BARABOO, Wis. — Some school district officials in Wisconsin are turning to yoga to help their youngest students focus in the classroom.

The St. Clare Hospital Foundation and Pulse Fitness & Training are bringing mindfulness exercises to Baraboo elementary schools, the Baraboo News Republic reported.

The hospital’s fundraising group recently awarded the local gym a $900 grant to purchase equipment for a yoga program that’s geared toward grade school students.

Pulse Fitness trainer Nicki Green said gym leaders sought the funding as a way to expand its mental and physical wellness programs at local schools.

“There have been a lot of programs at the high school level and the middle school level that we’ve been involved with at the school district,” Green said. “But there really wasn’t mindfulness exercises for elementary school students, so we saw that there was a need that we could fill.”

Pulse Fitness trainers lead yoga courses at several public and private Baraboo elementary schools each week.

St. Joseph Catholic Parish physical education teacher Marianne Brinker said he exercises appear to help students be more aware of themselves and their surroundings.

“I think that students are able to do a lot better job of focusing and regaining attention when they get back to the classroom,” she said. “They’re doing a good job of listening to their own bodies to figure out if they are getting out of control.”

Green said the yoga courses also often helps with students’ academics because it teaches meditative techniques.


Information from: Baraboo News Republic, http://www.wiscnews.com/bnr