News-Star: Community

Yoga comes to Cooper

Cooper Elementary teacher Danielle Harris and student Ashton Woodall practice their morning yoga routine.
Cooper Elementary teacher Danielle Harris and student Ashton Woodall practice their morning yoga routine. JOHNSTON COUNTY SCHOOLS

Cooper Elementary School has added yoga to its curriculum.

Teachers Wallicia Sandaire and Danielle Harris have begun a morning yoga routine to help their students do better in school. A system of physical exercises or postures, yoga builds strength, flexibility and confidence. Yoga is also about breathing, which helps calm and refresh the body and mind.

“There is also the lifelong benefit of developing better physical, mental and emotional health,” said Cooper Elementary nurse Karla Hampton, who is helping with the yoga project. “These all support healthy life habits, boosting one’s self-esteem and confidence.”

Anti-bullying, health and wellness, and character education have become common themes in American schools today, and all of these emphasize educating the whole child: mind, body and spirit, Cooper noted in a news release. Yoga, by nature, supports this learning.

Studies have shown that regular exercise is beneficial in the classroom, and yoga helps to wake up sluggish minds, increase focus and brings students into the present moment – the most basic requirement for learning.

Additionally, the exercise of yoga creates a calm, harmonious classroom and helps raise test scores. Both Sandaire and Harris said they are eagerly looking forward to seeing the results of this yoga learning experiment.

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