Earlier today a friend and I were talking about our experiences growing up, and specifically some memories of elementary school. For those who didn't know, I grew up in The Bahamas. I was homeschooled until the age of 4 which is when I was sent off to the 1st grade. Academically, I was reading and performing at a 3rd grade level, but emotionally, I wasn't ready to even be in the 1st grade. The only reason I was probably sent to school was because my mom went back to work, and homeschooling was no longer an option.
The Traumatizing Event
When I was growing up, teachers thought nothing wrong with corporal punishment. It wasn't until I was in college that I had heard that schools had done away with allowing teachers to spank/beat students. When I entered the 3rd grade, I was still a pretty shy student. I kept my head down, completed my assignments and homework, and really didn't make too many waves. Even with being a quiet child, my 3rd grade teacher, would make it a point to spank me every day. After weeks of being spanked for no reason, I told my mom about what was happening. She came to the school, and put a stop to it. I never received another spanking after that.
It wasn't until this morning that I started thinking about what was going on. I was fortunate enough to have a parent with whom I felt comfortable enough to share the abuse that was happening to me. I was also fortunate enough that she believed me, and took action to ensure that it wouldn't happen again. Upon reflection, it is quite possible that the teacher had personal issues going on at home. It is unfortunate that if that was the case, she chose to take her frustrations out on a 6 year old child.
In schools in the United States, I am not aware of teachers being allowed to "spank" students,. However there are surely other ways that teachers take out their frustration on students. I have heard of cases where teachers belittle students, constantly send them to detention, etc. I believe that this is unfortunate, and completely avoidable. If you feel that you were on the receiving end of a teacher's frustration, please leave a comment below with what was your traumatizing event.
Yoga in Schools
Without truly knowing the intentions behind why the teacher decided to spank/beat me, I am merely speculating that she had issues going on at home. I further wonder how many teachers and students find themselves in a similar situation. A situation where there are issues going on outside of school, and not having any real outlets to release pent up frustration. Obviously it is never ok to take your frustrations out on another person, especially a child. However, how different would school be if everyone's day started with a bit of yoga?!
Benefits of Early Morning Yoga
Practicing yoga regularly has so many benefits. There are some added benefits of practicing yoga early in the day! Among these are:
- Body warm up
- Stress release from the previous day
- Get your breathing on track for the day ahead
- Happy Hormones are released
- Massage your digestive system
- Boost in focus and concentration
- Ensures some time in your day is carved out just for you
All of the points mentioned above would benefit teacher and student alike if yoga was practiced daily at the beginning of the school day. While this post is specifically talking about yoga in the classroom, I believe yoga should be practiced by everyone regularly and consistently. I absolutely would love to help build a practice around giving access to yoga to everyone.
I would be remiss if I didn't state that yoga is only part of the solution that is needed for true healing. However, it the tool that I possess that I can share with others. I am open to collaborating with others on sharing our tools for healing, so definitely reach out if you would like to join in. Until then...
Look out for yoga everywhere, yoga anywhere, yoga anytime from yours truly!