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How to Integrate Yoga and Mindfulness into Your Physical Education Classes (Interview)

How do you effectively integrate yoga into your PE classes–even if the students aren’t interested in yoga, you have a jam-packed curriculum, and you don’t have a lot of yoga experience yourself?

How Yoga and Mindfulness Can Transform the Physical Education Curriculum

To gain insight into how to incorporate yoga into physical education classes, I interviewed Kristen Santos, founder of Yoga in Physical Education, who shares how she combined her passions of teaching physical education and practicing yoga. 

Through her own experiences with yoga as part of her health journey, Kristen recognized the value of introducing yoga and breathwork as essential tools for young learners to manage their anxiety and stress. 

With her expertise and passion for wellness, Kristen provides valuable insights for PE teachers and educators on the benefits of incorporating yoga into physical education, fostering self-regulation, and creating a more holistic learning experience for students. 

Benefits of Integrating Yoga into PE Classes

During our interview, Kristen highlights the various benefits she observed from integrating yoga into physical education, particularly during the challenges presented by the pandemic. 

She talks about the calming effects of breathwork in reducing anxiety, helping students manage stress, and fostering emotional well-being. By sharing her real-life experiences with students, Kristen demonstrated how yoga and mindfulness can empower students to navigate stress and adversity.

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Overcoming Barriers and Challenges of Integrating Yoga into PE Curriculum

Addressing the common concerns and challenges faced by PE teachers, Kristen offers insights into overcoming barriers to integrating yoga into the curriculum. 

Kristen says that educators do not need to be yoga experts to begin incorporating yoga and mindfulness into their classes. Instead, she encourages them to embrace the resources available to them, such as trainings, conferences, and educational materials, to build their confidence and knowledge in teaching yoga.

Strategies for Successful Integration of Yoga by Being Creative and Innovative

Kristen encourages PE teachers to approach the integration of yoga with enthusiasm and creativity. She highlights the importance of creating engaging activities that blends yoga seamlessly into  traditional PE exercises. 

She also discussed how she weaves yoga into various aspects of her physical education classes, from warm-ups to incorporating yoga poses into games and partner yoga activities. By sharing her experiences and strategies, Kristen inspires educators to explore innovative ways of integrating yoga with existing physical education content.

Fostering Buy-In and Enthusiasm of Yoga in PE Classes

Kristen discusses strategies for gaining buy-in from both students and fellow educators. 

She shares her approach to introducing yoga to younger students and collaborating with elementary school teachers to establish familiarity with yoga and mindfulness practices. Additionally, she highlights the value of connecting yoga with athletes and popular figures, demonstrating how yoga has been embraced by athletes like LeBron James. 

By fostering enthusiasm and showcasing the relevance of yoga in various contexts, Kristen encourages teachers to build interest and participation among students.

Kristen’s insights and experiences shed light on the transformative impact of integrating yoga and mindfulness into the PE curriculum. Her journey serves as an inspiration for educators seeking to create more holistic and well-rounded learning experiences for students. 

Through her passion and commitment to wellness, Kristen has illustrated the invaluable role that yoga and mindfulness can play in promoting physical, emotional, and mental well-being within educational settings.

Watch “Integrating Yoga into PE: Tips and Strategies for PE Teachers” Interview here:

YouTube video




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