At a small school in Inglewood, California, students are learning for the first time, the benefits of yoga.
Eight-year-old Mekhi Mitchell says, “Yoga helps me by making me less angry, more happy, and less mad.”
Yoga classes are taught as part of the physical education program at Inner City Education Foundation Charter School. Salena Collins approached the school to offer yoga in a community that didn’t have any yoga studios.
She says, “You don’t have to make a certain amount of money to practice yoga. You don’t have to live in a certain area to practice yoga. Yoga is for everybody. No matter where you are, you can practice.”
The school started yoga on a trial basis but when the teachers noticed a difference in their students, it became part of the curriculum known as, The Balance of Life Project. Teachers practice yoga along with their students.
Fifth Grade Teacher Colleen Grant says, “We have kids who may have families that are broken apart, kids who may not have food to eat at home, or other problems that all kids don’t experience. Yoga is a way to help them practice their emotional stress to get over things.”
The students learn the importance of breathing exercises and being fully aware of their feelings.
Collins says, “With mindfulness, you can get through trauma, you can get through stress. You start to become aware of your intentions.”