Something Special Magazine: Yoga & Learning Article

Something Special Magazine features the article Yoga & Learning: From a Speech Pathologist by Christine and Jim Ristuccia in the Spring 2011 issue.  The full article on Yoga & Learning: From a Speech Pathologist

Kids use yoga to learn mythology, fight pre-test jitters

February 23, 2011 No Comments » Blog
Yoga in a small space
By Judy Fortin
DECATUR, Georgia (CNN) — Fourth-grade teacher Elisabeth Beckwith wants her students at Fernbank Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, to pay attention to a lesson on Greek mythology.

 Fourth-graders at Fernbank Elementary in Decatur, Georgia, practice the “dromedary delight.”
Instead of staring at the board in the front of the classroom, the kids are lying on the floor near their desks practicing yoga. “It’s fun,” says 9-year old Jack Besser. “It gets out the cramps after you’ve been sitting for an hour.”

Besser’s classmate Medha Prakash says the yoga drills help her to concentrate. “It makes me feel calm, relaxed and it gets all the stress out of me.”

Beckwith has linked the symbols of Greek gods to yoga poses, such as down dog and the stork. She’s hoping the students will better retain the material and be re-energized in the middle of the day. “It’s a fun way for them to think about things,” Beckwith says. “You know, it’s healthy for them because they’re getting the breathing right and getting the stretching right.”  .  .  . Read the complete story here.

[Note: Yoga is a really powerful practice that offers many benefits for kids.  I ran across this article while doing some reasearch and wanted to share.  The article does a really nice job of highlighting how yoga can be use in a classroom setting to faciliate learning and help reduce anxiety (pre-test jitters).  Plus the school is in Fernbank outside of Atlanta. They have a great museum nearby with dinosaurs and other wonderful science stuff.  I took my kids there and we had wonderful time.] 

Original Source: CNN

Using Yoga to Teach Spatial Concepts

October 12, 2010 No Comments » Blog

Spatial concepts comprise an awareness of the positioning of objects in space. 

Spatial Concepts and Yoga

Table Top Pose

Yoga is naturally spatial as it requires a basic understanding of concepts such as up/down, right/left, inside/outside, and forward/back. These qualities are naturally tactile as they are occur in the physical domain. Being physical, the best way to grasp the concepts is to physically do the concept.  Paper and pencil tasks, such as  circling which box is under another, cannot substitute for actually, physically doing the concept.  Check which box is on the right side of the paper or raise your right hand and shake it as fast as you can. Which will have more impact on retention.  The convergence of physically moving comprises more senses and makes for easier more retentive learning.  Yoga through it’s many postures affords a myriad of opportunity to explore and learn spatial concepts. 

Just being on the floor in Table Top pose, for example, allows for discovering concepts such as right/left, under/over, inside/outside, above/below, top/bottom, big/small, together/apart.

What are your favorite exercises for teaching spatial concepts?