Fargo, North Dakota

Yoga Calm has arrived in some Fargo classrooms

A challenge in any elementary classroom is “managing behavior.” But now a unique project is being introduced in schools right here in the metro.

Yoga Calm in Fargo

It’s called Yoga Calm.

Shortly before math or reading at Jefferson elementary in Fargo, fourth graders get their minds, bodies and heart, ready for a day of learning.

They practice Yoga Calm to get there.

Fargo School Counselor Laura Sokolofsky is one of several educators in our area, now trained in this program.

It serves as a way to get young kids to self-regulate by breathing, relaxing and being still.

“Little kids need this, they need to self-soothe and self -calm, when they are little they have pacifiers, snugglies, blankets and parents, when they are at at school all those things are gone. They have to learn what they can do to cope,” said Laura Sokolofsky, Jefferson Counselor.

Research is confirming what teachers are witnessing, calmer kids.

Often these are kids who come from tough situations at home, such as poverty, abuse and trauma.

“When your life is hard and you face so many challenges, it is cumulative it builds up in your body and stress and how you react that is hard and frustrating. We want a different reaction that won’t get you in trouble,” said Sokolofsky.

One group of kids was pulled out of recess for behavior issues, and entered into the Yoga Calm classroom.

“Once they were there, they did not want it to end because they saw the power of the group,” said Sokolofsky.

For students getting the chance to practice Yoga Calm, it is about results.

“Makes me calm and makes me focus more,” said Addy Johnson, Jefferson Student.

As part the exercise Thursday, the students picked a rock, put it in their hand and thought about something that had troubled them, they put the rock in their other hand, and held it out in front of them.

Using strength, the kids were told to not look back, but forward.

“Where you have been, you are today, and that will take you where you want to be,” said Sokolofsky, “When you are calm and relaxed you are focused and you are ready to learn.”

There is also an effort to bring the mindfulness and body control program to some classrooms in Moorhead.

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