So I left work feeling unusually calm and energized at the end of a long day, almost like I was floating as I walked past the basketball courts and into my car. Why? Because I had just finished 75 minutes of yoga with a professional teacher and eight of my colleagues in a classroom! Yes, that’s fact. My school is now offering a free yoga class every week to faculty and staff. The art teacher at my school suggested it, polled the staff for interest, and my principal listened and set it up! The next thing I know, I’m doing yoga in the Spanish room after school!
It was a truly novel experience–a total departure from any normal school/work experience. Kids were all gone, the classroom had been swept, and we pushed all the desks against the wall. I was facing windows that look out onto a beautiful Brooklyn skyline, and it was still light out (Thank you, daylight savings.)
You may be thinking, who wants to do yoga at work with colleagues? The truth is, I really enjoy practicing yoga, but often don’t prioritize it as I move through my week. This really eliminated all of the logistics of it, and I have colleagues to remind and encourage me to go.
Although this was my first class at my school, I’m sure there will be benefit of this is are going to be noticeable. I wouldn’t quite call it professional development, but free yoga is a real contribution to working conditions, which are notoriously difficult for teachers. And mental, physical and emotional strength are actually very important for successful teaching. Yoga is one way to build and support those things.
I know yoga isn’t for everyone, but I’m very happy about this. If your school offered it, would you go? If you are a school leader, can you imagine this being a good investment in the working conditions for your staff? [image credit: cuppajolie.blogspot.com]