Incorporating Yoga and Mindfulness in Remote Learning
Even after a year, the sudden and abrupt shift to remote learning has been an ongoing struggle for many students and their families, who have both had to make immense changes to their daily lives and routines. Some students found new virtual learning methods conducive, while others have found that focusing on independent assignments and working from home challenging.
One effective strategy for students to improve their focus and succeed in remote learning is to incorporate yoga and mindfulness into their daily routines.
What is yoga?
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices and poses. Yoga helps children and adults observe and become aware of their own mind, nature, and feelings.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the state of being conscious or aware or something. Here, it is about being aware of yourself, your feelings, and your intentions.
Practicing mindfulness can be as simple as asking your child, “How are you feeling?” and having them practice articulating their emotions or state of mind. Too much information at one time leads to an overload within young minds—whether you’re a child or an adult, trying to do hours of work in one sitting is difficult! Mindfulness can help students recognize when overload is happening and find ways to address it.
“Brain breaks” were created for just this purpose. They are short learning breaks that get students up and moving, so that blood and oxygen can travel to the brain. This helps students find more energy if they are tired, or relax if they are feeling anxious or stressed. Brain breaks give students time to process new information, which leads to long term retention.
How can you incorporate yoga into a day of remote learning?
So what should students do during this brain break? For the anxious student, or one who’s having trouble focusing, yoga is the perfect option. Below is a list of yoga poses known for increasing focus and offering other health benefits. There are also many free online videos that guide students through yoga practices and that are specifically designed for certain age groups.
Yoga Poses for Focusing
- Tree pose (Vrikshasana): calms nervous system, enhances stamina, increases stability and balance
- Mountain pose (Tadasana): strengthens legs, improves posture, relieves tension from body
- Eagle Pose (Garud Asana): calms mind, improves breathing,
- Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottasana): energizes body, relaxes mind
- Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III): increases balances, teaches how losing your focuses makes you lose your balance
Incorporating Yoga & Mindfulness in Your Schedule
Yoga can be incorporated in any space at any time throughout the day. When making a schedule, try to have students work for 30–45 minutes, depending on their age. Older students can often work for longer periods of time. Then set aside 10–15 minutes in between subjects or assignments for your yoga practice.
What about mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be incorporated in a child’s schedule through simple conversations, journaling, meditation, and more. It is important to think about and talk about how the shift to remote learning affects your family and how everyone can work together to make it successful.
All in all, yoga, mindfulness, and meditation are beneficial for children and adults of all ages. It has been proven to build self-confidence, clear one’s mind, and improve self-esteem and self-reliance. It’s also great exercise and a ton of fun!