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asian student performing chair yoga in a classroom

Boost Moods and Find Mental Clarity with Classroom Chair Yoga

Carolyn Vento
May 16, 2022
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and at CrisisGo, we are committed to making sure students are safe in every way. By educating students about mental illnesses and providing options for support, we can protect them, their loved ones, and the larger community. Many children are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, and the changes caused by it in their daily lives can be overwhelming. There are many productive ways to manage stress such as taking deep breaths and eating healthy, and we recommend researching to find the best ones for your students. One popular way is by doing yoga, a form of exercise that involves slow movements and deep breathing. There are several styles of yoga, including one called chair yoga.
 
What is Chair Yoga?
Chair yoga is a general term for practices that modify yoga poses so that they can be done while seated in a chair. This gentle type of yoga is perfect for when people have limited space, like in a classroom. Some poses can be done standing, while using the chair for support. It can help students to feel more relaxed and it can improve their mental and physical health.
 
What are the Benefits of Chair Yoga?
When students do chair yoga, they improve flexibility, strength, and balance. It can help them feel better physically overall. When they feel better, they can usually sleep better which leads to better moods. It helps to manage stress, and when they do it with others, it will provide them with a supportive community. Students will have fun discussing the poses with classmates.
 
What are Some Chair Yoga Pose Examples?
A simple beginner pose is the chair raised hands. Keep your shoulders relaxed and rib cage sitting naturally over the hips, while maintaining good upper body posture. Anchor yourself in your chair seat and reach up from there.
 
Another pose is called the seated twist. You place your left hand on your right knee and your right arm over the back of your chair. Then, turn to look over your right shoulder and hold for four breaths. When inhaling, feel your spine lengthen and, when exhaling, feel a deeper twist. Then, exhale back to the center and repeat on the other side.
 
A popular chair yoga pose is the cat/cow. First, inhale and arch your back to look up at the ceiling. Then, exhale through your spine, making sure to pull in your abdominals and round your back. To relieve back and neck tension, repeat this movement five times.
 
Who is Doing Chair Yoga?
Chair yoga has become popular in classrooms nationwide. It’s a good feeling to be able to use the chair you’ve been stuck to for hours to aid you in a healthy exercise routine! Students in Texas are using yoga to center them so they are ready to learn. In Maine, teachers say that yoga helps them to connect with students in new ways and to see new sides of them. When students feel accepted and cared for by teachers, they are more engaged in all lessons.
 
Whether students are in the classroom or even at home, they can practice self-care by participating in chair yoga. The benefits range from alleviating stress to improving heart health and more. It’s convenient, easy, and fun. The less stress they have, the more productive they will be at school.
 
Throughout the month of May for Mental Health Awareness Month, consider putting a focus on mental health in your school. In addition to fun activities such as chair yoga, take a serious look at your school’s threat assessment team. Is your school’s team doing enough to protect the mental health of students?
 
Schools that use CrisisGo can use the Safety Intervention Manager tool to digitally check in with students to measure their social and emotional wellbeing and perform behavioral risk assessments. They can also use it to report mental health concerns for collection, assessment, and intervention when needed. Mental health can even affect physical health, so make sure to give students plenty of options to alleviate stress and bring them happiness.

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