Friday, 26 August 2011

Yoga Sparks Unstillness

Yoga is typically thought of as something that brings you into stillness, but as I listen to more and more people I am starting to see a common theme.  People seem frustrated that their bodies are resisting this stillness. Yoga is sparking a new awareness of what their body needs: more movement before the stillness.

Many people are expressing that they don't know why their body doesn't "do" stillness when they try. Perhaps manifesting as not being able to sleep at night or not being able to sit and read a book. The thought that children need to be able to sit for long periods of time to be able to learn still seems present within schools. Even though for years there has been research linking learning to physical activity, I feel that this pattern is still engrained in some of our classrooms.  I know I catch my thoughts sometimes jumping to, "Oh why can't he sit still?" or, " I wish she could just sit still."  Is this really what I think? Really what I wish? No.  But it points out to me that this pattern is still within some of us.

So for me today yoga sparks unstillness, when your body needs to move, let it.  A line that came to mind today that I will try is, "Is there a different way that you can use that energy?"  Giving students freedom to move to the mat if they can't sit still, if they can't keep their hands to themselves or if they can't keep their voice down.  Behaviours that in the past I have maybe labeled as bad behaviour or not enough self-control, are truly just energy trying to move.  Giving kids skills to move that energy in appropriate ways and providing opportunity to move is my spark for today.

What does this spark in you as a teacher?  What does yoga spark in your classroom? Let me know, I really want to hear!

With love,

1 comment:

  1. Last year when my students were restless we would often do stretch breaks. Finally one boy blurted out, "Is this that yoga stuff?" He promptly answered his own question by saying "My mom does this stuff... It's yoga!" I smiled and we continued. Soon the kids were asking for stretch breaks. It really helped us refocus our thoughts and relieve some tension. I love your thoughts about yoga in the classroom. You will find success!