Students at Frontier Elementary practice yoga during recess

BOISE, ID - When it comes to recess at Frontier Elementary School, some students have their minds on mats — that is, yoga mats.

These students have traded the jungle gym for yoga. From tree poses to breathing exercises, the energy during this alternative to recess is a calm one. 

“I like to do yoga because it helps me relax with all the stress I have to do during class, and trying to finish all of my work,” said fifth-grader Devina Benavidez. 

Teacher Jennifer Dahlgren says between 10 to 15 students show up for yoga every school day.

“Sometimes kids are not successful at recess, or they just want another option,” Dahlgren said. “…so it’s nice to provide kids with that choice.”

During each session, the little yogis work on their flexibility and meditation, offering a nice break from the noise.

“It’s more quiet, not like recess,” said first-grader Ghazal. “Recess is always loud.”

The students say they appreciate the 15 minutes of relaxation, while teachers notice a difference in their behavior and performance.

“Everyone is so happy and positive,” Dahlgren said. “They help each other, encourage each other.

As it turns out, a little namaste before the end of the school day, has its benefits.

“Definitely a lot more calm,” Dahlgren said. “They’re focused. I find they’re a lot more mindful of their actions and their thoughts.”

Yoga during recess is open to students of all grades at Frontier Elementary. The program was made possible through a grant, which provided the yoga training, curriculum and mats.

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