They are members of Lakemont’s Yoga Club, coordinated by Jon Siegel, Lakemont’s Healthy School Team Leader, with assistance from instructors with Red Sun Yoga.
Siegel and his Healthy School Team first brought yoga classes to Lakemont at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year with support from the Winter Park Health Foundation. Classes were provided for all students and faculty. These classes were incorporated into the school day.
The idea for Yoga Club came out of a suggestion from parents during a Healthy School Team meeting.
Participating students meet each at about 2 p.m. They get a full yoga class with all the positions, stretches and oms one would expect from an adult class. On a typical day the Yoga Club can have between 40 and 50 students. Students pay only $2 per class to participate.
The most important things in yoga are breathing, poses and meditation/relaxing.
Mr. Siegel, who also is the school’s P.E. teacher, said yoga has made the students more attentive in class and relaxed. It has improved student’s ability to get along with one another, and even helped one student with anger issues, he added.
Instructor Margo Tafuri said this about the benefits and importance of teaching younger children yoga. “[Yoga gives kids an] overall sense of well-being, a way to self regulate their emotions, emotional intelligence and things like that. The obvious physical health benefits – they’re stronger more flexible and make healthier choices.”
The faculty meets for yoga on Monday’s after school. There are usually between 10 and 15 faculty members that participate on a regular basis.
The yoga classes have been received so well that Mr. Siegel is planning on continuing them next year for both faculty and students. Other schools have contacted Mr. Siegel to see how they can start a yoga club as well.