Bringing Yoga to the Classroom: The Whole Child

Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs and even kindergarten are not required by DPS. This is especially true of populations at the fringe of the dominant culture – ethnicity, income, and neighborhoods are factors that impact the “whole child” before they enter the school building for the first time, and each day thereafter. Many students attend school for the first time in first grade. First grade students and teachers march through the school year with an eye to meeting standards. I venture that these standards assume a healthy first grade student. Teachers are then confronted with the daunting task of meeting district and national education standards that don’t address the reality of the students they teach. Given the additional factors of high student-to-teacher ratios and the bureaucratic responsibilities of each teacher, how could teachers possibly support every aspect of their students’ health, physical, emotional, and academic needs? Many individual teachers incorporate movement into the classroom, and more structured programs like Brain Gym ( are widely embraced as teaching strategies. I believe yoga can provide educators and students with additional tools to begin to address the “whole child.”