 23, 2023

Originating in India, Yoga boasts a legacy of over 5,000 years, and its rich history and tradition have now garnered widespread acclaim in the United States. The number of Yoga enthusiasts in the US has surged from 21 million in 2010 to nearly 37 million in 2023, that is an impressive 75% increase in regular practitioners!

The allure of Yoga has extended to the Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE) After School Enrichment program, where four dedicated DUSD teachers have introduced a Yoga class at their respective schools. Murray Elementary teacher, Alison Starr, was the pioneer, initiating Yoga classes at her school several years ago. She has witnessed a growing demand for her program, with a full class of 20 students and a waiting list of eager students.

The Rise in Yoga Participation

Vanessa Leong, a 5th grade teacher at Amador Elementary School, introduced her “Mindfulness in Movement Yoga” class in the spring of 2022. The demand for her class has grown so quickly that she is moving her yoga class to a larger space this winter session so she can accommodate more students.

Yoga: Great Way to Take a Break                      

In the fall of the 2022 – 2023 school year 4th grade teacher Rebecca Gutierrez introduced her “Yoga for Kids” course at Green Elementary School.

Key Take Aways from Yoga Practice

Most recently, after a summer of intense yoga training spanning more than 200 classroom hours, Gillian Rhett who teaches 8th grade science at Cottonwood Creek K-8 school, has successfully launched her Yoga class.

Physical vs Mental Health

While numerous American studies have emphasized the physical advantages of engaging in yoga, such as enhanced cardiovascular fitness, balance, flexibility, and overall health, the practice extends beyond the realm of the body. It fosters emotional well-being, encourages self-awareness, and instills vital life skills. Encouraging children to adopt yoga can pave the way for healthier, more joyful, and well-rounded lives as they navigate their journey of growth and development.

DPIE is committed to fostering healthier, more joyful, and well-rounded lives within the community. As part of this commitment, we are endeavoring to add yoga at every elementary school in the district, aiming to impart the holistic benefits of yoga to our students.