Faculty participate in after school yoga classes

Technology specialist Pam Van Mater in the 'shoulder stretch' position, meant to release tension in the neck and shoulders.

Sarah Booth

Technology specialist Pam Van Mater in the 'shoulder stretch' position, meant to release tension in the neck and shoulders.

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Aiming to help teachers stay fit while forming relationships with other staff members, Parkway-Rockwood Community Education has started a yoga program. The yoga sessions are hour-long, beginner-level class and take place after school on Mondays for a six-week period.

The yoga program has had a large turnout, which helps the effectiveness of the program.

“Many people from the building are participating, which allows us to bond with the other staff members that we don’t normally see during school hours,” Special School District teacher Darla Maynard said.

The popularity of the program can be attributed to the way yoga itself has many benefits such as improved flexibility and increased muscular endurance.

“I joined the class because so many people have touted the mental and physical benefits of yoga, and I wanted to experience it for myself. My exercise routine is so different from yoga, and I like to do a variety of physical activities,” science teacher Anthony Piccinni said. “The focus on slow, controlled movement and range of motion increases a kind of muscle strength that is not part of my routine.  There is also an emphasis on balance, which is an aspect of physicality that is weakening as I get older.”

Alongside the physical benefits of yoga, the teachers are also experiencing the psychological benefits as well.

“My job can be incredibly stressful at times, and doing yoga right after work has been very calming for me,” Maynard said.

Doing yoga has also helped teachers stay focused, clear their head, and overall enjoy the workday more.

“Maintaining mental clarity and mindfulness is an important part of yoga, and these are qualities that can be applied to any situation.  It is also beneficial to me spend time with some of the other teachers,” Piccinni said. “Strengthening those relationships helps me to be happier at work.”

 

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