Yoga helps Maine students learn and perform better – WMTW Portland

Schools across Maine are putting a greater emphasis on addressing student mental health and they are finding creative ways to do it.A teacher at Walton Elementary School in Auburn is using yoga.”They really enjoy it. They look forward to it. They participate whole-heartedly,” said fourth grade teacher Karen Letourneau. “Unless you know what it feels like, you really don’t know what you’re missing.”Letourneau and her students spend a few minutes every day doing yoga right in their classroom. She says she started the exercise after she started doing yoga and mindfulness practices herself and noticed it was helping her feel calm and relaxed.”It does the same for the students. So they benefit from that and they also benefit from what it does for me,” she said.Students say they feel calm and strong after going through the exercises.Letourneau says the yoga program has also helped her connect with students in new ways and see new sides of them.”We’ll have conversations about what that does for us and how that helps us, right down the physiological level. They know more than we give them credit for, they can understand more than we give them credit for.” She encourages other teachers and parents to try yoga and mindfulness themselves.”Just one little thing at a time and then committing, ‘I’m going to do one little thing today, what’s that going to be?'” she said.Letourneau says the moments of mindfulness have proven to help students perform better in the classroom. “But for me, it’s more about having them experience implementing these skills for themselves that they can carry through their lives,” she said.We have highlighted the efforts and unique approaches several other schools are taking to address mental health. Check them out, too!Gorham schoolsBiology of children’s brainsCumberland and North Yarmouth schoolsTelstar schoolsWestbrook schoolsUMaine Peer Relations LabBiddeford, Saco and Dayton schoolsPortland schoolsOtisfield Community SchoolWaterford Memorial SchoolSaint Joseph’s College of MaineFreeport High SchoolCape Elizabeth Middle School

Schools across Maine are putting a greater emphasis on addressing student mental health and they are finding creative ways to do it.

A teacher at Walton Elementary School in Auburn is using yoga.

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“They really enjoy it. They look forward to it. They participate whole-heartedly,” said fourth grade teacher Karen Letourneau. “Unless you know what it feels like, you really don’t know what you’re missing.”

Letourneau and her students spend a few minutes every day doing yoga right in their classroom. She says she started the exercise after she started doing yoga and mindfulness practices herself and noticed it was helping her feel calm and relaxed.

“It does the same for the students. So they benefit from that and they also benefit from what it does for me,” she said.

Students say they feel calm and strong after going through the exercises.

Letourneau says the yoga program has also helped her connect with students in new ways and see new sides of them.

“We’ll have conversations about what that does for us and how that helps us, right down the physiological level. They know more than we give them credit for, they can understand more than we give them credit for.”

She encourages other teachers and parents to try yoga and mindfulness themselves.

“Just one little thing at a time and then committing, ‘I’m going to do one little thing today, what’s that going to be?'” she said.

Letourneau says the moments of mindfulness have proven to help students perform better in the classroom. “But for me, it’s more about having them experience implementing these skills for themselves that they can carry through their lives,” she said.

We have highlighted the efforts and unique approaches several other schools are taking to address mental health. Check them out, too!

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