Yoga in schools

November 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

Submitted by Judy A., one of our fabulous reference librarians: 

Yesterday’s (Thursday) Toronto Star ran an article entitled Just Breathe by Isabel Teotonio that fits right in to TDSB’s mental health initiatives. In it she described a partnership between the Board and the New Leaf Yoga Foundation, a charitable organization that teaches yoga and mindfulness to children from low SES communities to help them cope with challenges in their academic and personal lives. Currently, the program is offered in 8 TDSB schools: 3 elementary and 5 secondary, but limited to students who are most at-risk.

The program, which has become very popular, teaches students to understand the link between their emotional state and how their body feels. It also teaches self-control, anger management, and skills to help them cope with anxiety and stress, enabling them to make better choices in response to their emotions.

Positive consequences of the program include: improved conflict management skills, better focus in class, and reduced behavior problems and suspension rate.

Here are some resources available from the TDSB Professional Library on yoga and mindfulness in schools:

Articles (contact the library for passwords where needed)

Napoli, M., Krech, P. R., & Holley, L.C. (2005). Mindfulness training for elementary school students: The attention academy. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 21(1), 99-125.

Greenberg, M. T., & Harris, A. R. (2011). Nurturing mindfulness in children and youth: Current state of research. Child Development Perspectives

Khalsa, S. B. et al. (2012). Evaluation of the mental health benefits of yoga in a secondary school: A preliminary randomized controlled trial. Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 39(1), 80-90.

Otto, V. (2014). Yoga for PE: Engaging high school students physically and mentally. JOPERD: The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 85(2), 19-23. (contact library for print copy)

Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., & Griffiths, M. (2014). Practical tips for teaching mindfulness to children and adolescents in school-based settings. Education & Health, 32(2), 69-72.

Burke, A., & Hawkins, K. (2012). Mindfulness in education. Encounter, 25(4), 36-40.

Williamson, L. A. (2012). Yoga in public schools. Teaching Tolerance, (42), 27-28.


Asencia, T. (2006). Yoga in your school: Exercises for classroom gym, and playground. Hightstown, NJ: Princeton Book Co.                                 613.7046 Asc

Plummer, D. (2012). Focussing and calming games for children: Mindfulness strategies and activities to help children to relax, concentrate and take control. London: Jessica Kingsley.   158.418 Plu

Saltzman, A. (2014). A still quiet place: A mindfulness program for teaching children and adolescents to ease stress and difficult emotions. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Pub. (Proquest ebook)

Judy A

Reference Librarian


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