Austin ISD elementary school now teaching yoga

We all know the hustle and bustle each day can bring: Work, school, emails, traffic. And most of us are constantly in search of a way to slow it all down --- and find a little peace and relaxation. One Austin ISD counselor is teaching kids how to do that

AUSTIN, Texas -- You know the hustle and bustle of your day -- work, school, emails, traffic -- lots of things to add stress.

Many adults are constantly working to find a way to slow it all down, find peace and relaxation.

Now, one Austin ISD counselor is teaching her students how to do that early in life, with yoga.

"Breathing in, breathing out,” said Cunningham elementary counselor Kimberly Skinner.

Pre-K through fifth-grade students are learning how to balance the stress in school and life.

"Come back in to flower pose,” said Skinner to the class of first-graders.

Skinner starting using yoga this year to teach social and emotional learning, skills she feels they need to learn early.

"If we can control our emotions, and understand our emotions, early on in life, it's just going to make us bigger and better change makers for our society,” said Skinner. "We really focus on the whole child, so it's not only am I here to learn for my academics, but also my social and emotional learning"

She said the goal is for students to self-regulate throughout their day.

"So if I take this moment, and this mindful moment to breathe at my desk, or ask, "Hey I need a couple minutes just to kind of hang for a moment and reset,' I can be much more focused when it comes to my academics," said Skinner. "This foundation of their education is of course our elementary years, but this is the foundation for life, and so if I use these yoga principles and look at them as how can I continue to be a change maker.”

From trouble on the playground, to problems at home, to the stress of school, Skinner said this is a way to find inner calm.

“They are looking for an outlet to get it out,” said Skinner.

"Sometimes I'm like, 'Oh my god I forgot to my homework,'” said fifth-grader Gael Toledo.

He told KVUE that he's learning ways to cope with stress.

"Deep breaths and close my eyes,” he said.

Fifth-grader Ayshia Taylor said the yoga helps her relax.

"Sometimes if I'm outside and I'm mad I'll do some poses, and I'll just take deep breaths and I'll calm me down,” said Taylor.

And fifth-grader Sara Brooks also likes learning the calming poses.

"I will sometimes think or use them and it actually helps me relax my body, and everything really,” said Brooks.

The students go to yoga for 30 minutes twice every other week.

Now they hope other schools in the district will do something similar

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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