Saskatoon – Students in several Saskatoon schools are seeing the benefits of Saskatoon Health Region’s Health Promoting Schools program which offers Yoga 4 Classrooms. It uses yoga-based wellness training for students as well as their teachers, education assistants and community coordinators. Yoga helps students use breathing techniques to create calm learning environments.
Many teachers have already noticed a difference. Krista Sego is the principal at King George School. She says “We see more self-control in students, the ability to persist through situations, to relax and make an extra effort to calm and reset.”
For 10 weeks, a facilitator spends time in each school to teach yoga techniques to students. Staff attend workshops to learn how to carry on after the facilitator completes the program.
The program was launched in October 2013 at Confederation Park School and King George School. Earlier this month, Pleasant Hill School and St. Edward School also joined.
“Yoga 4 Classrooms helps empower students and educators to create positive, peaceful, productive classrooms,” says Shelly McGrath, the Yoga 4 Classrooms facilitator in Saskatoon. “We believe that creates a lifetime of health and wellness and allows an exceptional learning environment for students and instructors.”
The Health Promoting Schools program includes twenty complex needs schools in Saskatoon and area. It is a whole school approach that brings together students, parents, public health nurses, engagement facilitators, teachers, school administrators, and community partners to address a key priority in the school such as physical activity, healthy eating or mental health. The purpose of the program is to improve students’ learning and wellbeing and create conditions that support healthy school environments. The project has received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy for Achieving Healthier Weights. The project is a partnership between Saskatoon Health Region and several school divisions in the province.