Kids take up yoga in classrooms

WYOMING, Mich. – It's not every day when you see kids in school doing yoga moves. But at Vista Charter Academy, they're doing downward dog and deep breathing.

The school is now using a program called Minds on Mats to "do yoga and set goals around self-awareness and self-management," says teacher Candis Ogilvie. "Kids are very stressed around learning sometimes."

"We're bringing an awareness of who and how they're being in the moment, and who and how they want to be, so helping them set those positive goals around their learning, not only their learning but social skills and relationship skills."

Ogilvie designed the program, which focuses on five core competencies: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

The kids are taking to it.

"We've only been implementing this program for a couple of weeks, and they're already very engaged with it," says Ogilvie, "and they're bringing it home to their families, and they're teaching their friends."

Minds on Mats is now being used in eight schools, and Ogilvie is working to train more educators in more schools.

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