Kindergarteners become grounded in first yoga class

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Namaste, it’s a word that means, "I bow to you." Now elementary school kids in Dothan are greeted with the expression as they begin learning yoga.

Kindergarteners at Highlands Elementary School laid out their gym mats Tuesday morning for their first class.

"I can see after about 10-15 minutes the kids are settled down, relaxed and more focused,” said Coach Greg Thompson.

Thompson wanted to expose his students to new activities they can do in gym class. Highlands has partnered with the Nature Gallery in Dothan for Grounded Kids Yoga.

The five-year-olds are learning how to inhale and exhale properly, practiced some new poses and chanted words of encouragement.

“I think this is going to teach them some skills that will keep them more focused in the classroom,” added Thompson.

Virginia Watford has been teaching yoga for a couple of years, but recently started teaching children. She felt it was important to bring this practice to the classroom because of its benefits.

"It builds confidence, raises self-esteem, reduces stress, and children do stress out at school,” added Watford. “This is something that they wouldn’t normally do outside the classroom and it’s beneficial to everybody, all ages."

Even if their balance was a little off, these four and five years olds made out pretty well for their first time! The Nature Gallery provided Highlands with 100 yoga mats and hope to bring Grounded Kids Yoga to more schools in Dothan.

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