Yoga for high school students opens the door to a lifetime of physical fitness and mental health benefits. At Canton High School, every student has the opportunity to explore and try out yoga during physical education class. In this article, we take a closer look at how Canton is incorporating yoga into its’ pe curriculum.
Yoga in High School – Popularity On The Rise
Yoga has become an increasingly popular form of physical fitness across the united states. And with that, the demand for yoga in high school is also on the rise. Young people see yoga as a viable form of physical exercise but aren’t always sure where to start.
Teaching yoga in physical education class allows all students to safely explore yoga for the first time. By practicing yoga in PE, students build up the confidence to eventually do yoga independently. This could be at home or a local gym or studio. But without students first exploring yoga in high school, they otherwise might think of yoga as ‘not for them.’
PLT4M yoga teacher Lulu Emmons describes why school settings are one of the best places to start with yoga,
“School is about exploration and learning, and so is yoga! We never expect anyone to be yoga perfect. That is why we call it yoga PRACTICE. We created a middle and high school yoga program so that more of our young people got a chance to see that yoga isn’t just headstands and chanting, but rather a fantastic form of physical exercise for everyone!”
Yoga For High School Students at Canton
The Canton High School Wellness Department has always tried introducing and incorporating different types of physical activity into the PE curriculum. Part of this PE curriculum at Canton is now yoga.
Starting with sophomore personal fitness and wellness classes, Canton students can try yoga for the first time. Using yoga lesson plans from PLT4M, students are first introduced to basic yoga poses. Wellness Coordinator Adam Hughes described why they turn to PLT4M for yoga lesson plans,
“I am not a yoga teacher by trade. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want my students to get a chance to try yoga. With PLT4M, every student can be introduced to basic yoga poses and the fundamentals of a yoga practice through fun videos. Better yet, I know that the PLT4M PE curriculum is backed by national standards. “
Throughout the first few yoga classes, students learn the basics of yoga:
High School Yoga – Project Based Learning
On top of the available opportunities for students to try yoga, Canton PE also has a project-based learning assignment where yoga comes into play. As part of Canton’s PE curriculum, students are put into small groups and tasked with creating their own physical exercise routine. This form of project-based learning encourages Canton students to not only learn but teach about different types of physical fitness.
For one group’s project, students chose to teach a yoga practice and mindfulness meditation. Using PLT4M resources and videos, the students planned an entire lesson of teaching yoga to their peers.
Throughout the lesson, different students in the leader group would introduce one of the yoga poses, play the video corresponding video, and lead the class.
PLT4M Lesson Materials Example
Check out a follow along instructional video used in physical education class when teaching yoga.
In this video, we will 1) Introduce Crescent Lunge on Left & Right Side 2) Provide and outline three variations of Crescent Lunge
For the crescent lunge, we are going to find the bottom of our lunge position. Our front leg should have a 90-degree bend, and our knee should be stacked over our ankle. From there, make sure your shoulders are stacked over your hips and your hips over your back knee.
Next, we are going to find our ‘Mountain Pose’ arms. With our shoulders stacked over our body, we will lift our arms up and overhead. From here, we will have our palms facing in and rotate our pinkies towards one another to open up our shoulders. This is a Crescent Lunge.
If this variation feels good, we can raise our back knee slightly off the ground. For an easier variation, bring your hands to chest center. For a more challenging variation, extend your arms up and overhead for Mountain Pose.
A common fault in the Crescent Lunge is the tendency to allow our chest to drop or slouch towards our front knee. We want to think about ‘pressing’ our tailbone towards our mat, lifting our chest, and using our core to maintain a strong midline. Pick a Crescent Lunge variation that allows you to keep all of our points of performance!
3 Points of Performance:
-Stack your front knee over your ankle
-Square your hips to the top of your mat, and press your tailbone down
-Lengthen through your side body, and release your shoulders away from your ears
Key Takeaways On Yoga For High School Students At Canton
Keep yoga for students fun and simple! While yoga is becoming more popular, it can still be intimidating for many students. While there are endless yoga resources and videos online, be sure that your online yoga classes are age-appropriate. Yoga for high school students shouldn’t have countless headstands and impossible poses. Instead, yoga for high school students should help students to build up the requisite confidence for success.
Canton provides an excellent example of what yoga for high school students can look like. You don’t need to be a yoga teacher to build out a high school yoga program throughout the school year.
At Canton High School, yoga has become a staple of the physical education curriculum and program. So what will your high school yoga program look like?