Kids need movement. Delavan-Darien Kindergarten students get an extra dose of it in a way that re-focuses their attention and gets them ready to learn. They practice yoga 30 minutes daily right after lunch recess.

“All kids, especially at a young age, they need to move and we don’t move enough in society, in general, so adding movement to the classroom is really important,” said Delavan-Darien physical therapist Mara Robichaud.

While yoga is beneficial for all students, it especially helps students with neurological learning disorders such as ADD by improving memory retention of the brain.

“While they’re learning those new motor movements, their bodies will remember and so if you incorporate curriculum right after that, they tend to hold on to that curriculum longer.”

Kindergarten teachers tracked handwriting skills before and after yoga and noticed marked improvements after the half-hour sessions. They also tracked behavior issues of certain students and noticed marked decreases in problems after the yoga program started.

The program was piloted in two kindergarten classrooms last year and is now a part of the regular curriculum in three of our kindergarten classrooms. It’s growing slowly as some of our first grade classes at Turtle Creek Elementary are incorporating yoga, and some middle school teachers are taking time for movement activities, as well.

“Kids need to move,” Robichaud said. “It’s hard for any of us just to sit still all day. They need to move because often times they learn through movement. So if we can incorporate that in and let them have breaks, it allows their body to engage in that movement and then put them in a place where now they’re just calmed down and they’re ready to learn and they can focus and listen, otherwise they’re just tuning a teacher out. If their body feels like this and they need to move and you don’t let them move, anything you’re trying to teach them while you’re talking, they’re tuning it out.”

Our Delavan-Darien students are tuned in and their brains are turned on, all thanks to yoga. Thanks for watching today’s Inside Look Video!

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