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Best Practices for Yoga in Schools (Yoga Service Best Practices Guide) (Volume 1) Paperback – October 27, 2015
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"The Yoga Service Best Practices Guide is the an invaluable resource for educators bringing yoga into school settings to promote positive student outcomes. Drawing upon what we know about child development and developmentally appropriate practice, the book offers clear guidance on how best to teach yoga to children and teens in school settings. I highly recommend this book."
-- Patricia Jennings, Professor at UVA Curry School of Education, author of Mindfulness for Teachers
"This is a remarkable effort; a sage, inspiring, pragmatic and well presented manual of best practices for every one seeking to provide "safe, effective, inclusive, and sustainable" yoga classes in schools. The collective wisdom and experience is immediately apparent."
-- John Kepner, Executive Director: International Association of Yoga Therapists
-- Hala Khouri, M.A. E-RYT, Co-founder Off the Mat, Into the World, Somatic Counselor, Yoga Teacher and Mother
About the Author
The Yoga Service Council (YSC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 2009 at the Omega Institute. Our mission is to maximize the effectiveness, sustainability, and impact of individuals and organizations working to make yoga and mindfulness practices equally accessible to all.
Jennifer Cohen Harper, Editor, is dedicated to making yoga and mindfulness practices accessible to all children. She is founder of Little Flower Yoga, and the School Yoga Project, directly serving over 3000 NYC school children a week, and many more through a network of over 500 trained teachers. Jenn is vice president of the Yoga Service Council, and author of Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance.
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1. sound and practical suggestions based on extensive experience
2. solid research base
3. a non-prescriptive approach that allows the people on the front lines to be interacting with their location and target audience - whether the administration, the parents or the kids themselves - in the most authentic way possible based on what is actually happening, rather than feeling like the suggestions don't fit the reality of the circumstances in which they are working.
a thorough, well-written and well researched guide written with heart and discernment. Well worth the read for anyone working in this field, and I look forward to future guides written in the same spirit by these authors.
The book is organized into sections that systematically move the reader through the components of organizing and implementing K-12 yoga in schools initiatives that are sustainable, inclusive of differences (e.g. race, gender, language, religion, culture), and is framed in a whole child philosophy. Detailed step-step approaches for each component are described e.g. creating meaningful and effective systems of communication between organizations, individuals, students, and teachers; relationship building, practicing self-reflection, recognizing trauma’s effects on students, being aware of, and responsive to, the emotional and physical needs of children/youth in the present moment, using play to support learning and development, encouraging well-being and connection for youth, training and hiring highly qualified instructors, collaborating with classroom teachers, aligning a program’s curriculum with existing national, state, local district standards, and offering secular programs in their approach and content.
The intentions of empowering children and youth to develop self-awareness and the skills and abilities to self-regulate inform the practices. As well, the intention of creating a yoga curriculum that can be incorporated into classroom daily routines and schedule, which can support both the teaching and learning process. The authors as a collective of reflective practitioners share with their readers how they utilized their own reflections on their experiences to develop the best practices they are offering.
Esther Brandon, M.S.Ed.
Retired, Director of the (Undergraduate) Field Placement Office, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
Licensed Trainer, Yoga 4 Classrooms®, Dover, N.H.