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Yoga in Schools Research: Self-Regulation and Focus Using Yoga and Mindfulness

Are you hoping to add yoga and mindfulness to your curriculum by looking for evidence that it works? Or has your administration asked you for yoga in schools research to back up your school yoga program?

Below you will find seven scientifically proven ways that yoga and mindfulness benefits students in the classroom. These studies will show you the measurable changes in student behavior and compliance after an eight-week mindfulness program or the impact on the classroom after a group of teachers took mindfulness training. 

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These days, schools and teachers are responsible for more than just teaching students. School is where children learn to be kind, compassionate, strong, and resilient. It is where they are shaped into good human beings. Students are fed when they are hungry and consoled when they are upset. Our school educators do a lot every single day—far more than what shows up in the job description.

How do our educators manage to fit all of this into their days? And can they continue to do all of this while maintaining their sanity? Educators struggle with the daily balancing act in their classrooms. It hardly ever feels like there’s enough time. 

I get it—I was a teacher too. The classrooms are filled with busy-bodied individuals, students with a diagnosis or two, and students who struggle getting their emotions and behaviors under control. Day in and day out, there are so many different needs and tons of interruptions. On top of it all, teachers are expected to squeeze in the curriculum in such a short period of time. A school year goes by pretty quickly.

We are worried about fitting everything into our already-overloaded schedules—teaching students how to read and write, how to solve problems, and teaching them to be kind, compassionate, and confident people. Staff working in classrooms—and even in the school office—have become experts at the juggling act, balancing the many demands of students who regularly act out, struggle with schoolwork, and cannot self-regulate yet. 

It doesn’t always have to be this way. Thanks to a great deal of research, we are learning more about children and their human nature. They are resilient creatures who can thrive when taught new skills—and they can more easily hold on to those skills than adults can. Kids are sponges.

The truth is learning how to self-regulate, foster self-esteem, problem solve, gain empathy, and build healthy life habits is no different than learning how to play basketball or the piano, or even how to read and write. They are skills that can be taught.

We can teach all these skills and more by incorporating daily yoga and mindfulness practices within our school community. 

The Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness in School

Research has shown that yoga and mindfulness can have many positive effects:

There are so many ways to implement yoga and mindfulness into your classroom’s daily schedule. The possibilities are endless!

In her book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, author Karen Armstrong, states: “Practice is more important than theory.” 

It doesn’t matter how you do it, just that you do it. And we are here to help!




Scientific research showing yoga and mindfulness in the classroom works | Kids Yoga Stories

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