Yoga and Reading in Elementary School: Conclusion

At first, I felt suspicious of books on yoga for children. I initially felt that incorporating too many elements, like music, acting, costume, puppetry, shouldn’t dilute yoga. However, as I reviewed why I thought yoga for children might be important – to provide them with tools to know and interact with their own bodies – I realized that yoga for children really is a different beast. Because children’s brains and bodies are developing at a fast pace, yoga can be a tool to get to know their bodies through the changes. 

The impact of yoga-like movements’ stimulation on the brain is something I can only begin to grasp. Most yoga programs designed for children provide anecdotal data on yoga’s impact on the brain. I have relied heavily on one source, Smart Moves, by Carla Hannaford to build my understanding of how this happens within the brain. At the very least, yoga offered the third grader’s brains an opportunity to stimulate three-dimensional focus before entering into an activity that demands two-dimensional focus, thus offering an emotional and physical break from the rigor of the classroom. For the third graders I work with, yoga has been an opportunity for them to know me better, and I them.