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Yoga class at Humble ISD high school grows as more students learn to connect their mind, body and soul

Summer Creek HS teacher Sarah Aguilar began teaching yoga last year. “It helps them feel more focused and balanced in class," she said.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — As your Education Station, KHOU 11 is committed to celebrating teachers who are innovating and inspiring, like Sarah Aguilar. She’s reimagining what physical education can be.

This is her second year teaching yoga to Summer Creek High School students in Humble ISD. The second period class happens outside when the weather is cool. As the sun rises over northeast Harris County, Aguilar strikes a pose.

“We’re innovators and we’re thinking outside the box,” Aguilar said. “The thing about the yoga class at Summer Creek is that the kids wanted to take this class. They picked it.”

It’s the only yoga class offered within the school district. It started last year. It was a single semester class with 30 students. This year, it’s doubled.

“And it helps them feel more focused and balanced in class. And it really alleviates anxiety and stress, which I know has been really high recently, just due to COVID,” Aguilar said. “And just being a high school student in general, I think that there’s a lot of stressors that go on.”

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Teachers can help students bridge the gaps. Each yoga pose strengthens a teen’s health, fitness and flexibility. The breathing and meditation tap into mental wellness.

“Especially with social media, it’s just nice to turn it off,” Aguilar said. “When you’re in a yoga class, there is no cellphone use. And that’s probably the only hour in the day that they might not be on their cellphones, to be honest.”

The class is personal for Aguilar.

“I had a back injury in high school. I was in athletics, and I kind of just found my way into a yoga class to help alleviate the back pain,” Aguilar said. “And I want them to find something that they will continue to do throughout their lifetime.”

Summer Creek High School is all in. Heart rate monitors are coming soon. Students will be able to make an even better mind-body connection.

“I just think that they feel more calm and collected to take on their day,” Aguilar said.

A 40-minute physical education class re-imagined to benefit each student for life.