HPE Teacher Professional Development
What Does Yoga in Schools Bring to Health & Physical Education?

YIS designs standards-aligned, professional development programs for teachers in the use of yoga techniques as part of their Physical Education and Health (HPE) classes. HPE teachers typically receive four to five in-service trainings per school year. These teachers receive customized presentations, workshops, curriculum materials, and equipment that introduce them to yoga practice, pedagogy, and instructional techniques. The HPE teachers then include yoga activities in their classes with students as either a stand-alone unit or a modification of existing activities, for example, swimming, weight-training, basketball,  or gymnastics. Each HPE teacher receives monthly classroom visits from one YIS yoga educator. Classroom visits include a professional observation, feedback, and suggestions for improvement, and opportunities to discuss the observed lessons. As a result, HPE teachers are eligible to become trainers for their students and colleagues. This may mean that HPE teachers deliver in-service training to other staff or become in-house curriculum experts and program developers. To increase saturation of yoga learning throughout the school and district, this training model may be paired with ancillary workshops for classroom teachers and other staff in the use of yoga techniques, and/or adult yoga classes for the specific benefit of teachers and staff. 

What Health & Physical Education Teachers are Saying About YIS

"Awesome Training! Instructor was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic with the presentation and material. Can't wait for the next training!" Jeff Martin, Pittsburgh Public PE Teacher

"At the beginning of the day, I thought there was no way I could use this with my 7th grade class.  However, I then realized that this is exactly what they need to calm them down. I learned a lot about how to use yoga in PE."  Kaleena Dunkle, Pittsburgh Public PE Teacher

"A great training for those who are unsure about how to teach yoga!" Mike Murray, Pittsburgh Public PE Teacher

"Yoga has helped me a lot. I am a better teacher for it." Sara Boggess, Pittsburgh Public PE Teacher

“Care for our selves = Care for others. Thank you Joanne, for reminding me to care for myself using the Yoga Ed tools and other inspirational materials. Here I come, world!” Rosemary Feely-Tierney; Dance/Yoga Instructor/Pre K-8

“Yoga Ed is for everyone. It is the most practical, user-friendly tool to guide young and old to a more satisfying and meaningful life.” Brenda Folger; 6-8 Health Ed

“Today’s training was a lot of fun! Joanne was very knowledgeable and presented material/information that was hands-on and very applicable to my classroom. I would come back again!” Patricia Jacobs; Pre-K, Spec. Ed Colonial School District, DE

“As a yoga teacher and guidance counselor, I am beyond impressed with the wealth of information and the talent and knowledge of the instructor in making an extremely valuable presentation. This workshop was well beyond my expectations. Thank you for a wonderful experience.” Catherine Mink; Counselor, 3-5, PA

“Easy to incorporate into day!” Kathy Madden; 5th Grade, Souderton School District

“I have students with perfectionism, over-activity problems, etc. I’m hoping to use these tools to let them learn how to manage their own emotional state.” Maria Selke; K-5 Gifted

“I think my teachers could really benefit from an in-service on yoga. There is such a push for an increase in test scores, but students need a way to manage their stress and help stay focused. It would be really helpful if teachers had these yoga tools for building in breaks during the day and showing kids how to self-regulate.” Christianne Ottinger; K-5, Gifted, West Chester Area SD, PA

“The training inspired me to try new ways to redirect my challenging 1st grade.” Pam Barr; 1st Grade Teacher, Pickering Valley, Downingtown, PA

From Reluctance to Rejuvenation

K-8 Health & PE Teachers Woodland Hills School District

After starting out a bit reluctant and skeptical about yoga at the beginning of their Yoga In Schools teacher training, a group of K-12 Physical Education teachers from Woodland Hills School District soon came to appreciate the benefits of yoga for themselves and their students. After two days of training, here’s what they had to say about yoga: 

  •  Students that are not successful in sports can feel successful
  •  It teaches total body wellness 
  •  It helps with classroom management, particularly at the beginning of class and increases time on task 
  •  It builds discipline and self-confidence 
  •  By 4th grade many students have lost interest in PE and yoga makes it fun again 
  •  It helps build class routines, which helps manage the class
  •  It increases creativity and leads to cooperative learning
  •  It is good exposure to something that may not be part of the student’s current culture
  •  It is a self-esteem booster
  •  It helps kids find a way to be active
  •  It fits well into health and skill-related fitness
  •  It is a period of time that is peaceful and quiet and calm that students might not get otherwise 
  •  When teachers allow students to rest it can give the teacher time to be still and quiet
  •  It reduces stress
  •  It forms bonds between students and teacher – it allows the students to feel safe enough to be    themselves 
  •  It is good for athletes
  •  It increases self-control 
  •  It increases self-awareness
  •  It increases spatial awareness
  •  It helps to make the mind-muscle connection
  •  It is experiential – you can talk about it as much as you want, but yoga is something to be experienced
District-Wide Train-the-Trainer Model for Health & Physical Education

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