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Why Some Schools Are Swapping Out Traditional Punishment For Yoga

Yoga and other wellness activities can have health benefits for kids, including stress management and improved self-image, research says.
Posted at 4:02 PM, Mar 01, 2018

In this school's detentions, movement is encouraged. That's because students don't sit at desks; they do yoga.

"We don't do after-school detention," principal Jodie Carrigan said. "We call it after-school reflection."

handful of schools across the U.S. are mixing up detention this way. And at this Denver school, the idea of after-school yoga detention has turned into an optional after-school class for any student.

Studies show there are a slew of benefits for kids, including stress management and improved self-image.

Detention is ultimately a form of punishment. But for kids who act out in the classroom as a symptom of trauma or problems at home, some mental health advocates say punishment doesn't fully address the issue.

"It's good to learn our reading and math, but the emotional part, sometimes, we don't pay a lot of attention [to]," yoga instructor Trini Heffron said.

Wellness programs aren't always an option for schools because of costs. As for the school in Denver, a grant helps pay for the yoga classes.