Burke elementary school brings yoga to classrooms

(Kellye Lynn/ABC7)

At Cherry Run Elementary School, fifth graders practiced deep breathing, bending and stretching in the middle of Spanish class.

Ten-year-old Landon Snyder usually practices yoga at home but is now doing the postures in his classes.

"I like doing it because it relaxes me," he told ABC7 News.

The exercises are part of a program called "Yoga 4 Classrooms." School counselor Erin Hurley said the goal is "to integrate breathing exercises and yoga postures into their day to help students with emotion regulation, attention and focus."

Hurley, a registered children's yoga instructor, recently implemented the program at Cherry Run by first training teachers like Stacy Vickers.

"This could be that thing that closes the gap between telling them to pay attention and teaching them to pay attention," Vickers said.

Students engage in yoga during classroom transitions and specials like art, music, physical education, and foreign language.

"We'll do like breaths and then sometimes fun poses like washing machine," fifth grader Grace Heberer said. Cards that display yoga poses and instructions are posted throughout the school to remind students to calm down, breathe and focus. The program promotes wellness and could help improve student performance.

"Really, ultimately, that's what it's there to do – to help them learn," Hurley said.

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