Yoga in Schools: New Mexico
The Yoga in Schools (YiS) program was created in 2002 and has offered a yoga-based, alternative movement class in the Santa Fe public schools each semester of each year since its inception. With many schools losing funding for physical education teachers, YiS has been able to offer the schools a unique option in place of traditional physical education classes.
In 2009, the program expanded from its humble beginnings to include a program specifically designed to teach Test Taking Skills to grades 3-6. Since these grades are required to sit for mandatory testing each year, the YiS program developed a yoga series specifically for this situation. The feedback from teachers and students was overwhelmingly positive.
In the Fall of 2011, Yoga in Schools started offering 3 distinct programs to high school and middle school students. The first program is designed specifically for teenage athletes. Yoga teachers work directly with sports teams to increase total body strength (not only sport specific strength, but well-balanced strength as well), increase overall flexibility, and decrease the likelihood of sports-related injuries. The second program is offered through general PE classes at the school. Yoga teachers offer a series of yoga classes during PE as part of the overall physical education curriculum for each school. This is tailored through individual PE teachers and yoga instructors for each group. The third program is an after school program, which offers students fun yogic movement and conscious breathing exercises as a healthy afternoon activity that is the perfect prequel to homework time.
In 2013, Yoga in Schools launched an initiative in partnership with La Familia Medical Center that provides yoga instruction to underserved students on the south side of Santa Fe, for whom low graduation rates, minimal access to health and wellness education, and high levels of poverty all pose major challenges. This program has been tremendously successful, with consistent reports of higher test scores, lower stress levels, fewer violent incidents, improved overall mood and energy levels, and improved attendance.
Through its Yoga in Schools program, Santa Fe Community Yoga offers all of these incredible services to students in school with opportunities for scholarships, as well as at our studio free of charge. Teachers are paid and we therefore rely on the generous support of our community and its contributions to continue this valuable work.
Please consider giving what you can to Yoga in Schools - every little bit helps: $4 pays for one local student to attend class at SFCY and $30 pays for a YiS teacher to teach one class at a local school.
All donations are tax-deductible. Please ask for a receipt if you need one. Thank you!
Our Yoga in Schools Director
Anjali is one of the Executive Directors of Santa Fe Community Yoga and is also the Director of our Yoga in Schools program. She has been teaching yoga to kids for three years and created the free Family Fun Yoga program at Whole Foods Market. She loves the energy that children bring to a yoga class and enjoys challenging her young students in a non-competetive setting.