Dr. Cynthia Zurchin was invited to be a guest speaker at the second-annual Yoga in the Schools Symposium, hosted by the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health on February 17–19.
“Yoga is really giving students and staff members the power to control their own bodies so they can focus and learn. Yoga breathing and poses also help students and staff to energize themselves when needed. School are a reflection of society,” Zurchin said.
Zurchin said she finds both students and staff in need of ways they can reduce their stress levels to focus promoting academic success and personal happiness.
The school board voted 6-3 last month to allow Zurchin to attend the conference using her vacation days.
The YISS Symposium will bring together school leaders, yoga teachers, and researchers from across the country to foster inspiration, understanding, and collaboration toward the goal of bringing the transformative practice of yoga to as many young people as possible.
“For many years physical activity has been the primary tool utilized in schools to counteract stress,” Iona M. Smith, MEd, manager of the Kripalu Yoga in the Schools initiative, said in a news release. “The moment is ripe for yoga to make a positive impact on the well-being of schoolchildren. Conferences such as this are a giant step forward as we aim to introduce the practice in schools, both nationally and globally.”
Yoga research has grown exponentially these past few years, with Kripalu at the forefront of these evidence-based endeavors. The statistics have been overwhelmingly positive.
“We are gathering strong evidence that yoga increases resilience, focus, and self-regulation—all known to support learning. We’re excited to share the latest scientific results at the Symposium,” said Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the primary investigator of the Kripalu Yoga in the Schools research.
With YISS, Kripalu is aiming to build a strong foundation from which to nurture and celebrate this important work, with the ultimate goals of empowering young people to create thriving schools and build connected communities.
“Yoga is becoming so popular, insurance companies are starting to feature it in their advertisements. But can yoga actually help the world be a better place? That’s what we’re investigating in this Symposium,” said Edi Pasalis, MBA, MTS, director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living. “Together with educators, education researchers, and yoga professionals, we will explore how this increasingly popular practice can support school communities to their full potential.”
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is the largest yoga-based retreat center in North America, whose mission is to empower people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga. Established in 1974, Kripalu is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization.
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